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New to hunting... Need help

Old 08-29-2013, 07:30 PM
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Spike
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Default New to hunting... Need help

So I'm new to hunting And have been reading a lot of threads squirrel hunting. I just have a few questions that Hopefully someone can answer.
1) I own a 12 gauge is that overkill? Should I purchase a 22?
2) What is the best kind of optics for a 22 specifically for squirrel hunting?
3) Is cammo necessary for midseason Illinois squirrel hunting?
4) Are calls necessary, do they help? For $12 at bass pro I'm willing to try.... What about cutter calls?

Just want to say thank you to whoever can help me greatly appreciate the help
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:40 PM
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It depends on how you like to hunt Squirrels as to which gun is better, I like using a shotgun and walking along slowly listening and watching for Squirrels. There is no wrong way as long as you are having fun.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:23 AM
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Thanks,I really appreciate it
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jjmj View Post
1) I own a 12 gauge is that overkill? Should I purchase a 22?
If you go with a 2 3/4 #6 or #5 shot, you'll be just fine. However, if you're planning on eating them, and don't want to pull shot out, then go with the .22lr and aim for the head. Just keep in mind that ammo is pretty scarce right now for the .22 (in my area anyway).

Originally Posted by Jjmj View Post
2) What is the best kind of optics for a 22 specifically for squirrel hunting?
Specifically for squirrel hunting? Not sure.

But I have a Barska plinker .22 scope that I've been really happy with, found it at Walmart for 30 bucks.

You really don't have to spend a fortune on a .22 scope, especially if it'll hold zero and you're just popping squirrels.

Originally Posted by Jjmj View Post
3) Is cammo necessary for midseason Illinois squirrel hunting?
Not where I hunt (SD). Just walk into the woods, be quiet and look up.

Originally Posted by Jjmj View Post
4) Are calls necessary, do they help? For $12 at bass pro I'm willing to try.... What about cutter calls?
Never called a squirrel... but some seem to have knowledge of these calls.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:51 AM
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1) I own a 12 gauge is that overkill? Should I purchase a 22?

Even if it is "overkill" you can test different chokes and shot size for optimum killing while still retaining plenty of edible meat.

2) What is the best kind of optics for a 22 specifically for squirrel hunting?

We'll without knowing what type of 22 you want to get i'll give my top 2 options:

A) If you are using a semi-automatic like a marlin model 60, I'd suggest open iron sights.

B) if you are using a bolt action 22, I'd personally go with any trusted 4x rimfire scope. Unless you are in a unique situation of needing to use a heavy barreled 22 to take 100 yard shots on animals, you don't need more than 4x IMO.

I personally use a 22 because I generally don't shoot them on the move, I wait until they stop to eat or look around.

3) Is cammo necessary for midseason Illinois squirrel hunting?

Can't really say, I hunt in the rocky mountains and when I hunt squirrel I do it while walking through thick woods near a stream. I see em in a tree, and line up a safe shot and pop em on down. Occasionally get em on the ground. I've never had an issue wearing blue jeans and a camo shirt. Sometimes even still have my blaze orange hat on.

4) Are calls necessary, do they help? For $12 at bass pro I'm willing to try.... What about cutter calls?

Wish I could offer more, I haven't used calls other than rubbing the 2 ridges of quarters together to mimic cutting. That does seem to work some of the time.


I'd suggest you go out with your 12gauage with a full choke and some shells in maybe #5 or #6. Wear whatever is comfortable and will be right for the weather and see how you do.

You'll be able to make a far better judgement of what you'd like to change or what didn't work at all for you, once you are out there in the field.

Last edited by Kytus; 08-30-2013 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:28 AM
  #6  
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If you're a young hunter, you definitely need a .22. It will help you get used to the rifles and to future, more powerful cartridges. A choice would be any model of Ruger's 10/22.

Optics are not needed for a .22, in this case.

Gear (camo and calls) is very important. The camo helps you become part of the landscape and prevents the animal from seeing you. Using calls you can attract the squirrels quickly and efficiently. It's a good thing to buy one.

For choosing the best rifle, go to the local gun shop and try some, if possible. You could also join a hunters' club, they could give you more tips.
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Old 08-30-2013, 07:19 PM
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Never called a squirrel... but some seem to have knowledge of these calls.[/QUOTE]

Is there a reason ? I've herd that before But only when it came to young squirrel distress call.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:42 AM
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Shot lots of squirrels with a shotgun where most of the shots were the result of walking very slow and quietly. Catch them on the ground if you did good and usually they were an easy shot. I have an old lever action Mossburg 22 with a cheap 4X on it. The gun is pretty beat but it shoots incredibly well. I think that camo would probably help but I think that if you sit still it is not a necessity. Most of the squirrels I shot were taken in blaze orange and there is not a deer hunter who has not had squirrels harass them while sitting there in all orange. I think the conditions in the woods would dictate which gun and which method you use as well as how you like to hunt. Dry leaves, I think you would do better to sit with a 22. wet leaves you can walk with a shot gun. But there are lots of squirrels and it is not a competition so hunt the way that is most enjoyable to you. I personally would prefer to get less game using the method I enjoy than to hunt in a way that is torture to me but is perhaps more effective. The reason I say perhaps because it seems to me that when I do things using a method I do not particularly like I see less game because I usually am far less focused and probably miss as many as I spot. Learn to enjoy the sport and try not to get too caught up in piling the game up just to prove a point. Of course that is unless that is what is fun to you.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jjmj View Post
Originally Posted by Psylocide
Never called a squirrel... but some seem to have knowledge of these calls.
Is there a reason ? I've herd that before But only when it came to young squirrel distress call.
One reason I've never called squirrels is because I can usually find them without having to do so.

The second reason would be that I don't generally go out for squirrels specifically. I'm usually looking for cottontails and will take squirrels when the opportunity presents itself.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:30 AM
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If you plan on hunting Illinois public land, check the site-specfic regulations on the IDNR website about the land you plan on hunting. Many are shotgun only, so make sure you can use a .22 before you buy one. I think camo helps a little, but is not necessary--I frequently wear a solid, dark green jacket. I have a Quaker Boy scolder squirrel call. It seems to me it works best early in the year, before all the young/dumb ones that will respond to a call have been shot. It's more a locator than an attractor -- hit it a couple times, wait, sometimes (1 in 10 maybe? or less even??) you'll get a response and know where a squirrel is. Then wait some more, let him calm down, and try to sneak in on him.
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