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When it comes to hunting fox squirrels, it’s like exploring a maze of nature’s twists and turns. Understanding their habits and habitats is just the beginning of your journey. So, how do you outsmart these elusive creatures and bring home a prized catch? Tune in as we uncover the secrets to tracking, targeting, and triumphing in the art of fox squirrel hunting. Prepare to set off on a thrilling adventure where patience, skill, and strategy converge in the great outdoors.

How to Hunt Fox Squirrels
How to Hunt Fox Squirrels

Key Takeaways

  • Master spot and stalk technique for slow, quiet movement.
  • Utilize calling techniques to attract squirrels.
  • Obtain necessary permits for public land hunting.
  • Gain landowner permission for hunting on private lands.
  • Prioritize firearm safety and environmental awareness.
Hunter Observing Fox Squirrels' Behaviors
Hunter Observing Fox Squirrels’ Behaviors

Understanding Fox Squirrels

So, when it comes to understanding fox squirrels, it’s important to grasp their biology and behavior. These critters are known for their reddish fur and bushy tails, making them easily recognizable in the wild. They’re skilled climbers, often seen darting up trees with agility and speed.

Biology and Behavior

Fox squirrels have a varied diet, feeding on nuts, seeds, fruits, and even bird eggs. They prefer habitats with mature trees for nesting and food storage.

Observing their behavior, you might notice their acrobatic abilities while moving through tree branches and their tendency to communicate through vocalizations.


Understanding the diet of the fox squirrel is essential to gaining insights into its biology and behavior. Fox squirrels primarily feed on nuts, seeds, fruits, and insects. However, they are opportunistic eaters and may consume bird eggs or small vertebrates if the opportunity arises. Below is a breakdown of the typical diet of a fox squirrel:

Food Type Description Frequency
Nuts Acorns, Walnuts Daily
Seeds Sunflower, Pumpkin Regularly
Fruits Apples, Berries Seasonally
Insects Beetles, Caterpillars Occasionally
Bird Eggs Sparrows, Robins Rarely


Exploring the diverse habitats where fox squirrels thrive provides valuable insights into their adaptability and survival strategies. These squirrels prefer mixed forests with a variety of nut-producing trees like oaks, hickories, and beeches.

They also inhabit urban areas, parks, and suburban neighborhoods with ample trees for nesting and food sources. Understanding their habitat preferences can help you locate fox squirrels more effectively during hunting expeditions.


To gain a deeper insight into fox squirrels, it’s important to observe and understand their behaviors in the wild. Fox squirrels are diurnal creatures, most active during the day. They’re skilled climbers, often seen jumping between trees with agility.

These squirrels are known for their curious nature, exploring their surroundings and displaying playful behaviors. Understanding their behaviors can help you locate and hunt them more effectively.

Hunter Checking a Hunting License and Regulations Booklet
Hunter Checking a Hunting License and Regulations Booklet

Regulations and Licensing

Before heading out to hunt fox squirrels, it’s important to understand the legal requirements for hunting these animals. Regulations and licensing play a significant role in ensuring that hunting is done responsibly and sustainably. Make sure you have the necessary permits and follow all the rules set forth by the relevant authorities.

Legal Requirements

To legally hunt fox squirrels, you’ll need to obtain a hunting license. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific hunting season and bag limits set by your state’s regulations.

Following these rules guarantees you stay within the legal boundaries while enjoying your hunting experience.

Hunting License

Make sure you have the necessary hunting license before pursuing fox squirrels. In most states, a valid hunting license is required to hunt squirrels, including fox squirrels.

You can typically obtain a hunting license from your state’s wildlife agency or through authorized retailers. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the specific hunting regulations in your area, as they may vary depending on location and season.


Make sure you are aware of the specific hunting season regulations and licensing requirements in your area before pursuing fox squirrels. Here is a basic guide to help you understand the typical regulations:

Season Dates
Fall September – January
Spring May – June

Bag Limits

Before you go hunting fox squirrels, it’s important to understand the bag limits set by regulations and licensing requirements in your area.

Bag limits specify the maximum number of fox squirrels you’re allowed to harvest in a single day or throughout the hunting season.

Exceeding these limits can result in fines or penalties, so make sure to check and follow the bag limits to stay compliant with the law.

Essential Equipment for Hunting Fox Squirrels
Essential Equipment for Hunting Fox Squirrels

Equipment for Hunting Fox Squirrels

Now let’s discuss the gear you’ll need for hunting fox squirrels. You’ll want to ponder your firearms and ammunition choices carefully for a successful hunt. Optics and accessories can also make a big difference in your hunting experience.

Firearms and Ammunition

When hunting fox squirrels, you’ll need to choose between rifles, shotguns, or air rifles for your equipment. Each type of firearm has its advantages and considerations for hunting these elusive creatures. Understanding the differences will help you select the best option for your hunting experience.


To effectively hunt fox squirrels, selecting the right rifle and ammunition is essential for a successful outing. Choose a rifle with a caliber suitable for small game hunting, such as a .22 LR or .17 HMR. These rifles offer accuracy and minimal recoil, making them ideal for squirrel hunting.

Match your rifle with appropriate ammunition for clean and humane kills. Remember, accuracy is key when aiming at these agile creatures.


Consider using a lightweight 20-gauge shotgun for hunting fox squirrels. Pair it with appropriate ammunition for precise and effective shots.

The 20-gauge shotgun provides ample power without excessive recoil, making it easier to handle for extended periods. Choose shot sizes like 5 or 6 for best results, ensuring clean kills and minimal damage to the squirrel’s meat.

Shotguns offer versatility in different hunting environments, making them a reliable choice for fox squirrel hunting.

Air Rifles

For hunting fox squirrels, another effective option worth exploring is using air rifles for firearms and ammunition. Air rifles are lightweight, quiet, and easy to maneuver in densely wooded areas where fox squirrels are commonly found.

They offer precision and accuracy, making them a reliable choice for hunters aiming for small targets like fox squirrels. Additionally, air rifles are often more affordable than other firearms, making them a practical option for squirrel hunting.

Optics and Accessories

When hunting fox squirrels, having the right optics and accessories can make a big difference. Scopes can help improve your accuracy, while binoculars can help you spot squirrels from a distance. Other gear like rangefinders and shooting sticks can also enhance your hunting experience.


Using a scope while hunting fox squirrels can greatly enhance your accuracy and precision in targeting these agile creatures. A quality scope allows you to zoom in on your target, making it easier to spot the fox squirrel amidst the branches.

Look for scopes with clear optics and adjustable magnification levels to suit different hunting environments. Make sure your scope is properly mounted and zeroed before heading out.


Consider incorporating a reliable pair of binoculars into your hunting gear to enhance your ability to spot fox squirrels in their natural habitat. Binoculars can make a significant difference in your hunting experience by allowing you to observe these elusive creatures from a distance.

  • Clear Vision: See fox squirrels clearly from afar.
  • Enhanced Detail: Notice intricate features with precision.
  • Improved Focus: Stay concentrated on your target.
  • Closer Observations: Witness their behavior up close.
  • Better Tracking: Follow their movements with ease.

Other Gear

Equip yourself with essential optics and accessories for hunting fox squirrels to maximize your success in the field. A reliable hunting knife is vital for field dressing game. Carry a small first aid kit for emergencies. Pack extra ammunition in a secure pouch.

Consider using a rangefinder for accurate distance measurement. A headlamp or flashlight will be handy in low-light conditions.

Hunter Stalking Through a Forest Using Binoculars
Hunter Stalking Through a Forest Using Binoculars

Hunting Techniques

To hunt fox squirrels effectively, you can try spot and stalk, where you move slowly to spot them before they see you.

Another method is still hunting, where you move quietly and patiently wait for the squirrels to come into view. Additionally, you can use calling techniques to mimic squirrel sounds and attract them towards you.

Spot and Stalk

When hunting fox squirrels, spotting and stalking are essential techniques to master. Spotting involves keenly observing your surroundings for any signs of movement or the squirrels themselves. Stalking requires approaching the squirrels quietly and carefully to get within shooting range.


Spotting is an essential skill in successfully hunting fox squirrels using the spot and stalk technique. To improve your spotting abilities, remember:

  • Patience is key; take your time.
  • Be observant of movement.
  • Use binoculars for a clearer view.
  • Scan the area methodically.
  • Focus on the squirrel’s distinctive features.


Develop a stealthy approach when stalking fox squirrels using the spot and stalk hunting technique. Move quietly and slowly, keeping a low profile to avoid detection.

Use natural cover like trees or bushes to conceal your movements. Watch for any signs of the squirrels, such as movement or rustling in the trees. Stay patient and observant, adjusting your position as needed to get within range for a successful shot.

Still Hunting

When still hunting for fox squirrels, it’s essential to pay attention to the location you choose. Look for areas with dense cover and abundant food sources. Timing is also key – early mornings and late afternoons tend to be the most active times for fox squirrels.


To increase your chances of success when still hunting for fox squirrels, focus on moving quietly through dense brush and scanning the treetops for any movement.

The thrill of the hunt awaits.

Your heart races with anticipation.

The rustling leaves whisper secrets.

Every step brings you closer.

Your target is within reach.


As you plan your fox squirrel hunting expedition, consider the timing essential for your still hunting technique.

Early mornings and late afternoons are prime times when fox squirrels are most active. During these hours, they’re out foraging for food and more likely to be on the move. Be patient and observant during these periods to increase your chances of a successful hunt.


Let’s talk about calling techniques for hunting fox squirrels. Different types of calls can be used to attract fox squirrels, helping you locate them more easily.

Types of Calls

Using various types of calls can be an effective hunting technique when pursuing fox squirrels.

  • Mimicking distress calls can provoke curiosity.
  • Utilizing mating calls can attract males seeking a mate.
  • Employing alarm calls can cause squirrels to reveal their location.
  • Mixing up calls can keep squirrels interested and engaged.
  • Experimenting with different calls can help you determine what works best in different situations.

Using Calls

To enhance your hunting success, incorporating various calls can be a valuable technique when pursuing fox squirrels. Using calls such as distress calls or mating calls can attract fox squirrels, increasing your chances of a successful hunt. Remember to practice using these calls effectively to mimic natural squirrel sounds and to remain patient as you wait for the squirrels to approach.

Call Type Purpose When to Use
Distress Call Attracts squirrels by mimicking distress sounds Early morning or late afternoon
Mating Call Draws squirrels in during mating season Mid-morning or early evening
Chatter Call Mimics squirrel chatter to pique curiosity Throughout the day
Dense Forest With Tall Oak and Hickory Trees
Dense Forest With Tall Oak and Hickory Trees

Prime Hunting Locations

When hunting fox squirrels, you’ll find that prime locations can be divided into two main categories: public lands and private lands.

Public lands offer vast areas to explore, such as state forests or wildlife management areas, while private lands may provide more exclusive access and potentially less hunting pressure.

Understanding the distinctions between these two types of locations can help you plan your hunting strategy effectively.

Public Lands

When looking for prime hunting locations for fox squirrels, consider exploring National Forests, State Parks, and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).

These public lands offer diverse habitats and ample opportunities for squirrel hunting enthusiasts like yourself. Be sure to check regulations and obtain any necessary permits before heading out to these promising hunting grounds.

National Forests

Prime hunting locations for fox squirrels can be found in National Forests across the country.

  • The vast wilderness offers a thrilling hunting experience.
  • Dense forests provide ample hiding spots for squirrels.
  • Tranquil surroundings create a peaceful hunting atmosphere.
  • Breathtaking views enhance the overall hunting adventure.
  • The diversity of wildlife adds an element of surprise to your hunt.

State Parks and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)

Consider exploring State Parks and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for prime hunting locations on public lands. These areas are carefully managed to support wildlife populations, making them ideal spots for hunting fox squirrels.

Be sure to check the specific regulations and hunting seasons in each State Park or WMA before heading out. With their varied habitats and abundant wildlife, State Parks and WMAs offer great opportunities for successful hunts.

Private Lands

When it comes to hunting on private lands, the key is gaining landowner permission. This can be done by directly contacting the landowner and requesting access to their property for hunting purposes.

Another option is to look into leasing land for hunting, which can provide exclusive access to prime hunting locations.

Landowner Permission

To gain access to prime hunting locations on private lands, securing landowner permission is essential. Remember these key points:

  • Respect the landowner’s property.
  • Express gratitude for the opportunity.
  • Follow all rules and guidelines provided.
  • Leave the area cleaner than you found it.
  • Offer to share a portion of your harvest as a gesture of appreciation.

Leased Land

Securing a lease on private land can provide access to prime hunting locations with exclusive rights for hunting fox squirrels. Leased land often offers less hunting pressure and better-managed wildlife populations.

When negotiating a lease, make sure you understand all terms and restrictions. Respect the landowner’s rules and maintain a good relationship for potential future opportunities. Leased land can offer a rewarding hunting experience for targeting elusive fox squirrels.

Hunter Wearing Bright Orange Clothing Using a Scoped Rifle
Hunter Wearing Bright Orange Clothing Using a Scoped Rifle

Safety Considerations

When hunting fox squirrels, remember to prioritize firearm safety by always keeping your gun pointed in a safe direction and treating it as if it were loaded.

Additionally, practice environmental awareness by respecting the natural habitats of other wildlife and being mindful of your surroundings to avoid accidents. These two key points will help guarantee a safe and enjoyable hunting experience.

Firearm Safety

When hunting fox squirrels, remember these important firearm safety considerations:

  • Always treat firearms as loaded.
  • Be certain of your target.
  • Practice safe handling.

Prioritizing safety at all times is vital to prevent accidents and ensure a successful hunting experience. Following these simple guidelines can help you enjoy a safe and enjoyable hunting trip.

Always Treat Firearms as Loaded

Always remember to handle firearms as if they’re loaded to guarantee safety while hunting fox squirrels.

  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Always treat every firearm with respect.
  • Verify the firearm’s status before handling.
  • Store firearms unloaded and locked away from children.

Be Sure of Your Target

How can you guarantee firearm safety while hunting fox squirrels by being certain of your target? Always identify your target before shooting. Ensure there are no other hunters, buildings, or roadways in the line of fire. Be absolutely sure of what you are aiming at. Avoid shooting at any movement or noise without confirming your target.

Firearm Safety Tips
Always Identify Your Target
Confirm No Obstructions in Line of Fire

Safe Handling

Guarantee proper safe handling of firearms while hunting fox squirrels by always keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. Remember these key safety tips:

  • Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Be certain of your target and what lies beyond.
  • Wear appropriate ear and eye protection.
  • Store firearms securely when not in use.

Environmental Awareness

Pay attention to weather conditions, as they can impact your hunting experience and safety. Be aware of the wildlife around you to avoid potential conflicts and guarantee your safety. Remember that being environmentally conscious while hunting isn’t just about the animals but also about your own well-being.

Weather Conditions

Consider checking the weather forecast regularly for any updates that may impact your hunting trip. Unpredictable weather can affect your safety and success while hunting fox squirrels.

Here are some emotions you might experience based on different weather conditions:

  • Excitement: When the sun is shining brightly.
  • Disappointment: If heavy rains are forecasted.
  • Frustration: In case of strong winds.
  • Anxiety: During thunderstorms.
  • Relief: When the weather clears up.

Wildlife Awareness

Check your surroundings and stay alert to guarantee your safety while hunting fox squirrels. Be aware of other wildlife in the area, like deer or turkey, that may also be present.

Avoid any encounters by making noise as you move through the woods. Stay vigilant and respect the natural habitat by not disturbing other animals. Keeping wildlife awareness in mind will secure a safe and enjoyable hunting experience.

Hunter Stalking Through a Snowy Forest
Hunter Stalking Through a Snowy Forest

How to Hunt Fox Squirrels in the Winter?

To hunt fox squirrels in the winter, focus on locating their favorite feeding grounds and setting up your position accordingly. Fox squirrels are active during the winter months, foraging for food to survive the colder temperatures. Here are some tips to help you successfully hunt fox squirrels in the winter:

  • Patience is Key: Fox squirrels can be more elusive in the winter, so be patient and wait quietly for them to appear.
  • Dress Warmly: Make sure to dress in warm, camouflage clothing to stay comfortable during long periods of waiting.
  • Use Decoys: Consider using decoys or calls to attract fox squirrels to your location.
  • Stay Hidden: Find a good hiding spot where you have a clear view of the feeding areas without being easily spotted.
  • Be Mindful of the Weather: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan your hunting trips on days when conditions are favorable for squirrel activity.
Hunter Stalking Through a Dense Forest in North Carolina
Hunter Stalking Through a Dense Forest in North Carolina

How to Hunt Fox Squirrels in North Carolina?

When hunting fox squirrels in North Carolina, focus on scouting their preferred habitats for best success. Fox squirrels in North Carolina are commonly found in mature hardwood forests with oak, hickory, and walnut trees. Look for areas with a mix of open spaces and dense vegetation, as fox squirrels prefer these environments for foraging and nesting.

One effective strategy for hunting fox squirrels in North Carolina is to set up near food sources such as nut-bearing trees. Fox squirrels are known to frequent these trees to feed, making them prime locations for hunting. Additionally, pay attention to their behavior patterns, as fox squirrels are most active during the early morning and late afternoon.

When hunting fox squirrels in North Carolina, use a .22 caliber rifle with appropriate ammunition for a clean and humane kill. Make sure to follow all state hunting regulations and obtain the necessary permits before heading out.

Can you use a .22 rifle for hunting fox squirrels?
Yes, you can use a .22 rifle for hunting fox squirrels. It’s a common choice due to its accuracy and effectiveness. Remember to always follow local regulations, aim carefully, and prioritize safety while hunting.
What time of day is best for hunting fox squirrels?
When hunting fox squirrels, remember, the early bird catches the worm. For these critters, dawn and dusk are prime hunting times. They’re most active then, so get out there early or late!
Are squirrel calls effective for fox squirrels?
Squirrel calls can be effective for fox squirrels. Use them strategically in areas where these squirrels are active. Mimicking their sounds can pique their curiosity and draw them closer, making it easier to hunt them.
How do you skin and prepare a fox squirrel for cooking?
When it’s time to skin and prep a fox squirrel for cooking, remember to handle it carefully. Start by removing the skin, gutting it, and cutting it into smaller pieces. Then, cook it up and enjoy your meal.
Can you use a trail camera to scout for fox squirrels?
Yes, you can use a trail camera to scout for fox squirrels. Place it in areas where they frequent, like near trees or feeding spots. Check the camera regularly to track their movements and increase your hunting success.

The Bottom Line

Hunting fox squirrels is a rewarding activity that combines skill, patience, and an appreciation for nature. You can increase your chances of a successful hunt by understanding squirrel behavior, using the right equipment, and employing effective hunting techniques.

Always prioritize safety and ethical hunting practices to ensure a responsible and enjoyable experience. Additionally, you can read how to hunt gray squirrels, 23 best squirrel hunting tips, and 10 small game hunting tips.