Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: Seahawk12 on October 04, 2017, 07:58:53 PM

Title: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Seahawk12 on October 04, 2017, 07:58:53 PM
I read this article the other day and thought I might share it here:
Quote
Learn how to use squirrels to improve your deer hunting, and you’ll wonder why you never did before.

Sitting in a deer stand or blind is an effective way to take a nice deer. Once you’ve found the perfect place to set up, it is just a matter of time until a nice buck shows his face.

The trick is to be ready when he does. In order to do that, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to keep an eye on the actions of the small wildlife moving all around you.

Even though they’re known in a lot of circles as varmints, paying attention to squirrels is a fantastic way to know a deer is approaching long before you ever lay eyes on him.

Squirrels and other small animals will come out to feed not long after you settle into your stand or blind. They quickly forget about your presence as long as you don’t bring attention to yourself.

Once they’ve forgotten about you, they will typically go about their normal feeding routine, and watching their actions can tell you whether the area is quiet and inactive or if they sense the presence of a large animal.

Squirrels are great natural alarm systems. By understanding the motives behind their alarms and actions, hunters can gain a nice advantage in knowing when a deer is on the way.

What it Means When a Squirrel Runs up a Tree and Barks

Squirrels feel safest in a tree. When they feel danger approaching, they will find a tree (preferably hollow) and either get to the highest point on that tree and bark repeatedly or find a convenient den hole to enter.

If you see a squirrel playing and feeding normal, but then it suddenly stops and hightails it for the nearest hollow tree, you can bet something is up.

For whatever reason, squirrels don’t necessarily like deer. Maybe it’s competition for a food source or simply the presence of an animal so much larger invading their comfort zone. There is no clear reason why, but the truth is, if a squirrel hears a deer coming through an area, nine times out of ten, that squirrel will sound a warning and hit the nearest tree.

Of course, deer aren’t the only animals that will cause a squirrel to find a tree and sound an alarm. Coyotes, foxes, turkeys, other large game animals, and other humans will also cause squirrels to head for the safety of a tree.

If you’re in your stand and are mindful of the squirrels around you, you just might get a heads up when that big buck is headed into your area simply by watching the squirrel’s actions.

Watch Where Squirrels Feed to Know where the Best Mash is Located

Squirrels use the mash from hardwood trees to survive the cold winter months. They will find a stand of white oak or hickory trees and store enough nuts to last until spring.

However, even though these small tree dwellers pack away food all summer and fall, they still spend most of their winter days searching through the bed of leaves under nut producing trees to supplement their stores.

By watching where squirrels spend most of their time feeding, a hunter can get a great idea of where the best food source is for deer moving through their hunting area.

Knowing where the food source is located is a crucial piece of information for pre and post rut hunts, when deer are more focused on surviving than breeding.

Watching squirrels for hints of deer movement is a great way to gain an advantage on a deer hunt. However, hunters can benefit from a squirrel’s wisdom when it comes to bagging a coyote or feral hog as well.

Squirrel Hunting Partners

Paying attention to squirrel habits is like hunting with a four-legged hunting buddy.

They aren’t just for varmint hunting in the off season, tough they do serve good target practice in that role. That’s the obvious way to use squirrels to improve your hunting, but a lot of hunters forget about it.

Squirrels are, believe it or not, another tool you can use to be a more successful hunter.
http://www.wideopenspaces.com/how-to-use-squirrels-to-improve-your-deer-hunting/
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: lamrith on October 05, 2017, 08:31:32 AM
Very interesting.  I had Squirrels all over the place all day when I shot my bear from a stand this year.  But looking back on it, they had gotten quiet just before the bear came into the area busting brush.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Fish4Fun on October 05, 2017, 08:46:06 AM
We use the squirrels for elk hunting, they tell you when there is movement in the thicket where the elk come out. Once they start barking it will be either an elk or a hunter slipping along. We have shot a lot of bulls off this stand and I think the squirrels announced half of them before they got to the opening.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Alchase on October 05, 2017, 09:50:37 AM
We always called the "Tattle Tails" and taught my sons when you hear a squirrel go off, and you know it is not you, keep looking for the source of the commotion. Often it is a deer or elk.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: pianoman9701 on October 05, 2017, 10:33:27 AM
We used red squirrels this way back in NH, hunting for whities.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: bigmacc on October 05, 2017, 11:45:06 AM
Been using the little fellas for years, they can be a great hunting partner or an annoying little rat with a bushy tail :tup:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Fl0und3rz on October 05, 2017, 11:57:19 AM
We always called the "Tattle Tails" and taught my sons when you hear a squirrel go off, and you know it is not you, keep looking for the source of the commotion. Often it is a deer or elk.

:yeah:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Igottanewknee on October 05, 2017, 12:00:17 PM
I taught one to retrieve.... he's not much help... :chuckle:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: jackmaster on October 05, 2017, 12:04:58 PM
Tattle tails of the woods, they really like to rat out the predators , especially cats :tup:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Seabass on October 05, 2017, 01:11:47 PM
The squirrel theory is a "wives tale." 

I have spent 15-20 days/ year in a tree stand for the last 15 years. I can't remember a day when squirrels weren't present!

I have not found squirrels to be predictors of anything. I have seen them get out of the way of bears but as far as being a decent alarm...no. I watch them chatter at each other like crazy...all day long and it doesn't mean a damn thing as far as big game animals go.

Sometimes they chatter like cray when deer, elk, moose, bears are around...sometimes they don't.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Kvw4x4 on October 06, 2017, 08:42:13 PM
I taught one to retrieve.... he's not much help... :chuckle:


Haha. He may have to take a couple trips
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: bigmacc on October 06, 2017, 09:13:49 PM
The squirrel theory is a "wives tale." 

I have spent 15-20 days/ year in a tree stand for the last 15 years. I can't remember a day when squirrels weren't present!

I have not found squirrels to be predictors of anything. I have seen them get out of the way of bears but as far as being a decent alarm...no. I watch them chatter at each other like crazy...all day long and it doesn't mean a damn thing as far as big game animals go.

Sometimes they chatter like cray when deer, elk, moose, bears are around...sometimes they don't.

This is kind of a goofy topic but I will chime in one more time for my support of squirrels as a hunting "partner"(50 years sitting on a draw Ha-Ha).....As a boy my dad would take me into different areas at different times of year, we would sit and watch deer. We would be in different terrain, wind blowing in different directions, different elevations etc. etc. etc.. One of the things he always told me to keep an ear open for was squirrels and birds, "they live out here year-round, if they see something that bothers them they will let there buddies know". Squirrels especially have a lot of others that want to "eat them". Stuff that walks, runs, hops, slithers and so on. A squirrel does not live long,  even if they are not "eaten". Their hearts pound a hundred miles an hour, you only get so many "heart beats" in a lifetime. They will "sound off" when they see anything that to them is a threat, that includes man, bear, snake, elk, deer and just about anything else moving around. My great grandma used to call them the "mule deers burgler alarm". I can tell you a few big bucks have been killed in deep, dark quiet holes minutes after the "burgler alarm" went off.... :twocents:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: trophyhunt on October 06, 2017, 09:26:22 PM
Very interesting.  I had Squirrels all over the place all day when I shot my bear from a stand this year.  But looking back on it, they had gotten quiet just before the bear came into the area busting brush.
when it gets quiet on a bear stand, a bear is around!  The birds will go quiet!
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Pegasus on October 06, 2017, 09:45:05 PM
I used squirrels for hunting until one of them bit me. I still have the scar. Switched back to arrows and bullets. Good luck in using them and keep an eye on those nuts.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: cryder on October 07, 2017, 01:42:18 AM
My uncle , who is the first to show me the value of being in the woods every chance I get , always told me that if the squires are talking , quit moving around , I've found that they do recognize movement high in the trees , and , go off from my movements a lot , or its just the late day effects of the popsicle stand causing delusional theory's , which ever , all I do know is , they can get annoying and I'm betting on my uncle's theory cuz it just feels good !
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Okanagan on October 07, 2017, 07:31:35 PM
The squirrel theory is a "wives tale." 

I have spent 15-20 days/ year in a tree stand for the last 15 years. I can't remember a day when squirrels weren't present!

I have not found squirrels to be predictors of anything. I have seen them get out of the way of bears but as far as being a decent alarm...no. I watch them chatter at each other like crazy...all day long and it doesn't mean a damn thing as far as big game animals go.

Sometimes they chatter like cray when deer, elk, moose, bears are around...sometimes they don't.

Count me a “wive”.   :)

I killed a 4x4 whitetail buck that squirrels called my attention to.  Last week I watched squirrels scold a black bear while neither bear nor squirrels were aware of me.  I've had birds and or squirrels tell me about cougars, bobcats, lynx, elk, moose, a wolf and likely other critters I don’t recall.  Birds HATE cats and sometimes will show you exactly where the cat is and where he moves.  And to expand the old wives tale, I wish I knew more but am convinced that a person can tell to some extent what kind of critter the squirrel is scolding, whether a deer or a big eater like a wolf or cougar.  They get more frantic/aggressive sometimes when it is a big one.

  I cheerfully encourage folks to disbelieve the squirrels all they want. 

Edited to add:  There is a difference in the sound when a squirrel is chattering routinely and when it is chattering at something or scolding it. I.e. Not all squirrel chattering is equal nor is all of it tattling on a big game animal.   But some of the chattering is a tell...

Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: cryder on October 07, 2017, 09:00:51 PM
EEEYYYYUUUPPPP. !!!
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Seahawk12 on October 07, 2017, 09:36:03 PM
EEEYYYYUUUPPPP. !!!
Are you agreeing? Or imitating a squirrel bark?  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: fishnfur on October 07, 2017, 10:47:25 PM
But the weird thing is that they don't always go off at you when they see you.  I encountered two different Townsend squirrels today and on both occasions, I'm thinking, "Oh crap, here it comes...".  They just watch me walk by.  Both were on the ground though.  I wonder if they are just aggressive when they are in trees.  :dunno:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: runamuk on October 08, 2017, 06:12:53 AM
I work with squirrels daily they shoot their machine guns at everything including other squirrels.  The woods I frequent the squirrels are pretty useless.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: PolarBear on October 08, 2017, 06:31:29 AM
The squirrels let me know when I have fallen asleep in my tree stand and have started snoring. :chuckle:
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: fowl smacker on October 08, 2017, 07:32:15 AM
Very interesting.  I had Squirrels all over the place all day when I shot my bear from a stand this year.  But looking back on it, they had gotten quiet just before the bear came into the area busting brush.
when it gets quiet on a bear stand, a bear is around!  The birds will go quiet!
I have found that to be COMPLETELY opposite.  Down at the coast house when a bear is near, the crows and ravens go absolutely nuts!  You will hear them sometimes up to 40 min before the bear comes out of the brush into the yard.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: cbond3318 on October 08, 2017, 07:39:25 AM
I haven't been able to put any kind of method to their madness. Crazy, dramatic, whiny little tree pirates.
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Okanagan on October 08, 2017, 08:28:38 AM
I haven't been able to put any kind of method to their madness...

Translating squirrel is OK for starters but if you really want to know what's going on with the big game in an area, you gotta pay attention to slugs and get to understand what they reveal.  ;)  One time when I was hunting elk on the West End I noticed this slug with its hind end kinked over pointing toward a thicket...
Title: Re: Using squirrils as aides while hunting
Post by: Pegasus on October 08, 2017, 08:38:03 AM
I haven't been able to put any kind of method to their madness...

Translating squirrel is OK for starters but if you really want to know what's going on with the big game in an area, you gotta pay attention to slugs and get to understand what they reveal.  ;)  One time when I was hunting elk on the West End I noticed this slug with its hind end kinked over pointing toward a thicket...

Ssshhhh. Pleez do not disclose Pacific Northwest hunting secrets.