Go Out And Hunt This Winter!
It is safe to say that Winter is upon us, and with Jack Frost making more than a couple of appearances in the last few days. Now I don’t know about you but this tends to leave me wanting to hibernate indoors. It is worth bearing in mind however, that as the temperatures plunge, the pest control opportunities increase, and actually some of the most profitable operations are when the weather is less pleasant.
Winter shooting should not be neglected, letting your pest control round slip because of some less clement weather is not only bad news in terms of who you are shooting for, but also the missed opportunities.
It is difficult for grey squirrels to stay hidden and if you can seek out their favourite winter haunt you are likely to achieve big numbers in a short amount of time. They are likely to have munched through their reserves, and when the ground is a little bit hard it is much harder for them to root food out. Search for those pheasant feeders, I guarantee if you set up in the right spot at the right time Winter shooting can be so rewarding you actually wont mind swapping the warm indoors for the cold outdoors.
Timing is key here – the most activity from the squirrels will be between dusk and dawn, and if you sit it out through nightfall another opening might just be that you spot a few rats.
If you find one, you are likely to find many. Patience, planning and timing is crucial, and most importantly your comfort will likely influence your results. My advice is to don an extra pair of socks, layer up -it is easy to remove a layer if you do get too warm and layers will keep the warmth in. A fleece snood is a great option for not only keeping your neck warm but it can also help you hide, along with a fleece peaked cap you really will be less obvious to your target. My favourite item for Winter shooting is obviously my Air Arms S400 but that goes without saying! My second favourite is deftly a pair of fold back finger gloves – this allows me to keep warm in between shooting but gives me ultimate precision when pulling the trigger.
Find the right spot, keep still, keep warm and watch those squirrels come running!