Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 7

H

OW CAN WE become better
hunters? It's a question every one
of us probably asks.
While it helps to read up on topics that
apply to the types of hunting we do, and
time at the range and reliable equipment
provide advantages, there's really no substitute for getting out there and learning by
doing; heading afield to gain the experience that will help us on future hunts.
And, believe it or not, experience has
taught me that squirrels - more than any
other game animal - help develop and
hone a hunter's abilities and versatility.
To be successful hunting squirrels,
especially with a rifle, you must cultivate
skills that matter a lot in almost all types of
hunting. And by working to improve your
squirrel-hunting success, you'll become a
more-proficient hunter overall.
I can assure you, too, that, over the
years, my squirrel schoolmasters have
taught me plenty!

SQUIRREL SKILLS

The first skill required in the squirrel
woods is an obvious one - learning to train
your eyes to catch movement.
It's not as easy as you might think.
Squirrels are small and can hide in the
forest canopy, within dips in the ground
and behind tree trunks and branches.
A squirrel running on a fallen tree, or
scampering up or down a tree, is easy to
spot. But often only a fleeting glimpse or
flash of motion is seen.
Still, your ability to detect that "flash"
can be the deciding factor in whether you
take the squirrel that made it.
As you move through the woods,
train your eyes to scan the landscape for
movement.
If your "big picture" scan turns up
nothing, check out locations squirrels
commonly frequent - fallen trees, the
J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7

lower branches of hemlocks, larger
limbs close to the trunks of trees, the
upper branches of nut-bearing trees, even
stumps and rocks.
Learn to look for specific shapes and
textures. That curious round ball on a
limb. The motion of a squirrel slipping
behind a tree. The jerk of that bushy tail.
The little things that spell "squirrel."
Once you find a squirrel, the games
begin, and your decision-making is put
to the test.
Say you've sat 30 minutes watching a
squirrel feed just out of your .22's range.
What do you do?
Get up and stalk? Wait longer to
determine its direction of travel? Wait
for another squirrel to show itself within
range?
Look around and evaluate the conditions and your cover options.
Are the leaves dry and crunchy?
When they are, it's hard to sneak up on
a squirrel. When leaves are wet and silent,
your chances improve.
How much cover is there?
Is the ground open and level, or are
there depressions, large trees, log piles,
bushes or other cover to hide your movement?
Squirrels see movement quickly, so
every step you take increases your chance
of being busted.
These are the deliberations and decisions squirrel hunters must sort out.
But it's a process also that generates
experience, a quality of which no hunter
ever acquires enough.
As you watch the squirrel, try to determine what it's doing.
Is it feeding in an area rich with nuts?
Rambling and foraging? Remaining in a
small area?
If it is, you have time to carefully stalk
closer.
7



Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 65
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - January 2017 - Cover4
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