Gone Deer Huntin! I Mean Squirrel!

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It was setting up to be a great evening hunt in early October of 1997. This was only my second year of bow hunting so my anticipation was at an all time high each and every time I went out in hopes I would be getting that first kill with my bow. It was in the lower 40's, partly cloudy skies, and no wind. I arrived at my stand about 3pm and it looked like it was shaping up to be a good hunt.

For the first hour I did not see a thing but I pretty much expected that anyways. Around 4:30 I started to hear alot of commotion coming from the left of my stand. I know the bedding area for the deer was about 100 yards away and they should be starting to make their way past my stand. My excitement was building as the noise kept getting louder and closer. Suddenly I seen some movement about 50 yards away. I knew it! Squirrel! This was a big old fox squirrel making his way right down the deer trail towards my stand. He came and went and all was quiet again.

Within 15 minutes I heard movement coming from my right. once again my excitement started to build, hoping and praying it was a deer. Darnit! Same old fox squirrel again. After this went on about 10 times I said to myself if that fox squirrel comes by here again I was going to put an arrow through him. Sure again here he comes. Luckily for me he stopped 10 yards in front of my stand. I launched an arrow at him. He jumped straight up in the air at least 3 feet high. I missed him. Well by this time I got down, retrieved my arrow and got out of there. That squirrel really put it to me. After that hunt I made a vow to myself, one day I will get my squirrel with my bow.

Fast forward to 2009. My son and I were out on an early morning November hunt. It was a cold crisp frosty morning. it was in the heat of the rut and was looking to be a promising day We were in our stands about 45 minutes before shooting light. The woods were rocking with movement which we could hear but could not see. We knew it was deer and expected an exciting morning. Finally, shooting light arrived. The action was hot and heavy right away. Squirrels were everywhere. Fox squirrels, black squirrels, gray squirrels, in the trees, on the ground. It was a squirrel hunter's dream. The only problem is we had our bows and were deer hunting.

The hours were passing by and it became apparent the deer may have been moving but it wasn't in our area this morning. I could see my son from my stand and I suddenly seen him draw his bow. I suspected a deer snuck in on him and he was about to take it out. I looked in the direction he was aiming and I could not see a deer. He shot! He gave me the thumbs up sign meaning it was a good hit. He sent me a text and said he just shot a ground hog. Hearing it was not a deer I decided I would take my 2nd crack at a squirrel. It was a matter of minutes I had a squirrel about 25 yards away broadside. I let an arrow fly and I seen i shot right over top of his back. Probably missing him by less than an inch. Frustrated of my miss I got down and retrieved my arrow. With no sign of any deer for over the first 4 hours we got down, collected his trophy ground hog and came home. Our black lab enjoyed a very nice meal.

A couple days later I would go out by myself. I was looking to take out a doe because I already had my buck. Once again it seemed like it would be a great morning to take out a deer. Although I did see a few deer early on, nothing came in close enough to get a shot at. After sitting in the stand for about 3 hours and being tormented by one particular squirrel, I decided to make my third attempt at a squirrel. It wasn't long and that gray squirrel decided to make his way in front of my stand once again. He was standing 20 yards broadside and I released the arrow. It was a perfect hit. Right behind the shoulder. He dropped on the spot. No tracking. The 2 blade Rage did it's job. The squirrel was near cut in half by the Rage but I finally had my squirrel. I hope you enjoyed my story and the pictures I have included with it.  


Retired2hunt's picture

3rd Times a Charm


My Dad's farm is in Harrison county, Ohio just south on the 250 right by Tappan Lake.  I know exactly what you experienced with the squirrels there.  I can't tell you how many times I had a grey or fox squirrel not on the ground in front of the stand but up in the tree with me within a foot or two of my head running around and bothering me to the point I could not concentrate on the deer hunt on the ground!  Excellent shot with the bow to take that squirrel out - he will bother no deer hunter again!  Excellent story I could really relate to!


ndemiter's picture

I grew up in Ohio as well.

I grew up in Ohio as well. and the squirrels do drive you crazy. after a few years, you learn to tell the difference between a squirrel in the leaves and a deer in the leaves.

i remember when i got my first squirrel with a bow. it was october back in 2001. i was a sophmore in highschool. we were hunting killbuck swamp off of cemetary rd by shreve, ohio. the critter kept working and getting his nuts and carrying them into his nest.

on his 10th or 15th trip i had finally had enough of that arrogant, tree-climbing son of gun and i decided that he had met his match.

as he headed down the trunk of the tree to the ground, a whistled a bit and he stopped. with his body flat out against the tree, i drew my bow.

after i released my arrow, and i saw the squirrel hit squarely in the body, it moved for only a moment before dying. i overlooked a small detail that morning. and it was the height of the animal off the ground. you see, the squirrel was pinned to the tree. and for several years, i would see my arrow there, about 25 feet up that tree. it's a gold tip carbon, if you ever hunt the killbuck swamp. 

ManOfTheFall's picture

Hey, ndemiter, I'm not too

Hey, ndemiter, I'm not too far from that area. I live in Tuscarawas county and have only hunted in Tuscarawas county. Do you ever get back here and hunt anymore? I have been through that area on many occasions.

ndemiter's picture

i'm coming back to hunt

i'm coming back to hunt carroll county for shotgun this year with my uncle. we'll hunt leesville lake. he has a house right on the lake off autumn rd.

i miss my uncle, and that area. if it held more jobs, i'd be living in that house right now!

the lake has awesome hunting and even better fishing.

groovy mike's picture

Man – you can hold a grudge!



That’s some pretty good shooting to connect with your trophy squirrel on the third shot!

Man – you can hold  a grudge!  1997 – 2009 is over a decade to hold a grudge against the squirrels of the world!  I don’t know if I have ever seen a Fox squirrel, we have the big grays like the one you arrowed here and small red squirrels.  Occasionally I’ll see one that I swear is a hybrid of the two also.  We also have the little chipmunks, but no so many the last few years since the red squirrels showed up.  It used to be just gray squirrels and chipmunks until the red squirrels moved in a decade ago.  I suppose they compete for feed and crowd each other out a bit.

I gotta agree with what Jerry said on all counts though.  As I was reading I thought, why on earth would you blow your hunt by climbing down to chase an arrow?  I’d just pick it up when I was done hunting – but maybe you were done hunting anyway.

I don’t think that squirrels move much before daylight either.  So you are probably hearing deer in those predawn hours.

I enjoyed the story but I have to confess that I like to see the squirrels in the woods so long as they aren’t chattering at me.  Most of the time if I sit still, they pay no attention to me and keep me amused by their antics chasing each other and jumping from limb to limb.  I like to watch them and even when I can’t see then, the sound of them scurrying through the leaves give me an adrenaline shot and help me to keep focused on being alert instead of dozing off during those long stretches of time when the woods are still and quiet.

  Groovy Mike

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a great story.  I

That is a great story.  I usually end ups shooting grouse when I am suppose to be hunting elk.

Deer Slayer's picture

Those days I was usually with

Those days I was usually with my dad. The one day when he did shoot that squirrel I was not with him. I like the mount though, it looks pretty cool.

numbnutz's picture

Great story! I really hate

Great story! I really hate squirrels, they always seem to bust me in the wood and alert all the other creatures that a hunter is about and to hide.LOL. I havent taken one with my bow yet but it sounds like fun maybe I'll get out on of these days and give it a try, I'm tired of being couped up and need to get into the woods. Again thanks for sharing your story.

hunter25's picture

Great story and brings back a

Great story and brings back a lot of memories from when I was a kid hunting from tree stands in Michigan and northern Wisconsin. The squirrels would drive me crazy as a 13 year old desperately trying to put a deer with the sounds I could hear. I even had one come down from above me and put his feet on top of my head once. It was tough to sit still for that one.

I never killed one with a bow but used to love hunting them with a .22 or a 20 guage shotgun. We do have some squirrels here in Colorado but not much where I live other than the pine squirrels which are just a small red one.

Amazing how well those Rage broadheads work also.

jaybe's picture

Man, I can sure identify with

Man, I can sure identify with that situation! How many times have I been in my stand and heard noise that sounded for all the world like deer - but turned out to be either a squirrel or a chipmunk! I have also had them run up the very tree that my stand was in after spotting me. They usually go up the back side and get above me, then sit there and chatter, scolding me. I have also had them come up the tree and then come around to look me right in the eye. Good thing I was belted in, because it's always a little bit startling when they come around a foot away from your head!

I did have a couple of thoughts on your story that I will pass on for your consideration. One is that in my experience, at least, those sounds that are heard before it is light are usually not squirrels. Squirrels usually don't start moving around until just after daylight. Deer, on the other hand, will move all night long. So the pre-dawn noises you heard may have actually been deer.

Secondly, just because you have shot an arrow at a squirrel and missed (or hit for that matter) doesn't mean you need to get down to get your arrow or remove the dead squirrel. I noticed that your squirrel was right next to a food block. The deer will still come to that block after the arrow is there. (I'm probably not telling you anything that you don't already know). I have shot at a deer and missed, only to have the deer jump, then turn around and sniff the arrow. I suppose they are used to having branches fall out of trees, and this is probably just another branch to them.

On the other hand, you mentioned that you had been in your stand for a few hours when you took your shots at the squirrels; it could be that you were ready to get down anyway and decided to take a shot at those noisy critters. I do that with a practice arrow before getting down every time I'm in the stand - just for the practice. I usually shoot at a leaf on the ground, but if there happened to be a squirrel there . . . .

Thanks for the story. I did enjoy it and the pictures, too.