The Best Shooting Position for Picking Off Treed Squirrels

An old-school shooting style will help you limit out on summer squirrels

From June through September, squirrels do their feeding high in trees for buds, berries, and early mast. If simply getting a limit is your goal, blast the critters from the canopy with a shotgun. But you’re missing out on a lot of fun if you’re not sneaking in tight to head-shoot them with a .22. A rimfire saves you from picking lead No. 6s out of your squirrel tenders too.

Much of the challenge in this game is in finding a good field rest for your rifle that also allows a clear view of the squirrel through the leaves. Taking a post off a tree is best, but saplings don’t always grow where you need them. Shooting sticks work, but few squirrel hunters bother carrying them.

This shooting position, something of a reverse-prone arrangement, will work just about any time you need to shoot upward, and it requires nothing more than all four appendages arranged correctly. The diagram below details the sequence for right-handed shooters, but it’s okay for southpaws to enjoy squirrel hunting too. Just reverse things.

illustration of hunter aiming a rifle while lying on his back
Use this position when you don't have a rest handy.Clint Ford
  1. Lie down, roll slightly onto your right side, and bend your right leg in. Rest your right foot flat and firmly on the ground.

  2. Lift your left leg, cross it over your right, and rest the ankle of that foot against the top of your thigh. Move it to wherever it's most comfortable.

  3. Shoulder your rifle, but maintain as much contact with the ground as possible on your right side, from the shoulder out to your elbow. Your right arm should be perpendicular to your chest.

  4. Press your left elbow into the bend of your left leg, just below your knee, and rest your forearm against your left shin. Solidify the position by tightening your left hand across the rifle's fore-end, just under the barrel. Center the crosshair on the squirrel's head, squeeze the trigger, and hope that no one is around to watch you untangle yourself from this predicament.