What is the Best Shotgun Pellet Size For a Squirrel Or Rabbit?
The best shotgun pellet size for a squirrel or rabbit depends on how high you want to shoot the animal. A smaller shot is fine for ground squirrels and higher treetop squirrels, but the larger shot works best for high-elevation shots. For these kinds of animals, many hunters prefer to use a large lead shot, or No. 4 shot, which produces more holes over long distance patterns. While rabbits and squirrels don’t require magnum loads, heavier game loads are ideal for tree-top shots. A full or improved cylinder choke is also ideal for both types of animals.
Lead shot travels faster, farther and penetrates better than steel shot
Although many shooters swear by lead, others claim that steel shot is more accurate. The most common argument for lead is its superior penetration and longer range. Both lead and steel shot are effective for a variety of applications, including squirrel and rabbit hunting. There is no doubt, however, that lead has its advantages, so make sure you choose the proper ammunition for your hunt. Here are some other pros and cons of each:
Lead has more uniform patterning and lasts longer than steel, but steel costs slightly more, though the price gap is narrowing rapidly. Lead pellets also travel faster, farther, and with greater penetration, while steel pellets are less uniform in their trajectory. Despite the increased cost of steel, lead shot is better for squirrel and rabbit hunting due to its higher penetration, softer pellets, and less weight.
One argument for using a heavier shotgun pellet size for squirrel and rabbit hunting is that number four pellets have sufficient energy to anchor the rodent. However, this approach does have a disadvantage: the pellets may cause more meat damage because they carry less energy. These arguments, however, are pretty thin. Regardless of the reason, a heavier pellet size for squirrel and rabbit hunting should be sufficient for a full choke and an acceptable range.
There are many styles and calibers of airgun pellets on the market. Selecting the right one for your needs can be overwhelming, but the more accurate you are, the better. This is especially true if you’re hunting a squirrel in dense cover with a small area. In these cases, accuracy will be a top priority. Remember that a small percentage of your shots may not be re-captured.
Most people who hunt a squirrel or rabbit use a hollow-point shotgun pellet size of #6 or larger. This type of shot is non-toxic, but the pellet size should be bigger than the standard pellet size for squirrels and rabbits. The biggest drawback of this type of shotgun pellet size is the meat you’ll end up robbing of its vital areas. A big fox squirrel’s hide is tough, so even with a large pellet, only a few will make it to vital areas.
To kill a squirrel or rabbit with a shotgun pellet size, aim at the heart. The center of mass of a small bird is the best placement, but for a crow or fat pigeon, try aiming for the wing butt instead. While tree squirrels and cottontails are easy to kill with a heart-lung shot, you should aim for their chest and abdomen. Ground squirrels and rabbits have dense cover and tend to dive down burrows to get to food.
What is the best shotgun pellet size for squirrel and rabbit hunting?
The size of the shotgun pellet should be no larger than number six.
What is the best type of shotgun pellet to use for squirrel and rabbit hunting?
The best type of shotgun pellet to use would be a lead shot.
What are the benefits to using a lead shot for squirrel and rabbit hunting?
Lead shot is less likely to cause as much damage to the meat of the game which makes it ideal for hunting these small animals.
How many pellets should be in a shotgun shell for squirrel and rabbit hunting?
The number of pellets in a shotgun shell should be no more than six.
What is the best way to pattern a shotgun for squirrel and rabbit hunting?
When patterning a shotgun for these small animals it is best to use a smaller shot size and keep the patterns tight.
What is the best choke to use for squirrel and rabbit hunting?
When hunting squirrels and rabbits it is best to use a modified choke.
What is the best distance to shoot a squirrel or rabbit?
The ideal distance to shoot a squirrel or rabbit is between 20 and 30 yards.
What is the best position to shoot a squirrel or rabbit?
The best position to shoot a squirrel or rabbit is from a seated position.
What is the best way to support a shotgun when shooting squirrels or rabbits?
The best way to support a shotgun when shooting these animals is to use a rest.
What is the best way to find squirrels and rabbits when hunting?
The best way to find these animals when hunting is to look for areas where they are likely to be found such as thick brush or near trees.
What is the best time of day to hunt squirrels and rabbits?
The best time of day to hunt these animals is in the early morning or late evening.
What is the best way to approach a area where squirrels or rabbits are likely to be found?
When approaching an area where these animals are likely to be found it is best to be as quiet as possible.
What is the best way to camouflage oneself when hunting squirrels or rabbits?
When hunting these animals it is best to wear camouflage that matches the colors of the area.
What is the best way to attract squirrels and rabbits when hunting?
One way to attract these animals when hunting is to use decoys.
What is the best way to dispatch a squirrel or rabbit when hunting?
The best way to dispatch a squirrel or rabbit when hunting is to shoot it in the head.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.