Skip to main content

Small Game Hunting 101

Small game hunting is a great way to stay sharp.

Varmints, critters, road kill, pests, and any of the other nicknames that small game has been given over the years does not decrease the enjoyment in actually hunting squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, and other smaller mammals.

Not only do many states not have hunting seasons for small game, especially if they are the type to do harm to crops, but the skill required to shoot any of these animals from any sort of distance is remarkable.

RELATED: “What Caliber Should I Hunt With?” – A Guide

While there is not usually much meat on the smaller small game animals, hunting them can provide valuable experience to younger or newer hunters. Proper gun handling techniques can be easily instilled while walking a forest for squirrel; rabbits not only allow the shooter an incredibly nimble target, but their prevalence makes practicing easy.

Field dressing, proper game handling techniques, and many other skills required to hunt big game can be taught on a smaller scale at any time of the year while keeping costs low as well. When a hunter does not have to take time off from work, plan a weekend or week long trip, and risk coming home empty handed, hunting can be that much more enjoyable and much less expensive.

Not only does bagging small game work to keep skills sharp, but it aids in keeping pesky populations of rodents and other varmints down. It doesn’t take a biologist to understand how destructive some species can be to anything from a farmer’s fields to a flower garden.

Small game hunting also requires less expensive firearms and ammunition since the animals are, obviously, smaller. Since most small game does not require special gear or seasons (in many states), it is easy to invest money in a smaller caliber rifle, handgun, or gauge shotgun.

There are also a few specific calls that can help any hunter bring in small game. Not only do the calls make this type of hunt that much more exciting, but they also enable each hunter to learn more about the animals they are pursuing.

RELATED: 4 Coyote Calls You Need to Know

While small game might not always be trophy worthy, it does afford any hunter the chance to get out in between seasons and continue to hone their skills while enjoying the outdoors and still getting the thrill of shooting game, even if it is a couple squirrels that keep stealing bird food from the hunter’s feeders.

What’s your favorite varmint to hunt?

you might also like

Small Game Hunting 101