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.22 vs shotgun for squirrel hunting. Which one do you use, which one do you recommend and why?

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  • .22 vs shotgun for squirrel hunting. Which one do you use, which one do you recommend and why?

    .22 vs shotgun for squirrel hunting. Which one do you use, which one do you recommend and why?

  • #2
    I prefer to use the .22 because it presents a greater challenge and damages less meat than a shotgun. However, much of my squirrel hunting is done in fairly close proximity to houses, and in those areas, I just can't justify the risk of shooting a .22 up into the air, and opt for the shotgun instead. I would say I use a shotgun 80% of the time.

    If you are choosing a gun, I would start with the shotgun. It is really versatile for other game, makes squirrel hunting easier, and is safer than shooting a rifle up in the air. If the time comes that you find yourself in some really remote areas and want a greater challenge, you can always get a .22 then.

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    • #3
      It depends on the season. In AR the season opens on May 15 and closes the last day of February of the next year. If there are a lot of leaves on the trees I use a shot gun. This year I will be experimenting with a .22 Beeman air gun when the leaves fall this autumn. A good organization to check out is Squirrels Unlimited @ squirrelsunlimited.com . Does the same thing as Ducks Unlimited but only for squirrels.

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      • #4
        I use a .22lr. Never really considered using a shotgun.

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        • #5
          I use a .22 typically but I refrain from taking aerial shots if possible. Supposedly, a round from a .22L can travel 1 1/2 miles.

          I have also used shotguns. .410, 20ga, and 12 ga. are all effective.

          If you are in a rural area and the proximity to houses, roads, etc. is not as big of a concern, .22 head shots are challenging and very effective. Otherwise, a shotgun maybe a better option.

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          • #6
            I shot one squirrel with a shotgun. Did not like biting down on a BB. The other hundreds have been with a .22lr rifle or pistol.

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            • #7
              For Columbia or Belding ground squirrels, known locally as "sage rats", I rely on .22 rimfire and centerfire rifles, depending on the distance. The same area has a healthy population of jackrabbits, and I prefer a shotgun for jacks.

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              • #8
                If your family is staving and waiting on your nice bunch of squirrels for dinner, a shotgun will serve you better. You can get them running from limb to limb and fill your game bag quickly. If you like the sport of sneaking around to get a shot as they continuously hide on the opposite side of a tree or run for cover, you will have much more fun with your .22. Once you get really good at shooting it and sneaking up on squirrels, you family should get enough to eat too.

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                • #9
                  Have killed a few squirrels with a shotgun, but they were targets of opportunity, not the intended game. Vast majority of my squirrel hunting is done with a .22 rim fire, and either shorts, or long rifle ammunition.

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                  • #10



                    Hi...


                    I don't use a shotgun on squirrels...seems like overkill.


                    I use .22 only...excepting sometimes an air rifle. Just make sure of your target...as you would when hunting anything else.

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                    • #11
                      .22, because it has more range and the shotgun makes it harder to prepare/eat.

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                      • #12
                        Shotgun

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                        • #13
                          i like a 22 more inthe fall and winer because there are no leaves and they are typically looking for food on the ground so im not having to shoot in the air

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                          • #14
                            If you're new to hunting or squirrel hunting, a shotgun will let you go home with more squirrels in the bag. As long as they're at least 20 yards out you won't mess them up.

                            If, on the other hand, you're looking for one of the finest and most sporting types of hunting, then pick up an accurate .22 LR rifle (I like bolt actions and single shot falling block rifles) and engage in the ultimate form of hunting: stalking squirrels.

                            I find shotgunning squirrels boring... and can't wait to once again experience the adrenaline rush of a successful stalk and kill using an accurate scoped .22 rifle or fine .22 air rifle.

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