Squirrel calling 101

Kansas no longer has many squirrel hunters. The few that exist probably envision cool autumn days with leaves falling in sheets with every breath of wind.

Squirrel calling is at its best when there's a lot of foliage. The season opened June 1.

Whatever, that’s still fun but there’s a lot of fun to be had between now and them, too. Squirrel season opened June 1 and it’s prime-time to hit the jungle-like woodlots with squirrel calls.

The most productive squirrel calls, and I’ve tried most over about the past 22 years, is the distress whistle that sounds like a squirrel getting attacked by a predator.

As usual, one of Mike Blair’s videos is worth a ton of words. CLICK HERE TO SEE A SQUIRREL CALLING VIDEO HE RECENTLY HAD ON THE WILDIFE AND PARKS WEBSITE.

Like kids to a playground fight the sound of one squirrel in a tussle can bring others in a hurry. Often they’re barking and chattering like mad.

One of the keys, though, is to totally replicate the sounds of a struggle by thrashing the ground with a leafy limb or a bent over sapling. Crashing the limb three or four times and following it with the most desperate distress calls you can make can sometimes make squirrels do some amazing things.

I once shot at one squirrel four times while he kept barking and getting closer. Oh, those shots were with a .36 muzzleloader so there was a huge cloud of smoke and probably 30-45 seconds between shots. I eventually shot him at about 10 yards. I’ve shot them much closer, too.

I’ve often had five or six squirrels start barking at once. Some run right in, coming right down the trunk I’m leaning against. Others hold their limbs and I sneak in for the shot.

Often incorporating some excited barking and chuckling with a bellow-style squirrel call will help get the locals a bit more fired-up.

Seriously, it works and it’ll work on about any public hunting area in Kansas that has a few trees.

Keep in mind, though, that once the leaves start to fall the squirrels won’t be nearly as anxious to betray their location for fear of being next in line on the losing end of the cycle of life.

Keep in mind that like with all things involving wildlife you’ll have some great days and days when the squirrels seem to have totally disappeared.

Stick with it, though, it works and it can be danged fun and exciting.