Windham: Small Game Hunting Can Complete Your Season | Columnists

Small game hunting could be a great way to end your hunting season. Squirrels and rabbits can be quite a challenge. Rabbits are almost perfectly camouflaged in brushy environments. Taking a shot through this type of brush can really test your marksmanship!

Photo courtesy of Rick Windham

By Rick Windham Outside Columnist

Our last deer season for 2021-22 ends today. Waterfowl season is still underway and if temperatures continue to warm there could be open water in the river and bird hunting could resume. Turkey, pheasant, quail and partridge hunting is closed at the end of the month. If you are done with these hunting seasons, consider small game. I plan ahead and want to end a squirrel and rabbit hunt before the end of their respective seasons.

There aren’t as many squirrels to hunt here as in the eastern part of the state, but there are enough (outside the city limits) that can make for a fun hunt. Sneaking through a stand of woods can be a challenge before the squirrels see you and start making their alarm calls. Most people don’t think squirrels make noise, but if you’ve ever hunted them, you know the difference. They make a lot of noise.

I like to use a two-fighter technique known as leapfrogging. A hunter slowly advances about 20 meters and stops. After a few minutes, the second fighter advances and overtakes the number one fighter. Squirrels often see and hide from the moving hunter, but as the hunter moves, the squirrel continues to move around the tree and exposes itself to the other hunter. It can be a productive technique.

Another way I like to hunt squirrels is to find a piece of wood with a good population. The move is all about wearing full camouflage, burying yourself in the leaves, and waiting with a trusty air rifle. It’s one of my favorite ways to hunt squirrels – plus I can sometimes take a nap.

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