Chipmunks are the ground living cousin of the squirrel. You may want to hunt them for food, or they may be driving you mad by digging up your garden. Whatever your reason, you’ve got some questions, and we’ve got some answers.
Can chipmunks be hunted?
Yes, in most states, chipmunks can be hunted or trapped. However, in some states, chipmunks are a protected species and are illegal to hunt. It’s essential to check the current regulations for your state.
Is there a season for chipmunks?
In some states like Indiana, it’s possible to hunt chipmunks all year round, while in other states like Florida, chipmunks are protected and have no open season.
Check with your local agency to be certain of the seasons.
Where do you shoot a chipmunk?
Chipmunk hunting is somewhat similar to squirrel hunting. The round you use will determine the best shot placement.
A headshot will provide the quickest kill and is the best shot to make to keep from causing meat damage.
With a shotgun, it’s a little harder to take a headshot, and there is the risk of damaging meat and the pelt.
Most body shots on a chipmunk will kill but for the cleanest, fastest kill with minimum damage, it’s always best to take a head shot if possible.
What to hunt chipmunks with?
.22lr– A .22 is the perfect round for a chipmunk. It’s has a longer range than the other options, presents the ability to take clean headshots, and leaves minimal damage to the meat.
Pellet gun- Pellet guns are another good option for hunting chipmunks. You will have to get a bit closer than you would with a .22, however, the pellet gun will do even less damage than the .22.
Shotgun- Shotguns are put to use across the country every year for hunting squirrels, so it’s not a big leap to using them on chipmunks.
The biggest problem with using a shotgun on such a small animal is the risk of damaging the meat. However, many hunters prefer shotguns for squirrels and don’t complain of any meat damage.
Arrow- This is my personal favorite for hunting chipmunks. This method only works if you have a lot of patience and don’t mind going home empty-handed. A SGH(small game head) is the best option for not damaging the meat.
One surefire way of hunting chipmunks is over bait. These critters are opportunists at heart and can’t turn down a free, easy access meal. There are a variety of things that will draw in every chipmunk in the area.
A few of my favorite baits are:
- Peanut butter
- Pumpkin seed
Where to find chipmunks
Other methods of hunting chipmunks are over natural food sources. You can find chipmunks feeding around tulip trees, persimmon trees, and oak trees. Some hunters have also found success hunting chipmunks around apple trees.
Chipmunks are small and are hard to spot. Some areas they like to hide out in are rocky outcrops, old logs, fallen trees, and holes in trees.
If you’re having trouble spotting them, stop and listen for a moment. Chipmunks can be quite loud and will give up their location. They make a high-pitched noise similar to a bird chirp.
However, if you are spot and stalking chipmunks and alert them to your presence, they will make an alert noise that is a deep clucking sound. This sound is to warn other chipmunks that there is danger.
When to hunt Chipmunks
Like squirrels, chipmunks are most active at two times of the day.
Just at dawn, chipmunks will start waking up and venturing out looking for food. They will usually stay pretty active until late in the morning. At around 10 am, they will quiet down again, but there will still be a few around.
Shortly before dusk, activity will pick up again. I like to go out about an hour before dusk. I find that the evening activity doesn’t last as long as the morning activity, but they are just as active, if not more.
Dusk or dawn will offer you the best chance of bagging some chipmunks.
Can you eat chipmunks?
Yes, you can eat chipmunks, and they can be quite a tasty meal. Cooking chipmunks are not too dissimilar to cooking squirrel. Plan to use 1.5 chipmunks to one squirrel, and then you can use any red or gray squirrel recipe.
Some people like to soak chipmunks in milk or buttermilk overnight. This tenderizes the meat and makes the flavor milder.
Chipmunks are great for various dishes, such as frying, battering, stews, soups, and casseroles.
The nutritional value of a chipmunk is very similar to a red squirrel.
Most people will hunt chipmunks because they find them a nuisance around the house. However, hunting chipmunks is not so different from hunting squirrels other than aiming downwards more than upwards.
Chipmunks can be a nutritious and delicious meal. So, if your state allows it, it’s worth trying out chipmunk hunting.