Early-Season Squirrel Calling Tips

Sometimes early-season squirrel calling gets the bushy tails close enough for a shot using a variety of distress or feeding calls.

As is the case with other species, no call works every time, but some calls do work most of the time, or at least occasionally. When all else fails, try calling reluctant squirrels using the following squirrel calling tips and techniques.

DISTRESS CALLS

When a squirrel is being attacked it will utter a panicky, wheezing whistle that alerts other squirrels in the area, which then respond by coming out of their dens and harassing the attacker with chirps, barks and chirring noises.

The distress call is best used near the largest den trees. Begin calling while scratching on the ground with a leafy branch or sapling. The idea is to make it sound as if a squirrel is being attacked. Other squirrels will come out and begin barking at the intruder, sometimes offering a shot as they jump from tree to tree in an effort to drive the intruder away.

FEEDING CALLS

These are the most common calls made by squirrels. They may be territorial calls or they may be announcing to other squirrels in the area that good foraging has been discovered.

The feeding call is made by the standard bellows-type call that can be operated by hand, by slapping the bellows on a tree or the ground or even by tapping it on your leg or gunstock.

Stand near a large nut-producing tree and begin calling, slowly at first and then increasing. Watch for squirrels coming silently through the treetops from all directions.

Shoot when an opportunity presents itself, but don't pick up dead game until it's obvious that no more squirrels are coming. Done properly, it's possible to shoot several squirrels in one session.

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