View Full Version : Squirrel loads
08-03-2005, 08:25 PM
What are some recommended loads for squirrel? I'm new to squirrel hunting, for this is the first time I've been reasonably close to some squirrel property to actually go. Shotgun only at the place I intend on hunting, so what gauge, shot size, choke etc... should I use?
08-04-2005, 10:50 AM
My personal preference is as follows.
20 guage single shot H&R Modified or Improved Modified choke.
I use predominantly either 2 3/4 inch #6 Remington or Winchesters, OR #5 Estate cartridge depending on what I have on hand, the amount of heavy brush, and the amount of ancient bulletproof squirrels in the area.
My Brother in law, and my best friend both use 12 guage shotguns, modified chokes, and #6 or #4 shot.
You will get a little more range from the 12 guage, etc. But the recoil and noise level is nicer on a 20. Some folks go real middle of the road and opt for a 16 guage, but for my taste the shells are a little hard to find.
ANYWAY you can get a single shot H&R in varying guages and chockes for little to no investment.
You need to pattern your shotgun if possible so that you know where and what size at say 25 yards your pattern is. Remember if you intend to eat them aim just ahead of him as he runs so that in theory you are going to catch mostly head with the pattern. If he is sitting still even better jut aim at his nose. Also most squirrel pause a hairs breath before they jump from one limb to another, and many will actually overshoot their mark and kind of "skin the cat" twirl around a limb after they land.
Take at least double the shells you need since this is your first time (IE if limit is 15 squirrels take 25 or 30 if you are going to be out all day) And don't forget a game bag.
Don't forget that a squirrel has the attention span of an ADD child on pix sticks and jolt cola. If they spot you just hunker down and stay still for a few minutes. Same goes for after you shoot, just wait five to ten minutes and you should see them again.
Hope this helps.
08-04-2005, 10:55 AM
I like #6 its a good shot size and works well on other things frome rabbit to grouse
08-04-2005, 11:16 AM
I also use #6.But remember, certain shotguns pattern different shot sizes better than others.My Ithaca patterns #6 shot better than #7.5 or #8, so I always use #6 on birds as well as squirrels.
Your gun might pattern #7.5 or #5 better than #6.And it might pattern a certain brand of shell better than others.
BTW, I still use an old fashioned polychoke.:)
08-04-2005, 11:29 AM
Yup #6 has always been my utility load. You can take a huge variety of game with it. I also keep a couple of slugs/buckshot in my pocket for pigs/deer.
10-05-2006, 07:31 PM
I often take a shotgun in the early part of the season. My 'go to' shottie for squirrels is a 20 Ga. Mossberg 500C, with a factory 26 inch vent rib barrel, and a modified choke. I use #6 shot, usually Federal.
My first long gun, and the gun I have taken more rabbits and squirrels with than any other, is an old Stevens 20 Ga single barrel, modified choke. It still has a place of honor in the gun safe.
Its always fun to find an old thread, and add something. :D
10-06-2006, 12:13 PM
nothing wrong with adding something to an old thread. . . . particularly and old good thread. . . . .
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