ND Outdoors: Tree Squirrel Hunting

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – In this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors, Mike Anderson tells us about a unique hunting opportunity this time of year.

Ron Wilson has been hunting tree squirrels for nearly 50 years.

“You know you’re going for a walk in the woods, that’s fun, but if you’re carrying a .22 chasing something, it gives you a purpose and plus I like to eat them, they’re good,” Wilson said.

Wild squirrels are nothing like their backyard cousins. Like deer and pheasants, they are constantly wary of predators.

This is the second year that the Department of Fish and Game has extended the hunting season until the end of February.

“Winter can be a tough time of year, it gets cold but there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors of course ice fishing, coyote hunting is open year round and then squirrel hunting can be a great way to just go for a walk in the woods,” said Cayla Bendel, North Dakota Fish and Game R3 coordinator.

There are certain techniques that are useful when you are out in the woods targeting squirrels.

“And I spent a lot of time looking through my binoculars, and that’s how I spot a lot of them. You have these great fox squirrels. The sun hits them. They’re orange and it’s like, boom, there they are, and they know you’re there and you’re just looking at their little walnut-sized head and trying to get a good shot,” Wilson said.

At certain times of the year, especially early in the season, the use of a squirrel call can put some excitement into the hunt and improve the hunter’s odds.

“And people don’t believe this, but we’ve called them like you’re calling a moose. We’ve had them, you could see them coming through the trees and it’s like, here they come,” Wilson said.

Wilson says another good tip is to be quiet and patient because squirrels have good eyesight and hearing.

“I just know that when we go into the woods, we’re not going to have any pressure. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in the woods from here to Lonetree chasing squirrels, I’ve seen another squirrel chaser in all my time. And he looked at me and I looked at him and we both knew what we were doing, and we waved at each other,” Wilson said.

Squirrel hunting season in North Dakota ends on February 28.

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