Small Woodland Owners' Group

Grey Squirrels

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Postby The Sawyer » Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:16 am

Hi Rod, only trapping during the day may be one of your problems as they may not be finding the traps I would normally expect to have traps out for at least 48 hours with the door locked open or the trap top down to get them used to it then turn it over and set it checking at least twice a day if this is not feasible then I would suggest speaking to a local pest management team or looking at Karnia traps as these don't need checking as often as they are break neck traps and there is no animal welfare issue.

hope this is of help

ttfn Kester

The Sawyer
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Postby tracy » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:34 pm

I have a person who would like to do a talk/ discussion for us on the rabbit/ deer/ squirrel issues and how to control them, will plan a session with him as soon as we can


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Postby John - SEPS » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:07 am


A very interesting topic and very controversial - We are never going to totally eradicate the grey squirrel from the woodland habitat, and nor should we want to. The name of the game is to control the populations at a level which does not threaten our native woodlands and native species.

From personal experience the best control method I have used is “Warfarin”. (Very controversial subject). I guarantee this method controls 90% of the squirrels that occupy the woodland at the time of baiting. It is the most cost effective way to control squirrels and from experience it is a safe way to control the populations.

The next best method of control is to use the MK4 fenn trap along with multi cage live traps; however I’ve used MK4 fenn traps on estates and have trapped all sorts of non target pest species (stoats, weasels, black birds) even when using the safest tunnel trapping methods.

It’s a fine balance getting the right method of control?

Best recipe for squirrel – squirrel casserole, boil it till it falls of the bone – taste really nutty………

If you’re shooting squirrels get yourself some of these - Predator Ballistic Pellets x 2


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Postby tracy » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:56 pm

John is going to be leading a free session for us, looking at some of the deer and squirrel issues. Let me know if you are interested in coming along - it will be someone in East Sussex.

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Postby mikepepler » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:30 pm

Those predator pellets look interesting. Are they better than normal diabolo pellets?

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Postby John - SEPS » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:55 pm

I use a spring powered air riffle, with one chance the Predator pellets are the best for a clean humane kill, the only down side are there are a bit pricey.

Its all down to personal preference, put them on you Xmas list!

I was out today in a woodland conducting a site survey, over ½ the oaks (age 30-40 years) had extensive grey squirrel damage. Considering an oak tree may support over 300+ species it’s devastating to witness the destruction they can cause in high numbers.

Happy hunting………

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Postby greyman » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:20 am

As I'm looking to buy an air rifle I'd be most interested to know what people think is a 'good' one to get - I don't want the toppest most expensive one around but as there seems to be so many to choose from now a good make with facilities for tele scope a reasonable range is what is required. Up to and around £200 will do

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Postby Darren » Thu Dec 11, 2008 4:33 pm

I brought a BSA air rifle for £200, the next price down was £100, but it was big and heavy.

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Postby John - SEPS » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:01 pm

I shoot using a BSA Lightning XL – this gun is very accurate and has a lovely beech stock. Excellent value for money

I paid about £230 + scope 2 years ago

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Postby Catweazle » Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:29 am

An air rifle is an excellent tool for grey squirrel control. I shot six this morning in about a half hour.

They're not bad food either, similar to the darker meat found near the bone on a chicken. To skin them cut across the back of the tail, stand on the tail and pull the back legs upwards. the skin comes off fairly easily, then gut as you would a rabbit.

A youtube link explains better ( shows dead squirrel) :

0.177 calibre is easier to shoot with and accuracy is very important because squirrels are tough little creatures, shoot at the spot between the eye and the base of the ear. If you have a 0.22 it will drop them better but it will be more difficult to shoot because of the more curved trajectory - swings and roundabouts really but I'd recommend a 0.177 to a new buyer.

If you need any advice on hunting with air rifles have a look at or better still .

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