Squirrel Hunting in Western Kentucky with KYAfield and my724outdoors.com!
Had a good day of squirrel hunting over in western Kentucky! Loved using the dogs to help.
About Squirrel Hunting with dogs
Hunting squirrels with dogs? Really? I have been given some funny looks from hunters who are not familiar with squirrel dogs. Why do it? Well, because it is plain old fun and a great way to get the main ingredient for a squirrel, biscuit and gravy dinner.
How it Works
The premise of hunting squirrels with a dog is simple. You follow your canine buddy through the woods as he attempts to locate a squirrel, chase it up a tree, or discover which tree the squirrel is hiding in. Once the dog decides which tree the bushytail is in, he will bark. A good dog will stay on the tree and bark until you arrive and shoot the squirrel.
Now all of this sounds simple, but like many things in hunting (and life), it is not. A lot of folks think a dog treeing a squirrel is easy because they see their dachshund chasing squirrels at the city park. But have you ever sat in your tree stand and watched a squirrel skitter through the woods? They will run the length of a downed log, leap on the side of a tree, then bounce off and hit two more trees before they actually climb one. Now imagine your squirrel dog coming along several minutes or an hour later. It takes an experienced dog with a good nose to sort it all out and settle on the right tree.
Like any hunting dog, a squirrel dog’s main job is to find quarry for you. Basically the hunter takes a walk in the woods and follows the dog as he runs ahead and sweeps the area to locate squirrels. Different dogs do this in different ways. Some dogs are powerhouses and run full blast until they hit the scent of a squirrel. Some are more careful and check the area as they pass through, using their eyes and ears as well as their nose. When the dog hits the track of a squirrel on the forest floor he will usually trail it to a tree. After a little checking to make sure this is the tree the squirrel is in, the dog will settle on it and bark to alert the hunter that he has found the game.
Some people think that this is easy since they see their poodle or Scottish terrier chase squirrels in the park every day. It’s true, almost any dog will sight chase squirrels, but think about the squirrels you have watched on a lazy afternoon from your deer stand. A squirrel runs or hops along the ground, runs the length of a fallen log, bounces three feet up on the side of tree, jumps down again and scrambles off in another direction. The squirrel dog may come along 15 minutes to an hour later and must unravel this mystery. The experienced dog will carefully follow the maze, determine what tree the squirrel finally climbed, and stayed in, then start to bark “treed.” The good dog stays at that tree and will not be distracted away from it until his hunter gets there or the world ends, whichever comes first.
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