I really enjoy keeping it simple on these trips like my grandfather did sixty years ago. It’s a great way to remember him while enjoying the very thing that made us so close. Here is a list of a few tricks my grandfather taught me about hunting squirrels back in the day and hopefully you can use them on an old school squirrel hunt of your own.
The two quarter call: This is a call that I always loved to use as a kid. There are other coin calls like tapping a penny on your gun stock rapidly to get a squirrel to respond. The two quarter call is one that would really get a response and not just spook the squirrel into moving. When you rub the two edges of a quarter together the ridges make a sound like a chattering squirrel. This oftentimes will actually make a squirrel leave his digging, where it's difficult to locate it, and scurry up a tree and onto a good perch to join in on the chattering. They do this to help warn other squirrels in the area. With this chattering and usually the tail flicking you can easily locate and get a shot on the squirrel.
Digging in the dirt: When I was a kid some old timer had mentioned this trick to the men in the barber shop and I couldn't wait to try it. The crowd in the barber shop was mixed on this technique. A couple of men just laughed as if the old timer was crazy while others swore they had used it before to successfully hunt squirrels. It's easy enough, you go into an area where you know there are squirrels. Maybe they all fled up trees when you entered the woods or you just know there are squirrels in the area. Walk into the middle of the hickory stand or wherever these squirrels reside and dig a hole leaving the fresh dirt exposed. The squirrels are in the trees watching you when you dig the hole and become curious. Now just find a comfortable position and wait. Squirrels will come to where you dug to see what you buried. I know it sounds crazy but I have to say it works and I did use it many times as a kid because I knew the farm I hunted and exactly where the squirrels lived. Kids really love trying this type of hunting because it adds something fun to the hunt.
Flicking a tail: Here is another great way to get a squirrel to move and give away its location. Using a squirrel tail from a previous hunt, begin to shake the tail over your head. I like to hide behind a tree and stick the tail around so that I’m hidden from the squirrels. When a squirrel is warning other squirrels of danger they will shake their tail while chattering. This is a signal to other squirrels to be alert and like the two quarter call the squirrels will take a defensive stance on the nearest limb and show themselves.
The kissing call: This call will actually call squirrels into range because it sounds like a baby squirrel in distress. Using the back of your hand you just kiss repeatedly allowing as much sound to escape the sides of your mouth as possible. The sound you're looking for is a high pitched squeal. The response is quick so be ready because the squirrel responding already thinks something has a baby squirrel and is on the lookout for danger but it will come and see if she can help. Keep your eyes open with this call because if a squirrel doesn't respond sometimes a fox or coyote will.
These are just a few old school tactics for hunting squirrels this season. It adds a little more of a challenge but is a great way to reminisce of the old times and teach younger hunters about the old ways of hunting and keep the tradition alive. I hope this season and many more to come you will dust off that old rifle or shotgun, if only for a day, and do a little old school squirrel hunting and take someone along and show them the ways so those old school ways aren't lost in time. Happy Hunting.