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Squirrels for the skillet

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Whitetail season is soon to be nearing its end. The freezer is full and some great memories have been made, so now it’s coming upon that time of the year when many of us begin casting our eyes to the treetops. Squirrels are definitely on the menu and there are few meals to put a grin on your face bigger than a skillet full of squirrels. I tell you folks, after all these months of hardcore deer season, I’m ready for a little less stressful hunting. And truly, squirrel hunting is about as stress free of a way to collect an entre’ as there is.

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Everybody knows how much a squirrel loves acorns, so the oaks are still a sure bet to find a healthy population of nut-cutters. I have yet to sit under a canopy of oaks without seeing a pile of them. Although most of us that have been hunting private land with a feeder full of yellow-acorns, aka corn, are sure to have a fine concentration of fat and sassy squirrels to invite home to supper. I’ve enjoyed a lot of different ways to extend that invitation, such as rimfire rifles, lower gauge shotguns, handguns and even with archery equipment. I even know a fellow who prefers his old Pennsylvania styled flintlock rifle; talk about old school.

Whatever you choose to conduct your hunt with, safety is the main thing. Be very aware that firing a rimfire rifle, like the most popular .22 Long Rifle caliber, if you miss your squirrel and don’t impact the tree, that tiny bullet can travel up to a mile away before it returns to ground. God forbid it should fall to injure a person or their property, so use them only with the utmost of caution. Shotguns such as the tiny .410 are by far my favorite. Coupled with three inch shotshells in #’s 5 or 6, it’s a combination I’ve long-time used in urban areas, to roll many tree-rats off of a limb.

Now folks, there’s a competition coming up. On Saturday, February 18th the Brooksville Outdoors Conservation Alliance, will again be hosting their annual squirrel hunting competition at the New Hope Church on Highway 41 in the northern end of our county. Competitors will operate in two person teams, to turn in a five squirrel limit to be weighed in and the teams with the highest grossing weight will take home a significant amount of cash and prizes. I’ve already signed up with my nephew Owen and most of my family and friends are pairing with a youngster as well. That just makes my heart smile as there’s nothing more important than our kids!

Owen will be practicing with one of my tiny shotguns, but I expect to be carrying along my old bow. Coupled with a set of flu-flu fletched shafts, tipped with Bourn small game heads, I’m looking forward to flinging some arrows into the oak canopy. Folks, I really do hope you’ll join us and if you sign up and need a hot tip on where to find a fair limit of squirrels, just reach out to me. I’m in the fine position of having too many places to hunt and might as well share a location or two.

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If you have any questions or a story to share, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] God Bless and good hunting!

Toby and local award winning taxidermist, Allison Doty on her first ever squirrel hunt.

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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