Protein hunting is one of the most gambling, fun, not requiring serious stress forces, exhausting climbing through swamps, overcoming windbreaks.It would seem that without a good husky, there is nothing to try to hunt for squirrels, but this is far from the case.
Successful hunting for fur requires very little, and above all, observation, attention to detail, patience and perseverance. Good hearing and vision are still absolutely necessary. In summer and autumn, you have often gone to the nearest forest for berries, mushrooms, and hunting for hazel grouse.
Be observant, mark and keep in mind everything interesting, new, unusual, that met on the way. The most seemingly ordinary “forest marks” in the future will help “grab hunting luck by the tail”. It is no accident that during the Great Patriotic War experienced hunters became excellent scouts, snipers, partisans and were greatly appreciated by the command.
Where to look for protein? Usually this animal prefers dark coniferous plantations (spruce, cedar, fir), is less common in light coniferous plants (pine, larch), and even less so in deciduous plantations (oak, ash, birch, elm).
“As a rule, a squirrel gives two litters per year in which an average of 8 to 10 squirrels are born. By the fishing period, on average, 6 squirrels survive in dark coniferous forests, and 3 in coniferous forests. The population growth as a result of reproduction in the first case is 300%, in the second - 170% of the stock available at the beginning of reproduction ”(Ya. S. Rusanov, 1966) .
The number of squirrels in the brood and their survival depend heavily on the crop yield. Abundant harvests of fir cones are repeated with a frequency of 4-6 years, pine and larch - 3-4 years. Not always a large number of cones visible on spruce means a rich harvest of seeds. So, in 2011 there were quite a few cones, but most of the seeds did not ripen, the cones were damaged by tar, had an underdeveloped appearance.
This year there is an average yield of spruce seeds, which in turn gives reason to predict an increase in the number of proteins. Already in July, they switched to feeding on seeds of spruce, and in spruce stands there were constantly gnawing cones with squirrels. During forest hikes, places where the entire forest litter is strewn with scales and stems of cones gnawed by squirrels are taken by the hunters for a note.
Once in the same place again and again, note the presence of recently dropped scales. Sometimes, like this year, animals can temporarily switch from seeds of spruce or pine to ripe acorns or hazel (hazelnut) and change places of adipose tissue. If there are no cones at all, the squirrels switch to eating pine seeds, and you won’t meet them in spruce forests, and vice versa. Sometimes a complete crop failure occurs. Then the majority of the squirrels leave their native places, and the remaining ones feed on the buds of the end shoots of the spruce and the randomly found feed.
In August - October, even before the opening of the hunt, the animals are very mobile and careless. Repeatedly observe squirrels running through hazel bushes in search of nuts, or frolic on oaks or inspecting the soil surface in search of tidbits and mushrooms. Then the construction of new shelters and the repair of old shelters (hunting-guinea) are underway.
The behavior of animals after the establishment of morning frosts and the end of molting becomes completely different. You can walk all day in the squirrel places and not find a single squirrel, as if they know that the hunt for them is already open, and immediately become very careful and secretive.
Even before the first snows, in the beginning - mid-November, broods of squirrels are kept very compactly in the places of birth. Knowing such places that are easy to detect by the mass of gnawed cones, the hunter will be able to get a few squirrels without any dog. However, do not rush with the shot and release “in peace” the small animal that has not yet faded, in a red fur coat.
Squirrels leave shelters (guinea, hollow, birdhouse) in good weather very early, even at dusk. Depending on individual characteristics, the presence and nature of the feed, the animal continues to fatten until 11: 00–13: 00, in rare cases until 15:00, after which it leaves for refuge until the next morning. In my practice, I have not seen feeding squirrels after 16:00, although information on evening fat is described in the literature. Much depends on weather conditions.
Almost all squirrels go out for fat in any weather, only occasionally lingering in the ayna for an hour or two after dawn in drizzling rain, wet snow or a blizzard. If the rain does not stop, the animal will still go for a living, but close to the hay, trying to run less on the crowns of conifers and reducing feeding time.
The squirrel settles with a bump in the forelegs in a dry place, hiding in a thick crown behind the trunk of the tree on the leeward side, and begins to separate the flakes with cutters, choosing seeds. At the same time, scales "streams" are strewed to the ground under a tree trunk, and lionfish released from seeds fly in the wind. By the nature of the location of the scales under the tree, you can approximately determine in which place the trunk of the animal sits.
If they lie compactly near the trunk, it means that the squirrel sits somewhere low, if it is very scattered - at the top. It seems to be a trifle, but it helps! In dry weather, the duration of feeding is 3-4 hours, in bad weather - only 1.5-2 hours.
In the fruitful years, when not only the upper part of the crown, but also the lower branches are dotted with cones, squirrels feed, sitting by the trunk only 2–5 meters from the ground. The same is observed during adipose tissue on the so-called "acidic" cone. These are cones, dropped by the squirrels themselves, crossbills, woodpeckers, knocked down by a strong wind, caught in a wet forest litter and therefore not opened in March - April, so that the seeds would spill out. Having lain all summer and autumn in a damp place, they serve as an excellent complement to the “squirrel” table next fall and winter.
It is interesting that the flakes broken off by the woodpecker have torn edges and incomplete safety, while the squirrel gnaws off the flakes at the very base of the cone. If the crossbone and woodpecker used cone tousled, but retains most of the scales, then the squirrel remains only a bare rod.
How does the hunt itself go?
Arriving at the places of the alleged feeding, the squirrel hunter finds fresh fattenings and hides behind the trunk 20-30 m from the fodder tree to see its crown, especially the top, if possible. The main condition for the success of such a hunt is maximum caution. "Turn on" vision and hearing. If, when approaching the feeding place, you behave quietly, move creepingly, without making sudden movements and closing with crowns, then the squirrel will not even stop feeding.
If she notices you, she will not be very scared, and after 5-10, a maximum of 15 minutes, she will again begin to do “her own business”. In dry, quiet and frosty weather I hear the characteristic sounds of cone peeling for 80–100 m, in windy and damp for 50–60 m. In middle-aged thinned dark coniferous stands, whose height is only 14–18 m, peeling is heard even further, in ripe, 25-30 m high, even in calm weather - only 40-50 m. My hearing is the most ordinary, but when I get into the land, it is surprisingly aggravated.
Peeling of cones in light coniferous forests is better heard, because pine cones are stronger, and the animal separates the scales with noise, and the crowns of the pines are not as dense as those of spruce and cedar, so the sound spreads better. You can clearly hear how it falls, hitting branches and frozen ground with a cone rod thrown by a squirrel, informing the hunter that the animal will now climb for a new cone and find itself. This is the most convenient moment for an aimed shot.
Hearing the sound of peeling in a completely different place, the hunter, trying not to make noise, sneaks in there, hides behind the trunk and turns into a statue. From one place, sometimes it is possible to listen to three or four squirrels at once, and having experience and patience, to get everyone.
In dry frosty weather without snow, it is not always possible to determine whether the scales or yesterday's are fresh under the feed tree, but careful inspection and comparison can establish the truth. So, for example, yesterday’s scales freeze slightly to the surface of the earth in frost, fresh - no, yesterday’s sometimes slightly covered with hoarfrost. They are clearly distinguishable in the rain. All old darkened, fresh - bright, light yellow in color at the base.
Hunting in oak plantations with hazelwood undergrowth is interesting and prey. Frozen leaves when walking so “rattle” that it seems you are walking along the iron roof. Stop, sit on a valezhina in a secluded place and freeze. After 20–25 minutes, the seemingly empty forest would suddenly come to life. You will hear the squeak of tits, the grouse whistling, the cries of jays. A mouse rustles near you, collecting fallen acorns and nuts, and suddenly a protein squirts very close by.
If she gave a voice, then there is still a small animal nearby. And one runs along the trunk, the second one chases after it, playing, the third jumps with a noise over the fallen ice-cream foliage. In such forests, the characteristic rhythmic sounds of squirrels moving along trunks and fallen leaves are heard as much as 150 m, and there are no problems with finding animals.
More on Protein Hunting from the Approach
This is a hunting technique by which a squirrel is tracked down without a dog, relying only on its ears and eyes: the hunter himself does it. It is very good if you are a patient person: you have to track the squirrel, sometimes for quite some time. The best time for hunting for squirrels with the approach is the end of autumn, or the beginning of winter, when there is still little snow, and he has not covered the ground everywhere. In the early days of the season, walking on a squirrel is most advantageous - the animals are not yet afraid, and not on guard, which means there are more chances to get many skins. And as you know, squirrel fur is very much appreciated.
It is better to go hunting in the early morning, from dawn and hours until eleven in the morning. Walking through the forest, behave as quietly as possible, any noise can scare the squirrel. Note, near which trees are the scales from the cones, and their own cores - this means that squirrels fed and are fed in this place. Moreover, you need to know that the cones that the squirrel ate and the cones that the birds “dined” look different. Squirrels gently exfoliate the cone flakes and extract the seeds, while the birds simply peck them roughly.
It is necessary to approach the distance of the shot smoothly, in no case making sudden movements. If the squirrel feels your presence, it immediately freezes, then stop also you. It’s better to shoot at a squirrel with a not very large fraction, say, number three. And the charge should be incomplete. The shot squirrel falls from the tree head down. If the squirrel is slightly injured, it leaves along the upper branches to neighboring trees. And with a serious wound, the animal hangs on a tree, clinging to the claws of its front legs, until it runs out of strength. In this case, you will have to wait a bit before your hunting trophy falls from the tree.
Where squirrels are found
As a rule, squirrels live in a coniferous forest (cedar, spruce, pine forest), but can also settle in mixed, with dense undergrowths. Depends on which crop has more seeds this year - spruce, pine, acorns, or hazel nuts. Squirrels can also be found on the edges of forests or along the banks of rivers and streams, especially at the beginning of the hunting season, when frozen mushrooms or berries have been preserved since autumn. In winter, squirrels can build nests on tree trunks, or in hollows. This nest is called Guynaud.
You need to remember: even if you hunt for squirrels, in no case should you destroy and destroy their nest. In the hunting community, such an act is considered unethical and condemned, like the ruin of any other nests.
In conclusion, we can say that hunting for a squirrel with an approach can give you many new and unusual impressions and emotions, and it will certainly raise your hunter skill to a new level.
Squirrel is a graceful and moving animal of gray or brown color. It lives in a variety of forest stands., feeds during the day, and the night waits in the hollow. There she hides from bad weather and can not leave the shelter for 4 days.
The number of livestock depends on the abundance of food: berries, cones and mushrooms. Failure in coniferous trees can lead to the "migration" of protein and a decrease in the number of animals by 5 times. In January, the number decreases by 3 times, due to which the shooting in many farms ceases.
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The hunting time depends on the fur of the squirrel. The hairline should be long, dense and dense, i.e. completely past the molt period. A good criterion testifying to this is bent and overgrown ear brushes. The period of the skin change depends on the weather: during wet and cold autumn, it proceeds quickly, and when dry and warm, it drags on.
The most valuable during the hunt recognized tele-protein furhaving a light silver color and the most complete density. The Ural and Siberian forests are famous for animals with gray-bluish skin, and the Far East - with dark gray. Until the squirrel completely changes its fur, it is not recommended to shoot it.
Squirrel hunting with pneumatics
First you need to find the place of the animal’s fat. Scales torn from a cone by a squirrel will help in this. They have smooth, not torn edges. The scale bites off at the base and practically does not deform.
It is better to go fishing at dawn, because in the afternoon the squirrel often sits in the hollow. Characteristic sounds testify to the presence of the animal, as if someone is chewing on something solid, a clatter or a noisy fall of a cone. Having approached the place of feeding the squirrel, the hunter hides behind the trunk 30 meters from the grease. The success of fishing depends entirely on caution. If you approach the animal sneaking, then it will not even interrupt its activities.
Hunt with a like
The method of hunting for a squirrel with a husky is the main one for catching the animal. The success of the hunt depends on the qualities of the husky. She must have a wonderful hearing, smell, sight. The dog must not only find the squirrel, but keep track of her. An experienced husky, giving a voice, usually stands apart from the place of feeding the animal, and the newcomer rushes to the trunk, whines and breaks small knots, driving the animal even further up to the top.
The best fishing time is from dawn to 12 noon and evening: a few hours before sunset. During this period, the animal is most active and feeds. The middle of the day is characterized by a squirrel resting in a hollow, therefore, it can only be found by an experienced, unclean dog down and in a crooked way.
The animals barked by the dog behave differently. Some continue to sit openly on a branch and even begin to clatter, while others lurk and climb into the thicket of the top. It is important for hunters not to come close to the husky, as this will lead to the squirrel leaving the hollow or impassable thickets of the tree.
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In a dark coniferous forest or a cedar-oak tree, dog hunting is not possible, so some use wood traps. A path with traps often occupies a small area and has a triangular shape. It takes 7 hours to bypass the site.
Before installation, the traps are cleaned of grease and boiled with "fir" water. After which they are rubbed with needles and put at a level of 40-100 cm from the ground. Particular attention should be paid to the choice of wood. Best of all - large cedars with a 25-30-cm diameter trunk with a distance of 50-150 steps from each other. Larch trees are considered no less catchy.
You need to inspect the traps regularly (after 3-5 days), especially in warm weather (after 2 days). Delays cause damage to carcasses by mice and carnivores. This method of hunting for protein traps allows you to catch up to 30 animals.
It is difficult to shoot a squirrel, especially if it gets into the thicket of the top. The main thing that is required of the hunter is patience and caution.