We’re still in winter….. Deep in winter in some of the country…… But spring isn’t too far off. There are three things that keep me and my Airguns out hunting when we get to that time of year: the prairie dogs start popping up and staying up on the plains, the groundhogs in the eastern and Midwestern states come out, and in some parts of the country squirrel hunting is back with us! You have to look around to find a state with a spring season (mine is Kentucky), but it’s a fun and can be a challanging time of the year to hunt.
The challange is because the leaves are out and as the season progresses it and the ground cover and thorn patches get thick. Moving can be an effort, and finding a shooting lane once you find game and get in range has its own difficulties. Also nuts are not yet on the trees, so you’re not getting the cuttings raining down to help locate quarry. There are buds and new growth coming out, so squirrels may stay high in the thickening canopy.
This said, if you move slowly though the woods, keep an eye out looking for movement above and shaking branches you can get to the squirrels. On the upside, for the same reason you have a hard time seeing the bushytailed rodents, they have a hard time seeing you. This is the Season where I spend a lot of time slowly moving around a tree trying to pinpoint the source of the shaking tree limbs, while looking for a shooting lane.
I like a medium power, dead accurate rifle, preferably in .22 or .25 for this application. And while not as insistent on a multishot as I am for winter hunts (hard to single load with cold, shivering, or gloved hands)I do still prefer it. A gun I’ve used a lot is my Daystate Huntsman Classsic……. As often mentioned, bedsides accuracy, right power, quiet, multishot, I believe it is a beautiful gun and I just like to carry it, look at it, and shoot it!
As I write this post I am sitting in my hotel in Copenhagen, and I’ll be working the next few days before heading home over the weekend. The Daystae Renegade showed up on my doorstep right before I left….. only had time to sight it in and plink on my indoor range, but I like what I saw and am anxious to get home for some more serious range work with it! If all goes well. Plan to take that gun on a prairie dog trip to S. Dakota in the near future.
Also have some new shooting sticks coming in that I’ll be testing out: plan to both write and produce a video on this topic…. Stay tuned!