Using Squirrel Calls while Hunting – Do they work?
Do squirrel calls really work? The not-so-simple answer is…yes and no. YES, if you implement them at the correct times and understand the differences in the calls, as well as performing the calls correctly. NO, if you just walk into the woods with a squirrel call and start making random noises. 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. Let’s break it down.
The Squirrel Calls on the market today are much better than the ones offered just a few years back. The calls are more accurate (in terms of sound quality and pitch) and tend to get a much better response. Make sure you read the instructions carefully before using one to get the best results. Here are a few things to know about squirrel calls.
TYPES OF CALLS:
SQUIRREL DISTRESS CALL- use this call first or after a lull in the hunting action. This call produces a unique “Wee-wee-weee” sound that imitates a young squirrel in distress. Immediately after using the call consider shaking a sapling with leaves on it. After this short series, listen carefully for the chatter or bark of nearby squirrels. At this point, the call has done it’s job and you must stalk any squirrels that have shown their position through movement and/or sound. Sometimes, the adult squirrels will approach you, but the majority of the time they just give their position away and that’s when you can stalk them and set up the shot.
THE BARK CALL - To add variety to calling use the standard bark call. This also works well when there is a “lull” in the normal hunting action. By using this call, the communication lines are opened up and squirrels will vocalize to let their position be known. Listen for any return calls and head that direction.
THE CUTTING CALL: When squirrels eat nuts, they must first cut the hard, outer shell of the nut away from the meat of the nut with their teeth. This sound is very distinctive and often can lead hunters right to the source. However, a hunter may have a difficult time imitating this sound. You can try using a cutter call, which can be used to take more than one squirrel out of the same tree!
Here’s how the cutting call is designed to work: When you shoot the first squirrel in a tree with more than 1 squirrel, don’t retrieve it but instead, stand still. Then start using your cutter call. When squirrels hear the crack of a rifle or the blast of a shotgun, most of the time they aren’t aware of what has happened. But they will be frightened and will run to hide or hug the side of a tree. When they begin hearing that cutting sound made by other feeding squirrels, they often will come out of hiding thinking danger has passed. Using a cutting call, you may bag a limit out of a couple of trees in a short time.
Use the same rhythm you hear squirrels make when they cut nuts. Remember, if you’re hunting an area with soft nuts like white oak acorns or water oak acorns, give the call lightly. But if you’re hunting a hickory ridge where they must cut hard to break shells away from the nuts, call louder.
As a side note, if you want to save a few bucks try grinding the ribbed edges of two quarters together to get a sound close to the cutting noise. This has produced many good outcomes for me personally.. and it only cost me 50 cents.
As you can see, Squirrel calling allows you to hunt much more aggressively than the sitting and waiting method does. You can locate squirrels, stop them from running or climbing, lure them out of holes and cause them to come to you. With a few simple calls, you can make things happen to increase your enjoyment of the sport and bag more squirrels in each trip. For a more exciting squirrel hunt, give squirrel calling a try.