Pellet Guns to Deter Squirrels

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Some people consider squirrels to be cute, furry animals. Others consider them pests. If you own a home and enjoy feeding and watching the birds in your backyard, you've probably noticed that squirrels are also taking advantage of the food you put out. On one hand, they need to eat, too. On the other hand, they may be scaring all the birds away and ruining your bird-watching hobby. One method of solving the squirrel problem is shooting them with a pellet gun.

Safety First

  • Before you go to an outdoors store and purchase a pellet gun, think about your yard's layout and consider any consequences to firing a pellet gun there. If you live in the country, with acres of empty fields behind your home, there is no significant deterrent to shooting a gun away from your house. But if you live in an urban area, or even in a rural subdivision, you may have side and rear neighbors. Not only can they tire of the sound of you shooting things in your yard, but a stray or ricocheted pellet could enter their yard, hitting their house, or worse, a person. If this happens, you've got more than a squirrel problem on your hands.

Types of Gun

  • Some pellet guns shoot their projectiles so quickly that you need a firearms license to buy one. Any adult, however, can buy the majority of pellet guns on the market. When shopping for a firearm, decide whether you want a rifle or handgun. There are benefits to both, depending on how you use them. A rifle's range is significantly greater than that of a handgun; it will come in handy if you're aiming at squirrels several yards away. A handgun, however, is compact, allowing you to quickly change your angle and reacquire your target, especially if the target is close.

Accessories

  • After you've bought your gun, you can buy several different accessories. First, you need pellets, which are sold in tins in flat-head, domed or pointed styles. Pointed styles work well against squirrels, but if your gun's velocity is strong, and you're shooting a squirrel from close range, it doesn't matter what style of pellet you use. You can also buy scopes for either rifles or handguns which can improve your aim when shooting. Depending on your rifle, you may be able to buy an extended magazine to allow you to shoot several times before reloading.

Shooting

  • If you have no qualms about shooting a squirrel, and there is no risk of hitting a neighbor, you can shoot from the garage or find a location to sit in your yard. Always shoot away from the house, and wear safety glasses. When you see a squirrel in your feeder or on the ground, acquire it through the scope or by looking down the bead of your gun. Aim for the head or chest, if possible. Hold your breath and gently squeeze the trigger. If you miss the squirrel, the scare might be enough to keep it away for a length of time. If you hit it, dispose of its body in the garbage -- especially if you have children.

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