Home :   Forums :   Contribute :  Calendar :  Business Members :  Journals :  Search :  HELP! :  Careers  
 Welcome to Iowa Sportsman!

Be sure to check out the Site Rules.
11/23/2017 @ 11:35 PM
 

 Forum Index > Hunting > General Hunting New Topic Post Reply
 Anyone hunt opening weekend? Tips/tactics

 |  Printable Version
speng5
 August 29 2017 11:26AM (Read 1853 times)  
Forum Senior Member
Senior Member

Status: offline

Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 2839

Anyone ever hunt the first weekend for squirrel and rabbit, just to scratch the itch?

I have in years past and it is always a better idea in my head than in practice. The thick foliage makes squirrel hunting a real challenge and the amount of weeds and brush can make rabbit hunting almost impossible.

I have done okay in years past very early in the season catching rabbits out in the evening on old 2-track roads and similar spots where they emerge from cover.

This year the climate seems pretty mild, other years I have gone out after squirrels and rabbits opening weekend and sweated like mad. Something in my mind says sweating that bad while hunting just isn't right. But I think I am going to give it a shot this weekend.

Anyone have any tip/tricks/methods for opening weekend small game hunting? Usually it's pretty frustrating but sometimes you just have to scratch the itch. Since this year at this time it is less "summery" than others, I am actually kind of excited to give it a shot. Looks like around my neck of the woods early mornings will be in the high 50's low 60's or so.


"He had bought him a good horse, and traps, and other truck that went with being a mountain man, and said good-bye to whatever life was down there below."
 
Profile Email PM
Quote
TeamAsgrow
 August 29 2017 11:39AM  
Forum Senior Member
Senior Member

Status: online

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 9010

Hunt with your ears for squirrels this time of year. I kill the majority of my Rats around walnut trees. Once you hear one cutting on a nut, scan, use your eyes or binos to find him. If you cannot see him, slip a couple more steps and look again. With the foliage it is pretty easy to slip into range. As long as the squirrel keeps eating you can keep sneaking. If he stops, just wait he will start up again unless you bump him, if they are chattering you can use the same tactic except then the rat is usually attentive to something.


Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'
 
Profile Email PM
Quote
IaCraig
 August 29 2017 12:04PM  
Forum Senior Member
Senior Member

Status: offline

Registered: 05/26/02
Posts: 2311

For squirrels I use the same approach early as I do late. Get there before or near sunrise dressed in camo, lean against a good tree and get comfortable........ then wait. Be patient, and as they appear plink them in the head with a 22. Usually I wait until I have several on the ground before I get up and retrieve them. When I took my kids, I used a pop-up blind so they could move around and play video games if they wanted.


 
Profile Email PM
Quote
SR Dave
 August 29 2017 12:06PM  
Forum Chatty
Chatty

Status: offline

Registered: 08/20/16
Posts: 138

Always hunted the opener for squirrels. Our family camped and boated the weekend and I'd slip away upriver for a quick morning hunt. Tie the boat up to the bank somewhere and walk the timber. More often than not, boated back to camp with lunch for the day. Now there are houses where I used to hunt,,,,,,,,,,, progress.


 
Profile Email PM
Quote
CRIA1576
 August 29 2017 12:12PM  
Forum Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor

Status: offline

Registered: 08/24/15
Posts: 420

Agree with Asgrow, and would add that a good stand of hickory can be absolutely dynamite as well. Look for the shaggy bark and empty hulls and you will find tree rats nearby.

My father in law and i also like to try squirrel distress calls and barking early in the year. On a good still morning, shaking a sapling and letting out some squeals followed by some barks can produce some extraordinary hunting on the new of the year squirrels. On a good set, the timber will erupt with barking before you are even done calling; allowing you to gradually pinpoint their location through the canopy. HS and other call manufactures make various combination calls that you can find at Wally World, Scheels, etc...

Firearms-wise, we usually have one guy with a .410 or 20 and another with a .22LR or scoped .177 pellet gun for longer range shots.

When you down a squirrel, don't rush in to retrieve it. Very often you can get another one or two as they come in to investigate the situation.

When you break to clean one, make sure you have a guy with his back to you watching for squirrels. They are curious by nature, especially early, and you can sometimes drop another one before the first one is in the bag.

Wear dark camo or black clothing and by all means if you are not running and gunning or calling for them, sit as still as you can. Try rubbing a couple shells together or a couple coins to attract them. Sometimes these strange sounds can bring them in to investigation.

Bring bug spray or your thermacell. Skeeters, deer flies, and ticks can ruin a good squirrel hunt.


Joel Johnson
 
Profile Email PM
Quote
feistman147
 September 10 2017 08:31PM  
Forum Chatty
Chatty

Status: offline

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 165

It's just been too warm for me to get out hunting.
I use hounds for rabbits and a Feist/Mountain Cur cross for squirrels. I won't run the hounds if it's over 60 degrees, or the squirrel dog in temp above 70.


I am eternally grateful for the Grace of GOD that allowed me to be born an American. A free man in a free country!!!
 
Profile Email Website PM
Quote
bhilligas
 September 11 2017 10:38PM  
Forum Regular Contributor
Regular Contributor

Status: offline

Registered: 10/10/14
Posts: 212

This is kind of a stupid question, but is Hunter orange not required for small game? I'm it is for bird and deer hunting, but it doesn't say anything about it for squirrel or rabbit hunting.


 
Profile Email PM
Quote
TeamAsgrow
 September 12 2017 07:47AM  
Forum Senior Member
Senior Member

Status: online

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 9010

Quote by: bhilligas

This is kind of a stupid question, but is Hunter orange not required for small game? I'm it is for bird and deer hunting, but it doesn't say anything about it for squirrel or rabbit hunting.



Not required


Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'
 
Profile Email PM
Quote
beniah1066
 September 12 2017 08:19AM  
Forum Senior Member
Senior Member

Status: offline

Registered: 05/08/13
Posts: 520

Quote by: TeamAsgrow

Quote by: bhilligas

This is kind of a stupid question, but is Hunter orange not required for small game? I'm it is for bird and deer hunting, but it doesn't say anything about it for squirrel or rabbit hunting.



Not required



Yeah, you won't be having any luck, except for perhaps a random run-in, with squirrels if you are wearing orange.

Rabbit is less important what you are wearing one way or another. I think a little orange isn't bad just for safety if you are walking through like public tall grass or something.


 
Profile Email PM
Quote
speng5
 September 12 2017 01:18PM  
Forum Senior Member
Senior Member

Status: offline

Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 2839

Well this past weekend I found a way to beat the foliage and get better shots and visibility. After some additional scouting beforehand I found an area of timber with very sparse vegetation on and near the ground, and many downed (and leafless) dead limbs and trees. Before they holed up for the day I was able to ground pound 4, they presented easy shots as they ran across the downed trees, logs and branches. Figure this may help someone else if they can find a similar area when the actual trees are still pretty bushy.


"He had bought him a good horse, and traps, and other truck that went with being a mountain man, and said good-bye to whatever life was down there below."
 
Profile Email PM
Quote
Content generated in: 0.51 seconds
New Topic Post Reply




 All times are CST. The time is now 11:35 PM.
Normal Topic Normal Topic
Locked Topic Locked Topic
Sticky Topic Sticky Topic
New Post New Post
Sticky Topic W/ New Post Sticky Topic W/ New Post
Locked Topic W/ New Post Locked Topic W/ New Post
View Anonymous Posts 
Anonymous users can post 
Full HTML Allowed 
Censored Content 

Created this page in 0.55 seconds 
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Home
Copyright © 1997-2009 All Rights Reserved Iowa Sportsman is a division of Twin Rivers Media
900 Central Avenue Suite 1, Fort Dodge IA, 50501
Phone: 877-424-4594 Fax 515-574-2364 Email: info@twinriversmedia.com