August 18, 2013

Hunting season begins in perfect conditions

John Newcom
Outdoors columnist

---- — August is here and the kids are all back in school. The weather has been great these past few days and it has felt more like the end of September than the middle of August and I am not complaining. I know that the heat will return before summer ends so I guess that we should enjoy this extremely comfortable weather while it lasts.

August brings towards the end of summer, schools start, and hunting season begins with the opening of squirrel season last Thursday. I do not think you can get weather any nicer than it was for opening day.

The mornings are cool, maybe a little brisk, and the days warm to a very comfortable high temperature by afternoon. It is a very good time to try your aim at squirrels. This wonderful weather should help keep bugs to a minimum, especially in the morning, and it should also get the squirrels moving as they start to prepare for the fall season to come.

Squirrel hunting is a great way to start out a young hunter and using a small .22 rimfire is great. Some prefer a shotgun but I like the rimfire best. You could also use the .17 rimfire and be very happy. I might even suggest a good pellet rifle for young and experienced hunters.

The season is open, the only thing that may hinder your hunting is the lack of ammunition. I try to keep an eye out every single time that I go to the store, but when it arrives it does not last long. I hope you have some rimfire ammunition on hand and that you get some practice in before your first squirrel hunting trip.

Squirrel hunting is a great way to get back into the woods and start checking everything out. It is also a great way to improve your shooting skills before deer season arrives. You can start scouting for deer as you hunt squirrel and maybe set up a few trail cameras along the way to get a better idea of what is in your hunting area.

I know that I plan on putting out a trail camera that I received for Christmas and I hope to get some good pictures as well as information on how, when and where the deer are traveling. This will help me when I start placing stands in the woods later this fall.

I hope you get a chance to grab your favorite rimfire and head out into the woods. The idea of taking a seat against a nice big tree while watching and listening for the rustling of a nice big squirrel moving around should get you ready for this season and the seasons to come. Take a little time to practice, get your hunting license, and be safe from start to finish so you can have a great time hunting this fantastic small game animal. Good luck and good hunting in the great outdoors!

John Newcom is an outdoors columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached through the sports department at 574-732-5180 or