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I currently hunt squirrel with a 20 gauge, but I want to switch to my .22 because it is quieter, and i can shoot for the head so as to ruin less meat and fur.

My question is: Can you safely take squirrel in trees with a .22?
I'm worried about the arc of the bullet should it continue on, and not knowing where it will land. Is this a concern? Will it carry enough velocity to be dangerous when it hits the ground? Or, at what angle will the velocity be diminished enough to no longer be dangerous?
 

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I have used a .22 rifle to hunt squirrel for a long time, and used to wonder the same thing. I was a long way into the woods, but still worried. I recently watched the John Stossel piece on 20/20 about myths. Of particular interest was the old one that said if you dropped a penny off of the Empire State building, it could kill a pedestrian. This is untrue, and since a .22 weighs about the same, I quit worrying. With the trajectory shooting upward into the trees, I'd say it shouldn't be any different.

You're right about the mess, too. A head and a tail aren't much use. A shotgun can pretty much ruin anything in between.
 

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Just remember not to HP ammo on squirrels. They will ruin just as much meat as a shotgun if you get a center mass hit. Head shots on tree rats are gonna be tough. I'm not saying you can't do it, just that most will have a hard time with it. As far as the bullet falling from the sky myth goes it's just that......myth. The Discovery Channel show "Myth Busters" did a test on this one, and proved that the bullet lacks enough velocity when falling to be of any danger.

A .50 round dropping on your head might hurt........but if your hunting squirrle with a fifty you may need some couch time with a shrink ;) .
 

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As mentioned above, yes, you can and no, you don't have to worry if your trajectory is high. I would have some concern if you shoot on low limbs about ricochets, just use common sense and make sure of your background.

I used to use a Ruger Single-Six with iron sights to harvest squirrel in East TX, using standard velocity .22 long rifle cartridges. Stay away from the hyper velocity and HP stuff, too messy-ruins meat.

Love to eat squirrel and dumplings!:D yumm yummmm!:)
 

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I say check your local laws first. I know in LA we can't legally hunt them with .22 LR here. Even though Myth Busters may say it's a myth, LA dept. of wildlife and fisheries would still issue a citation for hunting them with a .22 LR. If your state allows it, go for it and aim for the head.
 

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.22Lr for squirrels

I have used the .22Lr for squirrels all my hunting life in both rifle and contender/ruger mk2. I especially like using subsonic match ammo because the report is 1/4 as loud as hv ammo due to lack of supersonic crack. My best all time year with handgun(contender)was 117 squirrels(both gray and fox). Just please don't ask me how many misses I had:) . With a finely accurate .22 the max range is level of shooter skill. I have shot squirrels with .22Lr at 100 yards before and at 150 yards with .22mag. The nice thing about using a .22mag with solid bullets(fmj) is it leaves exact same wound channel as .22Lr hv.
 
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