Squirrel hunting season in Ohio is just around the corner, beginning Sept. 1, 2023, and lasting until Jan. 31, 2024. This is the perfect chance for new hunters to try their hand at a hunt that’s not only challenging but also provides a palatable, healthy source of protein.

Squirrel hunting is an excellent way to familiarize oneself with hunting tactics and techniques, enabling new hunters to become better equipped for larger game hunts. In this article, we’ll cover squirrel hunting tips, the types of firearms best suited for this type of small game and what to avoid in your next outing.

Tips & Techniques for a Successful Squirrel Hunt

When squirrel hunting, there are a few tips and techniques that new hunters can apply to make the experience both successful and enjoyable. 

One of the most important things to remember is that squirrels are keen observers and incredibly agile. They’re experts at detecting movement and sound, so it is important to be still, quiet and patient. Experienced hunters opt for a slow and methodical approach, frequently stopping to observe their surroundings while scanning for signs of movement.

One sound tactic is to find a good vantage point and wait for squirrels to come to you rather than pursuing them through the woods. Using a squirrel call can also be effective in enticing them closer. 

Squirrels tend to be active in the early morning and late afternoon, so hunters should plan their outings accordingly, arriving at the hunting site roughly 30 minutes prior to sunrise. Focus on hunting in wooded areas and near nut or fruit-producing trees, as squirrels frequent these locations.

Hunting any wild animal (except waterfowl) from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset during Ohio’s youth deer gun season, deer gun seasons and the deer muzzleloader season (which overlap with part of squirrel season) is unlawful unless the hunter is visibly wearing a vest, coat, jacket or coveralls that are either solid hunter orange or camouflage hunter orange. This requirement applies statewide and on private property.

Ideal Firearms for Squirrel Hunting

Determining the ideal firearms for squirrel hunting largely boils down to the hunter’s preference, as all of the legal hunting methods in Ohio can be used effectively. These include:

  • Longbow or Bow (including compound bows and recurve bows)
  • Crossbow
  • Handgun (any caliber)
  • Rifle (any caliber)
  • Shotgun (10 gauge or smaller)
  • Airgun

Traditional methods that involve bows and airguns tend to require a higher level of skill and patience than rifles and shotguns. 

The best options for squirrel hunting are .22 long rifles or shotguns using 20 gauge or smaller-sized shells. These firearms are capable of delivering enough power to bring down a squirrel while also minimizing damage to the flesh and pelt. However, hunters should be mindful of their own skills and comfort level with a particular firearm before choosing one.

What to Consider When Squirrel Hunting

There are multiple actions to consider — and avoid — when squirrel hunting. It’s crucial to avoid shooting into the treetops, as this presents a significant safety hazard to other hunters in the area. 

Make sure to obtain permission from private landowners before hunting on their property. Always obey hunting regulations and never shoot at something without being certain of what it is. Additionally, it would help if you also dispose of your trash responsibly, leaving the environment where you hunt clean and free of any waste.

How AimHi Family Firearms Center Can Help

At AimHi Family Firearms Center, we understand the importance of preparing for the Ohio squirrel hunting season. Our range and outfitting capabilities provide the perfect solution for both new and seasoned hunters, helping to ensure they’re equipped with everything they need to create a successful hunting experience. Our knowledgeable staff can help hunters select the right firearm, providing expert guidance and advice.

Squirrel hunting is an excellent way for new hunters to get started in the hunting world. By utilizing the tips and techniques outlined above, combined with choosing the right firearm and aiming to hunt safely, new hunters can have a successful and rewarding experience. AimHi Family Firearms Center is here to help hunters of all skill levels prepare and outfit themselves for the upcoming Ohio squirrel hunting season. Contact or visit us today for all your hunting needs!