When I first move to the midwest about 18 years ago, I had hunted a lot in the US, Europe, South Africa, for a lot of different game. But I’d not done any real squirrel hunting. What I mean by “real” squirrel hunting is I hadn’t hunted tree squirrels. I’d shot literally hundreds of ground squirrels growing up in Southern California, but the closest I got to a tree squirrel was when one of these climbed up into the desert brush.

When my wife and I moved back to the States after many years away, we were back in Cali for a couple years before my work took us to Indiana. As I looked for hunting options in my new home, and started scoping out deer hunting areas, the potential for squirrel hunting became clear. I read up (not much online content in those days), but didn’t have stellar success at first, taking a squirrel or two after a hard day in the woods. But at the same time I started getting first hand experience and (I hope) learning from it, I meet Randy Mitchell through one of the early airgun forums. He invited me to drive down to Kentucky to go squirrel hunting with him new years day, I think it was 2004 or 2005. And it turned out this guy knew what he was doing. I watched and learned more!

Spot and stalk is my favorite approach to hunting the bushytail. I’m set up for some filming with a make shift camera mount (I’ve upgraded my camera gear).
Opening weekend two years ago, took five on day one and five on the second day, a mixed bag of grays and fox squirrels.

I think I’m a pretty good squirrel hunter these days, and while I get to hunt a lot of other species with my air rifles, this is still one of my absolute favorites quarry. At any rate, I just realized season opens here in a couple weeks and I am now getting excited. I’ve been doing my homework and have decided my opening weekend trip…… I’m going to set up a camp in a State Forest up north on Friday night, and hunt from it all day Saturday and Sunday. Getting my gear together this evening though, as I’m leaving for Europe this week and get back two days before the opener.

I paunched the squirrels and put them in the cooler, then on the end of day two dress and quarter them all in one go.

I’m going to do something this year that I haven’t replicated for a couple years, my “Grand Slam” squirrel hunt. Hopefully I can pull this off but will try gray squirrel in MN/WI, fox squirrel in IN, Aberts squirrel in AZ, and the black colour phase in MI (where I know a high population spot). Keep in touch through the website, I’ll do more regular updates than on FaceBook or YouTube.


  1. Tree rat season now starts August 1 in Illinois and this is the first season it’s legal on some public lands with airguns, .25 caliber or smaller. I’ll be trying to bag some near Morris, Illinois. Good luck on your trips. Tastes like chicken.

    1. Author

      That’s great, interested to hear how it went for you. Sorry I’m so late answering this, missed it somehow until now. Thanks for posting!

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