Vocalizations can play a factor in early season squirrel hunting.  The animals are difficult to spot in the treetop canopy.  Often they have to move in order for you to spot them.  They are suckers for vocalizations. 

A vocal squirrel is an aggravated one.  He sounds off and displays a flickering tail as a threat to potential enemies.  The noise and tail movement gives away his position.  Getting a squirrel to give away his position often requires a call. 

Calling squirrels is not designed to get the animal to come to the hunter.  Squirrel calling is designed to aggravate the animal and get him to expose his position.   Then it is your problem to get an angle for a shot.

Squirrels are notorious for moving around to the opposite side of a tree trunk or limb when avoiding a hunter.  They like to put something between themselves and perceived danger.  The only exception is when they are angry. 

There are two basic types of squirrel calls on the market.  Both work in their own way.  The most common one is the reed call with a small rubber bellows attached.  The bellows is struck against the body or some other solid object and a clucking kind of sound is made.  This imitates the sound of another squirrel trespassing on the territory of the resident quarry.  The resident then responds angered and gives away his position. 

Another call is the squirrel whistle which is designed to imitate the distress call of a young squirrel.  It is a small metal whistle that is placed on the lips and you suck air through it making a whistling sound.  Coupled with the rattling of branches or swatting of branches against the ground imitates the sound of a hawk catching a squirrel.  Together they provide the sound of a hawk striking and the squirrel crying out in fear. 

The exact routine is five whistles with the first whistle longer than the following four.  The first whistle is about three‑quarters of a second and the rest about one‑half of a second.  The bush or branch is struck against the ground during the first three whistles then continues with the last two whistles.  A green, leafy limb is best. 

The technique works best in the morning after the squirrels have fed and are dozing.  It also works on alarmed animals.  It makes them come out of their nests or dens.  The little rascals become very excited and run all around giving away their locations.  They seem to respond in anger and will bark away toward the location of the call. 

In full camo you can move around and get a good location for a shot.  It is best to move slowly when the squirrel is barking away.  He does not seem to fear hunters as his mind seems to be on locating the hawk that is attacking. 

Besides the heat of summer early season hunters must also consider the problem of insects.  There are a number of good insect repellents on the market.  Some are unscented and they are probably preferred.  But, squirrels are not repelled by scented varieties.  The only problem with the scented products is that mosquitoes seem to be attracted by them. 

There are also summer insect proof camo suits on the market which work well. 

Moderately priced they can be bought as whole suits or in parts as pants, headnet, jacket, and gloves.  For squirrel and turkey hunters they could be a good investment.  The suits are available from most sporting goods stores or by mail order from the well known outfitters like Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops. 

Summer squirrel hunting is a great way to get tuned up for fall hunting season.  It is fun and squirrels are great eating in a slow cooker.



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  1. You hit the nail on the head on how to use the squirrel whistle. I too find it works later in the day. If you need one or two more to fill your bag then use the whistle. I found it hardly works at sunrise and can actually ruin you morning hunt for it seems to scare them. I’ve had squirrels from the other ridge who come hopping through the trees to aid in the fight and I have also had them come straight down the tree I was leaning against. One time I took three at one calling.

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