Hunt Early Season Squirrels in Pines

If you plan on squirrel hunting anytime soon, check out big pine trees. Everywhere I go I see signs squirrels have been cutting pine cones. It seems a little early for that and it may indicate limited food supplies, or maybe I just don’t remember timing very well.

I grew up on a small 15 acre farm where we raised a few cows, some hogs and 11,000 laying hens. A branch ran down one property line and was wooded, but most of the rest of our land was open. Fortunately, all around our property were woods and I knew everybody around us and had permission to hunt their land.

Behind our house I could follow the branch upstream and cross a property line. Not far from there was a ridge with a huge white oak tree on it. That white oak was a great place to hunt squirrels when acorns were mature and I spent many hours sitting under it.

A little further up the hill there was a big old pine tree, and it also was a good squirrel hunting spot. The squirrels would come from a long way to cut the pine cones in that tree and eat the acorns in the white oak. There is no telling how many squirrels I killed out of those two trees over the years.

There is something special about sitting in the woods as it gets light early in the morning, with everything slowly coming into focus. I got that thrill while squirrel hunting and now get it from a deer stand.

Learning to hunt squirrels is great training for deer hunting, teaching you to sit still, move carefully and slowly when you have to, and to stay quiet at all times. Shooting squirrels is also great training learning to hit a target.

We never let squirrels go to waste. Young squirrels were floured and fried just like chicken. Older squirrels were boiled then the meat was used to make squirrel and dumplings. We also made BBQed squirrel, squirrel stew with carrots and potatoes and baked squirrel with onions. It was all good.

Give squirrel hunting a try. And don’t hesitate to cook them and see how good they taste!

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