SPOT AND STALK SQUIRRELS LIKE BIG GAME
I saw the green leaves rustle and spotted an arc of long, fine hairs through my binos. “Stay right behind me,” I said. We slipped to the back side of a huge oak, and when we peered around the side, there he was, sitting on a burl and close. Jackson shot—and the Nerf dart bounced off the tree as the squirrel turned itself inside out getting away. My son’s not old enough to carry a real gun in New York yet. But my real .410 worked fine, and we had a blast that day. The opener is perfect for bringing a kid squirrel hunting because all that foliage means you don’t have to sit and wait—which is boring for a kid. Instead, you have enough cover to go after them. Bring good glass, and give the hunt all the drama of a big-game spot-and-stalk. Most squirrel openers in the East start far enough ahead of bow deer season that you needn’t worry much about the disturbance. Just avoid bedding areas. If you’re worried, use subsonic .22s. Or make it easy for the kid—hand him a shotgun, let him shoot, and the deer be damned. —D.H.