Squirrel!

Squirrel can be some of the most fun and dynamic flights in falconry, especially with a red tailed hawk. Likened to chess matches, they are intense hunts that range up, down, and around trees. Squirrels will often seek refuge in spanish moss, or in holes in the trees and attempt to evade hawks. Falconers can help their birds out by keeping squirrels on the move and visible to their hawk.

Squirrel flights are certainly fun to watch, but how will you ever see these cool flights if you don’t know where to look to put your bird on squirrels?

Photo – Tyr an intermewed red tail with a hard earned squirrel.

Where to Look?

One of the best places to look for squirrels is in oak hammocks. Look for short oak trees growing closely together in a stand. The ground may be clear, or have a few short scrubs, including palmettos. If you can find an oak hammock near pines as well, or a mixture of both pine and oak, those are good for squirrel early in the season as they love to eat immature pine cones before they have opened.

Vines, a Squirrel Hawkers Friend

This is an example of where you should be looking for squirrels. Oak hammocks with grape vine are a great place to start. Vines are also extremely useful for flushing squirrels so that the hawk can see them. You should never go squirrel hawking without being prepared to pull on any vines you see. Just be sure to check for dead branches that may fall down first, as you definitely don’t want to find them after they fall down and hit you.