Where is the best place to aim when shooting a squirrel with a pellet gun? head or vitals?

i have a remington summit air rifle

sort by: active | newest | oldest
ZeroWing8 years ago
Depends on your reason. If you plan to eat it for some reason, the head. if you're just eliminating a pest, hit whatever presents a better target.
seandogue8 years ago
Before answering, I;d like to ask why you're shooting squirrels. Might seem an odd question but nonetheless...

Squirrels taste good and are also a classed as a pest in most places. So blasting them is a two for one deal.

I get that "squirrel tastes good" and that's fine, if indeed you need to put them on thee table for dinner. What I suggested is that some people shoot them because they feel they are a "pest" when in fact, the people who shoot them for that reason are more often the real pests.

BTW, they are not classed as pests officially "in most places" that's utter nonsense.

Something tells me that people like you have never had squirrels chewing through power lines, running through the walls of your house, (never happened to me personally but I known a few people who that's happened to) or deciding that your brand new garage is their personal jungle gym. Squirrels have also been known to be carriers of plague fleas. If you shave the tail of a squirrel, you know what you get? A rat that likes to live in trees.

My neighborhood has tons of squirrels. In fact, about two dozen of them live in the towering trees above my home and those of my immediate neighbors, and they routinely use both of those two huge trees and the smaller ones in my yard as their jungle gym, along with anything else they can run across or jump on. They are not pests, nor are they plague carriers, although eventually, they do cause damage to the electrical lines, which have to be serviced every several decades. (the lines behind my house are working just fine and have not been changed out in over 40 years.

If you clumsy, self-centered yuppies would stop making your neighborhoods into barren wastelands for wildlife, they would not be pushed into the behaviors you are claiming to experience, erm, that is, that you claim your sister's friend's brother's aunt's butcher's illegal alien worker experienced anyway.

Oh, and btw, I would strongly recommend you stop eating your "plague infested" squirrels. That's a good way to make yourself sick.

>>>>>>> BTW, they are not classed as pests officially "in most places" that's utter nonsense. <<<<<<<

So your sister's friend's brother's neighbor said the gypsies steal children, aye? Lol. How typical. I'll bet you call yourself a liberal too.

I live on 58 acres of land. That discounts "self centered yuppie." So stop making assumptions, and you might start saving time typing.

P.S. You've been living in the same house for 40 years!?! Maybe you should move out of your parents basement and stop spending all your time watching the squirrels frolic and get a life.

Nice try. I own my home, chum. And I've lived in the neighborhood for over fifty years, about 55 in fact.

Wow, on top of displaying a hallmark of a sociopathic personality, you also resort to tired schoolyard bully games.

>>>>>>> BTW, they are not classed as pests officially "in most places" that's utter nonsense. <<<<<<<

You are the most idiotic person I have ever heard. Over-offended selfish brat much?

Cool. That has a lot to do with squirrels. I notice that you didn't have anything to say about your false assumptions. Schoolyard bully games? I'm not the one name calling. Yet.

Ignorant city slicker.

tetra28 tetra283 years ago

Well that's the end of that. Typical.

conner_henry (author)  seandogue8 years ago
for the pelt and the meat
As Zerowing said, yes the head...sorry for asking, just that some folks kill for fun...yours is (imo) an honorable use.
Definitely avoid body shots! Squirrels are one tough nut (no pun intended)...
I shoot quite a few at 30-40 feet using standard sights using a Crossman Optimus break-barrel. It comes with a scope (which is junk) but the gun is wicked powerful and deadly accurate once you break it in and sight it properly. I find the optical sights are very good and allow you to adjust for windage and distance.

I'll be honest, have wounded more than my share with the easy body shot. And it upsets me to see them running wounded. As much as I want it dead, I don't want any to suffer unduly.

That said; I've found the "sweet spot" to be just below the ear. Squirrels are pretty intelligent, but have a very small brain and it's set to the rear of the skull. About 2/3 of the skull is bone and oral cavity. The brain is about the size of a marble, maybe a little larger on a Fox squirrel. If you make the mistake of knocking one down with anything but an instant kill good luck finding them. They are amazingly resilient. And masters of camouflage even when seriously wounded. Sometimes it seems they have trap doors and underground passageways where they can vanish from one place and pop up on the other side of the property.

When wounded, their flight response is supercharged and the first thing they'll do is dive under the nearest cover. Once out of sight, they can quickly circuit around and potentially end up anywhere. If they can climb, they will. If you've hunted squirrels for any time at all, you know how they have mastered the "sneak" or "hide & seek". They flatten themselves against a tree branch or trunk and keep a close eye on you-but you won't see them. As you go 'round the tree, they quietly shift position so the tree is always blocking your view. Trust me on that.

Even if you are certain they're up there, you will spend the rest of your afternoon waiting for them to move. They're EXTREMELY patient. (even when bleeding heavily)
If you get lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the tail or hear their claws on the bark which will tell you WHERE they are, but still prevent you from getting a second shot.

If that happens, pick up a big stick or rock and toss it so it makes a ruckus on the side of the tree opposite to you. That usually flushes them enough to catch them off guard, but be ready to fire, because once they know they've been duped, they'll try something else.

Long story short; MAKE THAT FIRST SHOT COUNT and aim for the rear of the skull. Even if you don't hit the brain, you'll likely sever the jugular or break the spine.
The option would be through the shoulder blades. That's THROUGH THEM so it cuts across the chest. That will make sure it's front legs are out of commission and will likely take out the lungs, heart and more. Especially since there will be shattered bone.

Avoid oblique or shots from the rear. I shot one from behind and completely paralyzed his rear body, but he still managed to escape and I found him (by blood trail) over 100' away pulling himself with his front legs.

Again, they are VERY resilient, and I've made what (from the outside) appear to be perfectly placed shots only to have them run me around for 30 minutes while they go on doing aerobatics in the upper branches.
I live in a suburban area, and can; t afford to have a wounded squirrel drag his bullet ridden body into the yard of squirrel-lovin', PETA-supportin' neighbors to expire on their patio. Not to mention, I honestly don't want them to suffer unnecessarily, as any true sportsman wouldn't.

This is not a pass-time for me-I only cull them from my property because we have an infestation and they raid bird feeders and nests of songbirds which have all but disappeared here.

ABOVE ALL, NEVER TAKE ANY SHOT WHERE YOU ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN OF YOUR TARGET, AND CLEAR LINE OF FIRE BEHIND THE ANIMAL. This is reckless and potentially life-threatening to neighbors, their children and pets or damaging to property.

I ALWAYS make every effort to take shots at downward or steep upward angles and avaid horizontal shots at all costs. Even if it means not taking the shot.
t33tz16 years ago
when i hunt my shots tend to hit the squirrels hind leg areas only having the squirrel to use its front legs for an easy second shot because the squirrel can not climb but i dont do this on purpose. i also use .177 bbs over pellets and use a powerline 35. bbs are actually more accurate and penetrate squirrels through and through suprisingly
I also shoot the hind legs on accident i guess its just cuz their big
Head would be best answer is your hunting for the pelt and meat. If it were extermination you would want to shoot it in the vitals as you'll have a almost assured kill if you shoot there. Any sniper doesn't aim for the head as it can graze the skull leaving the squirrels relatively unharmed and is a harder shot to perform because its a smaller target. So a head shot is your best bet for a good kill for pelt and meat
brentbull7 years ago
Make sure yuo are following the hunting regulations for your state and local area. Here in California you can only hunt certain squirrels and you must have a hunting license. Then... shoot the oversized rat in the head and use pellets, not BBs, they tend to fly straighter and hit harder.
Hard Tymes8 years ago
I know your going to scream when I say this.........
But the best place to shoot a squirrel?
{the ol'Jack Benny pause}.......is right in the nuts!
Have a nice Chase day!

Hard Tymes  ~~ 
{Trash & Treasure}