Tips and Gear for Hunting Pennsylvania Squirrels

Squirrel Hunting in Pennsylvania

By: The Everyday Outdoorsmen 

Pennsylvania’s squirrel season runs through February 28th, giving hunters plenty of time to still get afield and have some fun. Hunters must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange at all times on the head, chest and back combined. The bag limit for squirrels in PA is 6 daily, and 18 in possession.  

Squirrel Hunting Gear:

Hunters must first choose their weapon. There are many possibilities. A 20 or 12-gauge shotgun can be used for more close-range hunting. The advantage is that a hunter can shoot up into trees if needed as well. Any basic small game loads in 5 or 6 shot is a perfect shot shell for squirrel hunting.


Benelli Nova Field Pump-Action Shotgun

A .22 rifle is also another option for hunters who are wanting to shoot squirrels at a farther distance. Armscor USA’s .22 LR high velocity hollow point ammunition has the ability to create a larger wound channel and transfer more energy on target which results in faster incapacitation, when compared to standard hollow-point projectiles.

Armscor Precision .22LR High Velocity

How to Setup For Squirrel Hunting

Consider using a tree stand if hunting with a .22 rifle. Hunters can see down into the brush better from a higher vantage point and will have safer shot angles from an elevated position. The ground is better for shotgun hunting. Ravines can also be good locations to set up in. Oak and walnut trees are prime spots to find squirrels. Find a ravine with an oak or walnut and get on the opposite side sitting eye level with the food source. When entering the woods to hunt squirrels, be sure to sit at least thirty minutes to an hour before moving again to a new spot. And remember safety first, hunters must wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange at all times on the head, chest and back combined. It will often take that much time for squirrels to settle down from seeing a hunter and for them to start moving again. A best-case scenario is for a hunter to set up thirty minutes before daylight, on a calm and clear morning. This is when squirrels will be most active. When walking through the woods, hunters should be quiet and stealthy. Squirrels will see humans as predators.

Ruger American Rifle

Browning Safety Vest Blaze Orange

Best Locations/Where to Hunt for Squirrels

First thing in the morning, hunters should be sure to keep their eyes up in the trees. Squirrels will be roaming the tree tops looking for food source. Once food source has been located, squirrels will continue to eat on the ground and even bury food for later consumption. About an hour after daybreak, hunters should start focusing more on the ground level. It is important for hunters to also use their ears, in addition to their eyes. Squirrels can often be heard chewing on an acorn or walnut. Communication with other squirrels and running through the leaves are also sounds that can give away their location. An overlooked tactic for squirrel hunting is to use binoculars. Many hunters leave these at home thinking there is no need for them. Often time’s squirrels can be hard to spot when they sit still in a tree.  


Cool, crisp mornings with sunshine and minimal wind are ideal for squirrel hunting. If it is a windy day, squirrels are more likely to be lower.  

Squirrel hunting in PA can provide hunters with some great fun. There is no need to travel far distances for squirrel hunting as there are opportunities everywhere in the state. Hunters can grab their weapon of choice and be hunting squirrels in a matter of minutes. The long season gives a chance to enjoy hunting throughout most of the winter. Don’t miss out on this great hunting opportunity that PA has to offer!

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