Episode-1289- Learning to Hunt Without a Gun Part 2

I could have called this series learning to hunt without a gun or a bow or a trap or anything but that title would be too long.  Today’s show is part two of a series so you may really wish to listen to part one first if you have not done so already.

This series began as an extension of a listener question I answered two weeks ago about learning to hunt when you had no one to teach you.  No family, no friends, no mentors, no one.  In part one we focused on the following,

  • The primary hurtles to entry
    • Land access
    • Time
    • Knowledge
  • Hunting with a camera, the limits of reality
  • Keeping a game log
  • Understanding game patterns
    • Whitetail deer
      • reading the wind
      • runs, rubs, scrapes, droppings and tracks
      • feeding patterns
      • bedding
      • seasonal effects
      • the rut
      • peak movement times
      • pattern disruption

Again I am assuming today that you have already listened to part one and have the above as background information about our topic today.  I’ll do a VERY brief review in the intro but it will be brief indeed.

Today we continue with the extension of those concepts and cover the following

  • Squirrel Hunting Patterns
    • Seasonal Food
    • Nesting
    • Breeding
    • Predator Response
  • Hunting Tactics
    • Spot and stalk
    • Still hunting
    • Stand/ambush hunting
  • Why this method will make you a great hunter
    • Allows for a faster experience growth curve
    • Focuses on what you can do now
    • Will teach you game behavior
    • Learn from you mistakes when they don’t matter
  • Getting land access for real hunting
    • Public hunting
    • Guided hunting
    • Lease access
    • Private land with permission


Resources for today’s show…

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10 Responses to Episode-1289- Learning to Hunt Without a Gun Part 2

  1. Its really not that hard. Just do it. I started hunting venison exclusively for the first time in my life this fall with no family ever hunting or assitance from anyone. I chose bow hunting which is considered more difficult then gun hunting. I hadn’t shot a bow in 30 years with the last time as a bow scout a just a few times when I was 10 yrs old.
    What i did do was research. I read 6 books on the topic related to using a bow and hunting with a bow. I practiced using a tree stand in my yard before the season and shooting my bow almost daily a few months before the season.
    So after my first season and no guidance except from youtube and books how did it go? I have four deer in the freezer and passed on a few smaller ones few thru the season. Oh did I say I have two kids and typically hunted in the mornings before work from 6-8am.
    Lesson, forget asking for input and just do your homework, practice and get too it. My first months were slow as I was learning with nothing to show. Next came the deer grunts when I got busted a bunch of times. Then success.
    Just do it!

  2. MtHomesteaded

    Not so much squirrel but OH I hate chipmunks when hunting elk! I hunt elk (what you called still hunting) in some thick mountain territory here in Montana and those damn chipmunks are like early warning systems for the elk. You get within 30 yards and they squeal something fierce for what seems like an eternity. I hate them!

  3. I cannot imagine ambushing a squirrel, I’d probably throw my back out

  4. A very enjoyable podcast! Some of the happiest times of my life were when I was a young boy hunting squirrels with a single shot 22. I think the first animal I learned to skin, was a squirrel. I love a good mess of fried squirrel!

    Hunting is knowledge of nature – observation, observation, observation.

    Thank you for this subject, Jack.

  5. Good podcast. Actually quite a bit of good information on hunting squirrels.

    Regarding the lease stuff. Man around here the amount of intensity of hunting if you can hunt for free or cheaply you’ve got it made. My uncle pays for a lease (well his company does) on an area that used to a federal game area. Its “super cheap” at like 650 dollars a year. Supposedly the standard around here is about 1000. Obviously that doesn’t include any of the other costs (food plot, food, equipment… etc etc). The amount of success (or lack thereof) of these “hunters” as well makes me really go “wow what a waste of time and money”.

    I do have a buddy who just bought 20 acres in an extremely rural area. I might just have to start hunting with him (for free).

  6. You know, hearing you talk about planning your stand location based on the other hunters’ actions, it sounds like you could do a whole segment on patterning another creature – human hunters!

    • @Amy,

      Ah yes, the human. Strangely erratic, highly irrational, and extremely poor eating. Best left alone.

  7. I’ve had success using still hunting on public land during middle of the day or early afternoon. Found a 145 inch, 10 pointer bedded in a dry creek around 2pm in October. Of course he figured he was safe because the hunters left a few hours earlier and weren’t scheduled to return for a while. I waited for him to stand and shot him using archery method at around 30 yds. Probably the most exciting, fun hunt I ever had. It was a windy day which allowed more movement without detection. Nothing will make you a better hunter than spending time in the woods. Thanks for the podcast!

  8. I have hunted literally all my life, I spend more time in the field in the spring than I ever do in the fall. Very good advice Jack you can learn more in one day in spring by being out there without anyone else, than you could ever learn during hunting season with every tom dick and harry running around out there.
    @ Mthomestead, I archery hunt elk also and I agree and there really is nothing we can do about those little buggers!!! You know they do the same if elk are moving through to though so they can be useful in thick timber 🙂

  9. On the topic of squirrel hunting, I just wanted to add a book that some listeners might be interested in: “Squirrel Dog Basics: A Guide to Hunting Squirrels with Dogs” by Daivd A. Osborn.