Hunting squirrels with primitive bow and arrows you’ve made yourself is an almost impossible task. That’s what makes it so incredibly rewarding.
If I had to pick one activity that has made me a better all around bowhunter and marksman, I’d say without hesitation that it is archery squirrel hunting.
Primitive archer and survival skills expert Billy Berger demonstrates what a wickedly tough challenge it is to score on squirrels with primitive archery equipment. There are a LOT of misses here before he finally connects. But that final successful hit is pure joy.
An old saying asserts that good squirrel hunters are likely to also be good deer hunters. There’s merit to that claim. It’s probably even more true that a good primitive archery squirrel hunter is likely to be an even better all around bowhunter, no matter what other game you may be after.
If you’re into primitive archery, you’re into it because it’s harder than modern, technologically superior archery. And if you make all of your gear yourself, well, that demands a whole other level of commitment to excellence.
I love how Berger prepares for his squirrel hunt by fashioning some arrows on the spot, from start to finish. He straightens reed shafts over fire, attaches fletching with sinew, knaps and secures stone arrowheads. Right there, right where he’ll be hunting.
This is self-sufficiency at its finest and most immediate, and will test your skills in all aspects of the hunt.
Lost arrows – arrows that you spent a lot of time and energy crafting – are a painful part of the game. You can bet that your shot decisions and focus will be like a laser before you loose that bowstring. ‘Aim small, miss small’ never had more relevance than when your target is small, forever moving and always on high alert.
All of those misses clearly elevated the squirrel he finally bags as a trophy no less glorious or satisfying than a fine whitetail buck.