Indiana squirrel season is open and lasts through January 31, 2020. Hunters can take five squirrels per day and can own up to 10. Squirrels can be taken with a shotgun, rifle, or bow. A small game permit is required to hunt squirrels.
Indiana’s forests and woodlands are open now and squirrels are easier to spot than during the leafy time of year. There are plenty of other hunters in the forest to share time and space with, so it may be best to see if anyone else is hunting in the area you plan to hunt, if you’re on private land, before heading out after the bushytails. On public land, the best thing to do is keep an eye out for other hunters and then try to make the most of the situation.
There are many ways to hunt squirrels in the fall. Walking on cleared trails and forest paths allows you to easily cut through the brush. Walking around a bit and then sitting quietly waiting is the classic method of hunting squirrels.
My favorite way to hunt squirrels is to hunt by floating down a calm stream from the comfort of a canoe. Paddling quietly around a lake or down a river through public lands with a .22 rifle close at hand, a hunter can easily slip within shooting distance of the squirrels. Find a squirrel in the branches, shoot it, retrieve your prey and paddle down the river until you find another.
You can easily hover to hunt squirrels alone, but it works even better with a partner. Position the shooter at the bow of the boat, so the rower in the back can hold the boat steady in the right spot for the shooter. When you reach an area that looks like great squirrel habitat, beach your canoe and take a hike. By accessing public land from the river, you likely have it all to yourself.
You can also make a squirrel camp on a gravel bar. I know more than one lumberjack who lives off the fresh fried squirrel served by the river.
If you’re new to squirrel hunting, don’t worry. Cleaning and cooking squirrels is very easy. First, make a cut under the base of the tail. Then break the tailbone and skin the back about an inch. Then cut down along the top of each hind leg. This gives you a nice flap. Pass it over and lift the squirrel off its hind legs. This will remove the fur from the front of the squirrel. Now just take the flap and pass it over the hind legs. With the skin of your squirrel, cut the meat you plan to eat, bread it, place it in the pan and voila.
Squirrels are active from dawn to dusk looking for food, such as nuts, berries, and seeds. Hunters who move slowly tend to do well. It is up to a hunter to place a spell on a spot and wait for a squirrel’s movement to reveal its location. Once you find and shoot a squirrel, don’t give up on the spot. It is very likely that you will remove two or more squirrels from the place.
There are two species of squirrels in Indiana, fox squirrels and eastern gray squirrels. Fox squirrels are also commonly known as “red squirrels”. They are larger than gray squirrels and often inhabit border areas. Gray squirrels are commonly found in larger tracts of forest, but it is common to find red and gray living together.
See you on the way…