Safe to shoot squirrels in trees with .22LR?

Discussion in '.22-Rimfire Forum' started by jjfawks, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. jjfawks

    jjfawks New Member

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    I have a .22 LR and am thinking about giving squirrel hunting a try. I've seen pictures of people shooting them in trees. But isn't there a lot of danger in that seeing as the bullet can travel over a mile and if you miss it might come down and hit someone? Any thoughts would be helpful.
  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR New Member

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    don's miss.:p

    Only kidding. If your tree hunting and you do miss anything within the tree will stop that bullet. They do travel over a mile uninterrupted but after about 200 yds the ballistic force is greatly reduced. In tree hunting there is a lot that will stop, slowdown or redirect that bullet. Just while hunting always know what is beyond what you shooting at. Keeping that in mind you'll be safe.
  3. blackcat_attilio

    blackcat_attilio Member

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    Hi jjfawks, ya that's dangerous enough - be careful! A .22 cal. is a small caliber anyway never you can know before where the bullet stops its fly ...but squirrels? ...nothing to eat! Wild-pigs are better, for my thoot !:p
  4. oldogy

    oldogy New Member

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    Any time the gun is fired there is a danger. You are responsible for where the bullet goes. If it misses the target or even when it goes through the squirrel will it hit the tree, ricochet and hit something else, or compete the trajectory and come harmlessly to a stop. Always try to consider where the projectile could go and what damage it could cause.
    Be safe,
    oldogy
  5. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    My youngest daughter would rather eat fried squirrel than anything else on God's good earth !!!!!

    One time I shot one on the rail of a patio outside the living room on the second floor of a split level and it fell into some moderate underbrush. When we were unable to find it she didn't speak to me for a week. She was in kindergarten or first grade at the time. At thirty-five, she still feels the same way about her favorite meal.....
  6. blackcat_attilio

    blackcat_attilio Member

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    Hi Marlin! Geeeeeez! Maybe because never I eaten it... :eek:
  7. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth Former Guest

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    Well,40 grains coming down at about 150fps(terminal velocity) could injure someone if it actually hit someone.In my own experience,a .22 pellet gun actually does a better job on squirrels than a .22LR.What kind of .22 LR is it?Maybe try CB cap ammo or something.The aquilla .22 CB caps are great-it's only 20 grains at 500fps,wouldn't travel more than a 1/4 mile and if it came down it's only 20 grains@150fps-not likely to cause an injury,or the CCI CB longs,they are 29 grains@700fps-but alot of people won't want to use CBs in a rifle because it could squib the barrel,and also won't cycle a semi auto.The best case scenerio for a squirrel hunt would be a little .410 or something.I would personally go with CB cap ammo or a .22 pellet gun seeing as either way they won't go more than 1/4 mile.
  8. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    Tastes like chicken.:)
  9. carver

    carver Moderator

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    If you want to put that squirrel in the pot, then start thinking along the lines of a shotgun. Any gauge will do. If you just want a challenge, then go ahead with the .22LR. Bullets fired straight up won't have enough energy to cause any real harm, but then again, you just can't hardly shoot them straight up! There will be a path that will be an arch, and the bullet will retain enough velocity at distance to cause harm, or death. Be sure that you shoot in a safe direction to prevent this. I hunted squirrel for years with a .22 shooting shorts. LR ammo tends to shoot through, and not deliver all of it potential energy. Shorts on the other hand seldom shoot through, and do deliver all potential energy into the Squirrel.
  10. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    Way to go, Marlin! I'm with you and your daughter on this - I love squirrel and dumplings. JJFAWKS - just be aware of what is down range when you shoot. If there are houses or people that way, don't shoot. TERRY P - Yup, it DOES taste like chicken!!! Have fun and be safe - Jim
  11. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth Former Guest

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    I have shot many squirrels with .22LRs,but a .22LR doesn't even come close to my .22 pellet gun using 14 grain wadcutters@1050fps-those pellets drop them dead instantly-as where I have had at least 50% of the squirrels I shot with a LR still alive when I find them.The pellet gun only delivers about 1/4 of the .22LRs energy-but it delivers 100% of it's energy as where the LR passes through and may deposit less than 1/4 of it's energy.
  12. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

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    The four rules of Firearm Safety. Anytime I take someone shooting, I have them memorize these...

    1. Every firearm is always loaded.
    2. Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.


    I would not do it. As others have said, that bullet is yours no matter where it goes.
  13. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Jjfawks. the simple truth is that over the years millions of squirrels have been shot from trees with .22 rifles. Probably tens of millions. I've accounted for a few of them myself.

    Keep in mind where the bullet will go if you miss. If you stay aware of your suroundings you should be OK. Thumbs up for a good post and for your concerns about safety.
  14. carver

    carver Moderator

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    I think we are on the same page. I killed some squirrels with a buddies Benjamin pump when I was a youngster, and it worked well. Don't own a pellet gun, but the .22's in short, and CB are in the same class as far as bullet speed is concerned, and the knock down power is a little higher. Nothing wrong with a good pellet gun for Squirrel hunting!
  15. mr.t7024

    mr.t7024 Member

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    Helix FR said it, :D
  16. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    I have hunting Tree Rats since I was Knee High high a Short Duck and we have never had any accidents. However the formula for n accident is there if you dont pay attention. What I mean is obviousely if you live in a fairly populated area then its not a good Idea to be shooting into the air not so much for the Human factor but for the human belongings factor. Cars Trucks thing of that nature. Any responsible shooter or hunter knows better than go out and do some shooting in a populated area. Back in Ohio where my ole stomping grounds was I hunted along a creek that ran through a large wooded area of mabbe 600+ acres surronded by aggriculture fields(corn and beans). The risk for an acident was slight. Round Here I catch their little Butts on the ground. POP!!!!! Lunch! that simple
  17. cakes

    cakes New Member

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    It makes a big difference if you are in a forest with a canopy, or shooting at a squirrel in a lone tree on an open field. .22lr bullets are made of soft lead. When fired into a forest canopy, the first twig(or tree rat) that the bullet hits will deform it, reducing the risks of it injuring someone.

    That being said, I was raised hunting squirrels and taught to shoot at them when they are on the tree trunk so the bullet will stop in the tree if I miss.
  18. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    For safety sake I say cut the tree down first. :rolleyes: Once the squirrel is on the ground then you can shoot safety into the ground.:D:D:D:D

    I would just use a scatter gun.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2010
  19. Big ugly

    Big ugly New Member

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    The land would be barren of all wood around my house
  20. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    you never said if you are using a semi auto or a bolt action, i use only cb shorts for tree rats.these only go about 450 fps and will knock a squirrel right out of the tree.if i am ground hunting them i use long rifle ammo. dirt pretty much stops anything unless its really hard. old semperfi
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