WOODS ANDS WATERS: Go ‘bark’ at those squirrels

By Ed Gilbert • Last Updated 12:02 pm on Monday, October 17, 2011

Yes, we’ve all of us barked up the wrong tree at one time or another. You know, perhaps wrongly accused someone, said something later regretted, or made a little mistake here or there.
Well now, I say that if you really want to bark at something, go squirrel hunting.

Some folks don’t realize it, but squirrels do actually bark, although it’s more of a put-put-put sound. They normally do so when they hear of see what is believed to be danger, and they do it to warn their other rodent friends or family of approaching danger. That, of course, could be you, the hunter.

However, should we hunters do a little barking of our own, a squirrel or several of them may even answer us.

Now, most squirrel hunters know that it is unwise to go tromping through the woods making a lot of commotion. No, one walks carefully and slowly along, pauses often to look and listen, and even takes a seat on a log or stump to wait.

Either way works, but I’ve found that a little barking of my own often helps bring the critters out. And it’s really an easy thing to do – just put your lips together and make a put-put-put sound. Then simply wait for a squirrel to answer or pass the word along. Yes, they are curious little critters and will often come looking to see what’s up.

There’s another method of barking at squirrels, and it actually is an aiming technique. When hiding along a tree trunk or a limb, a squirrel will try to lie flat and still, believing it is hidden from your view. However, if you can see a little of it, a carefully placed shot on the tree bark under or alongside the squirrel will likely bring it down. Try it, it does work.

Then again, if you hunt with a dog, things get different. But once a dog trees a squirrel, if you stay on one side of the tree and let the dog work around it, a squirrel will often work its way around to where you can get a shot.

But you know, with all this put-putting and limb barking, I still much prefer to simply go into squirrel country and park myself on a stump or log with a good book and wait for the rodents to show up.

Sure, other small game hunting is on right now as well, but sometimes simply try pulling up a stump and sitting down while doing a little put-putting. You could be rewarded with some excellent table fare.

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