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Squirrel Rifles Need Sighted in

August 23, 2008
By KENNETH COBB, For The Inter-Mountain

I think that most people will agree that the weather we have had in the past two weeks has been quite comfortable this summer, not at all like the hot and muggy afternoons and evenings that we had last year.

This is the time to bring out your favorite squirrel rifle to make sure that it is still sighted in from last year's hunting season. Twenty-two rimfire ammunition is relatively inexpensive. With the weather being favorable in the early evenings, this is the perfect time to get to a shooting range and practice. All people who enjoy hunting squirrels with a .22 rifle like me could use some of this.

Squirrel season comes in on Oct. 11. For some people this may seem like a long way off, but it will be upon us sooner than most people think. Right now, teenagers who like to hunt are mostly thinking about starting back to school next week. They are interested in school activities like sports and dances as well as getting back with their friends.

For people who plan on hunting squirrels this fall, they need to get out and check the trees the squirrels are most likely to be feeding on. Scouting is also important to having a successful squirrel season. Chances are, the squirrels will not be cutting or feeing on oak or beech when the season comes in. Their favorite food is shellbark hickory. From the verbal reports I have been getting, these trees are more abundant in Randolph County than last year.

For people who plan on hunting squirrels with a .22 rifle, they need to choose a location that is away from civilization. They also need to make sure that there is no livestock nearby. The challenge and fun of hunting squirrels with a small-bore rifle is almost endless, but always think of where that bullet may travel. On most boxes of .22 rimfire ammunition, the manufacture will say that the range is from one to one and a half miles. Use good judgment when hunting bushy tails with a rifle.

Some hunters like to hunt squirrels with a dog. I used to have a squirrel dog years ago. Shep was good at picking up a squirrel scent and getting it up a tree. He was also good at keeping the squirrel in sight when it went to jumping through the small limbs to find a place to hide. For one who hunts with a dog, this is also the time to get your pet out for practice and conditioning. When training your dog on private acreage, always seek the landowner's written permission.



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