The Nuts and Bolts Squirrel Call

Squirrels are quick, tasty, almost as intelligent as a rock and can be taken with a .22, .410 shotgun or pellet rifle. But, one squirrel does not a meal make. Bushy-tails are afflicted with extreme anxiety disorder, and a flock (actually called a “dray” if you want to get technical) will scatter in terror upon hearing any sort of loud noise.

You can easily trick them back into range with a “cutter call” made from a couple of throwaway items found in every home.

Materials Needed

• Two, 4-inch long carriage bolts or pieces of threaded rod.

• Metal jar lid

1: Salvage the screw-on lid from that empty jar you never got around to tossing in the trash. Metal lids are best, as they resonate and are louder than their plastic counterparts. You’re good to go as long as the lid fits in the palm of your hand.

2: Grab a couple of 4-inch screws or bolts (1/8-inch and 3/8-inch diameter) from the can of miscellaneous crap sitting in your garage, shop or closet. This is an imprecise science, and different thread-sizes up your odds of success.

3: Head to the woods and listen for the sound of squirrels “cutting” nuts. This is a quick, raspy chatter that comes when the squirrel is holding a nut and gnawing through the shell to get at the meat inside. Sit down, wait for a clear shot and whack your first squirrel. The rest of the tree-rats will flee for their lives a millisecond after you fire. Luckily for you, they’re very stupid. 

4: Cup your jar lid in one hand. Pull the threads of the bolt across the lid’s edge. Pull at an even pace over ten or twelve threads. Do this half a dozen times in rapid succession. Stop for 30 seconds, and then repeat.


5: Slow-witted squirrels hear this sound, think other squirrels are eating their nuts and inevitably meander back into range. Their territorial jealousy obliterates all memory of the gunshot that occurred minutes earlier.

6: Mix up the sounds by cupping the lid tighter or more loosely. It also helps to change up bolts occasionally, as well as the speed at which you pull. You can usually get away with this trick several times in one spot before the squirrels suspect your subterfuge and move on.