How to Hunt Squirrels in the Snow

Drop bushytails when the woods turn white

winter squirrel hunting
Look for squirrels on the ground, in areas where there was mast.Christopher Vernon-Parry/Alamy

Where: With mast gone from the trees, squirrels are now foraging on the ground. Hunt areas where there was mast—­underneath black walnut, hickory, or oak trees. Cut cornfields are also good.

When: Sunny days are best. Start at midmorning and concentrate on south slopes. Look for squirrels to be sunning themselves prone on horizontal limbs in full sun.

Gun: With little cover left, getting close can be difficult, which means longer shots are the rule. I shoot a Ruger 10/22 with a 3x9–40mm Bushnell scope.

Camo: Winter squirrels know they're visible, and as such are extra wary. Snow camouflage— including hat and gloves—is essential.

Tactics: Spot-and-stalk and stump sitting can work as well in the snow as they did in September. Move slowly and with stealth and use what cover is available. Sit near active food sources—based on clues like tracks and cuttings, nut hulls, or corncobs.

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