Author Topic: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22  (Read 40419 times)

Offline Hector500NC

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Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« on: September 30, 2010, 06:48:12 AM »
I am gearing up to go squirrel hunting this year.  I have a Ruger 10/22, Savage Mark II, and a Mossberg 500.  I will be hunting in a relatively heavily wooded area, but I will be walking down small trails.  What one of these firearms would you use?  Thanks for any advice you guys can provide. 

-Hector 500 in NC

Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2010, 07:11:04 AM »
For squirrels, wood chucks, crows, foxes, skunks, badgers, and other things I won't publically admit shooting...

http://www.airgundepot.com/gamo-whisper.html?green=14305023661
This will certainly take down much bigger animals, but other guns are better suited if you have wild pigs or coyotes causing problems. It'll do the job, but a .22 is better in those cases.

For small game and pest control, I prefer Air rifles.  Not a cheap wall-mart bb gun, but a high powered air rifle, between 1000-1500 ft/second.  The "Whisper" pictured above is what I use.  It is quiet, which is a benefit for me, since I use it for pest control in the anti-gun commie mecca of NY.  They rate it at 1200 FPS, in practice it's more like 1000FPS, but always round down whatever number is advertised. I'm not the best shot in the world, but it's accurate enough that I can head-shot squirrels at about 100 yards, so there's still some meat left on them when you're done. For things like woodchucks, and foxes, it's good for leaving the pelt undamaged, as opposed to a .22 that leave a pretty big exit hole sometimes, this is no bigger than a pencil point, hard to see under the fur.


Offline Dawgus

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2010, 07:34:19 AM »
 If you don't know the area well and are going there for the first time, I'd recommend taking the shotgun just to avoid bullet travel in case of a missed shot. Get to know the area (again in case you have never been there) then jump to the .22 when you are sure there aren't any roads, houses, etc nearby that you won't have to worry about.

 

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 08:35:13 AM »
What Dawgus said +1

I hate digging shot out of my meat, 22 once you know its safe. 

I have taken 1 squirrel with a cheap ass 300 fps BB gun. (Lucky shot right on the top of his skull), however, If I had a high quality 900 FPS or higher model.  I would happily use it for small game.

Offline Alpha Mike

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 09:42:04 AM »
22 or pellet gun, I hate picking out birdshot from critters.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 10:18:59 AM »
... I'm not the best shot in the world, but it's accurate enough that I can head-shot squirrels at about 100 yards,...


Head shot on a squirrel at 100 yards with a .177 air rifle - you may very well be the best shot in the world...

Back on topic - I decide mainly based on the gun I feel like carrying and my intended style of hunting. If I am going to walk around and take snap shots, I usually carry a single shot 12ga. If I am going to sit patiently, I will take the 22LR. Occasionally, I will take the semi 410 b/c it was my grandfathers.


Offline I.L.W.

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 11:17:50 AM »
Lol, meant 100 feet, not yards.  Good catch. 

Mona Folds

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 03:16:16 PM »
My husband uses a shotgun and told me it was near impossible to use a 22.  Since I didn't want to have to clean out all the bullets, I decided to use a 22.  It was a lot easier than I thought and I've even shot them when they were really high up in some of these large oak trees.  The only time I really missed was when the 22 was not sighted and was really off.  I didn't know this at the time and I thought I had gotten really bad when I missed the target that was only 3 feet away.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2010, 10:15:58 PM »


.22 worked fine today. 



...& the time before that. (last season)  You might notice the red squirrel has been head shot.  :P  The gray should have been head shot too, but the little rodents are twitchy.

That's about the only drawback to using a .22, you really need to be sure of your shot...& fast.  They don't hold still very long.  I usually take what I can get on the gray's.  The red's around here are curious (dumb) & don't usually run away from a .22 shot.  I've actually had them come towards the sound to investigate, which is nice because it allows for a good follow up shot if you should miss (perish the thought).  ;D

That .22 in the second picture is a Steven's branded, made by Savage (87A) model that's older than I am (38).  I prefer hunting with the .22 because it's lighter & you can drop a whole handful of ammo in your pocket & hunt all day long with it.  I started with a 20 gauge as a kid, then moved up to the 12g when I got a little older.  I've been hunting tree rats since before I was a teenager & the .22's the only way to go if you're a confident shot.

Take the 10/22 & I guarantee you'll learn something.  ;)

Offline 19114life

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 03:43:04 AM »
Depends on how far you are from other people and houses.  About 10 years ago my parents car roof was hit by a stray .22 bullet.  The bullet barely broke through the roof and we stopped rain leaks with some Wrigley's gum.  That made me think long about using .22 to hunt squirrels in trees.  If it would have been a person on the other end might not have been so good.  I am not saying not to hunt with it, just know what is behind it and take responsibility for your actions.

Offline ridge rover

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2010, 07:40:19 AM »
Go with the .22 and work on your skills. You won't starve if you come home empty handed! Shotguns are for sissys!


That shot thing is the real deal maker. Who wants a stew of lead?

Offline Reeper

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2010, 01:21:48 AM »
I started out with a 12 gauge shot gun.  #6 shot (I wouldn't use birdshot).  I ever found it that big of a deal digging out the shot once the squirrel is quartered up.  However, with that said. I just bought a Marlin 795 for this very purpose.  Ammo for a 22lr is a lot cheaper than shotgun.  I can carry 2 or 3 hundred rounds compare that to a box of 20 shotgun shells.  If you don't believe me, count how many 22's can you fit into 1 empty shotgun shell.  For no more meat than you can get out of a tree rat, it just makes more sense to use a 22. 

Offline phuttan

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2010, 10:39:34 PM »
I'd go with the .22lr. It gets you more tree rats for the dollar and you don't need to pick out pellets.

Pat

Offline Hector500NC

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2010, 08:51:22 AM »
Thank you for all the great responses.  Distance will not be an issue because we don't hunt anywhere near houses or roads (besides some logging roads).  I will go out with the 10/22 and my daughter will carry the Savage .22.    I never really considered the cost difference in ammo, but that makes a lot of sense.  Thanks!

-Hector 500 in NC

Offline BRCincy

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2010, 11:04:28 AM »
I use a 20 gauge shotgun for bushy tails.  The reason is, there are too many buildings close by, and I don't want bullet travel beyond about 60 yards.  With a shotgun, you have to really work on stalking in to get close.  I use #4 or #6 shot, and picking shot out hasn't been a major issue.

Offline WVHunter

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2010, 05:56:35 AM »
With a .22 I would only shoot at a squirrel on the ground unless you are in a deep valley where there is a mountainside beyond your shot.  I guess the decision comes down to whether you want to have a better chance of bagging one or if you just want the challenge and practice with the .22.  Around here hardly anyone squirrel hunts with anything other than a shotgun with 4 to 6 shot.

Mona Folds

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2011, 01:34:36 PM »
Our 11 yr old son has gotten 10 or 11 squirrels this season using his 22.  He used to ask me if he could use a shotgun, but I always told him no because the bullets are more expensive; plus I felt like he could get better practice with a 22.  He keeps getting better and better.  Also, he is getting very good at skinning and cleaning them too!

Offline bj

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2011, 03:40:25 PM »
Use your .22 if you know it is safe, at 12GA just isn't going to be worth taking all that lead out of the meat.

Although, I shouldn't have to remind people, zero your weapon and make sure it is clean!  Your not going to hit a thing if you have a dirty weapon. 

Offline Dawgus

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2011, 04:28:35 PM »
 I still laugh about someone I used to know that insisted on using Winchester 3" 12ga copper plated #4 shot for squirrels. "tall tree's" was his his reasoning. Can you say SQUIRREL BURGER?????

Offline Medicineball

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2011, 07:33:59 PM »
Another vote for the 22 here. Pleasant to shoot, easier game cleaning.

Offline Oregun89

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2011, 08:59:08 PM »
When I want to do a lot of killin' I'll take the 10/22, but for days I want to go light I take my .22/45. Ultimately the .22LR is my favorite for squirrels.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2011, 08:44:39 PM »
I like a .22 myself, especially a bolt action.  If you do go with a shotgun, 28 gauge is the way to go, or a .410 bore if you are close.

Offline thezoo

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2011, 12:42:01 AM »
 I have a slightly different perspective, I agree with everyone who says to make sure of you backdrop, thats of paramount importance, but my gun of choice is a savage 24s 20 guage shotgun, with a 22 mag top barrel, I use the 22 barrel for sitting squirrels, and if theyre on the run ill flip the barrel selector and take em with the 20 ga barrel, Love squirel meat, also highly recomend if you get the chance to pick up a savage 24s i wouldnt pass it up, the wife and i both have one, its her favorite weapon, she would let them take everything else in our house, but touch that your askin fer it ;D

Offline Nate

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2012, 05:47:30 AM »
Squirrel season starts here in Ohio Sept. 1st and so does dove.  I am planning on heading out opening day.  This will be my first squirrel hunt.  The area I plan to hunt is in the middle of farms, wooded and with a major tributary of the maumee flowing though it.  I am wondering which tool would be best for the job.  With doves a possibility and with leaves still on the trees my single shot 20 could be a better choice.  If I take my 20, I plan on bringing my single six for closer shots on squirrels.

If I take my 22 rifle I am only carrying 1 gun, ammo is lighter and cheaper, and doves are not the primary species being hunted on this trip.  I plan on exploring the area since I have never hunted this area before.  One gun would make movement through the woods easier.  My 20 and .22 are about the same weight and size.  Now, if I had a savage 24 in 22 over 20 gauge we would be having this discussion!  What are your opinions?  Thanks!

Offline burbot

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2012, 10:35:35 PM »
My 2 cent:  Use the .22 if your location allows for many of the reasons stated above:  it is not a necessary food for survival (currently), you'll improve your skills for other game in the future, you'll get better meat from the animal, plus the confidence and pride you will experience.   If you are going to be a diehard squirrel hunter I have heard of double barrels with a .22 and a .410, never seen one.  Be sure of your surroundings and be safe.  Good hunting!

PS.  If you have red squirrels in the area, I wouldn't bother trying to eat them but population control (my experience is they drive out the grays) is not a bad idea.

Offline Pchitti

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2012, 06:50:24 PM »
22lr is my choice, but I got my first squirrel yesterday...

Only take shots that have a backstop, tree trunk preferred.

Offline luke

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2012, 09:52:50 PM »
My first hunt this season (and ever) for squirrel led me to take the Savage .22 w/ scope. I got  a couple, my friend got 4 with his 20 gauge. But he's more experienced than me. ;) I was hunting in an area with hills and heavily wooded, and I knew a lot about the surrounding properties. I would like to take my Savage .22/.410 but it needs a hammer replacement. I wish I could hunt squirrel during deer gun season here in Ohio, those things are noisy and annoying! I had one "show me his muscles" tonight, lol. I wish I had the video camera with me. Hulk Squirrel then proceeded to climb up MY tree until I looked down at him a few times.

Offline Nate

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2012, 05:19:16 AM »
I am waiting too here in ohio for the deer hunters to be done so I can try again getting some tree rats, or rabbits.

Offline joeandmich

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2013, 10:12:51 AM »
Does squirrel meat really taste good? How do you prepare it and cook it?

thanks,

Joe

Offline Nate

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Re: Squirrel Hunting - Shotgun vs. .22
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2013, 03:24:29 PM »
I have only had it roasted.  It is quite tasty, with a nutty flavor!  You can also put it in a crock pot with veggies and potatoes, onions and make a stew.  You can also grill.  I grilled some woodchuck with my favorite rub.  I assume squirrel would be good that way too.  Just about any meat is good cooked over a fire on a stick!