There are some great places to go bird and squirrel hunting in the Northeast states, but finding that special location is sometimes difficult yet it is always worth the effort.
While no hunter in their right mind would ever voluntarily give up the exact location of where they do their best hunting, we here at Northeast Hunting don’t mind handing out a few tips on how to find the types of places that often bring in the best days.
From fields to forests, there is a cornucopia of quality hunting for birds, squirrel and other small game throughout our area. Our favorite places, however, are actually man made.
No, not some hunting reserve or farm, but rather the old logging roads and occasional abandoned roadway that dot our country sides.
Old logging roads provide a great place to do some bird and squirrel hunting for the fact that they have ample lanes to walk, great sight lines and plenty of forest cover for the animals to feel comfortable in.
Birds tend to enjoy these areas thanks to the lower-levels of foliage that allow them to hunt, peck and rest without being enshrouded in a jumble of trees. These logging roads are quite often still owned by the companies that had them cut, but a quick check of the plat book will tell you who owns it and it’s just a matter of making sure you have permission before going out and doing some hunting.
For the real lucky hunter, finding that gem of a hunting place is usually a matter of scouting–not necessarily for animal signs, but rather for those of humans. Our favorite bird hunting road is actually an old highway that was abandoned by the state and left for nature to do what it will with when the route of the road was changed.
Grass and weeds have started to slowly win the battle, sprouting up through the cracks of the old asphalt. There are some big potholes, too, where spring thaw has made its mark over the years. Trees have crowded in on the old road, reclaiming much of the area as their roots bust up the shoulder of the once-well-traveled roadway.
It is here that we have found some great hunting. Birds and squirrels dominate this area, not often seeing hunters and never being flushed by the roar of the traffic that once traveled here. Instead, this roadway has become a part of nature. A great place for birds to dine on a plethora of bugs and an equally great place for squirrels to gather their winter harvest.
For us, it’s a wonderful location to hunt because of the ease of traveling, the great shooting lane and the wonderful hike through nature.
It’s interesting to note that not far from this roadway is a railroad track, which has also proven fruitful for bird hunting over the years.
It’s strange to see this roadway–a once-proud highway–being overtaken by nature. At the same time, it’s refreshing to know that our mark on the land is only as permanent as the wild allows it to be.
Don’t be afraid to do some scouting. Check local maps for old grades and logging routes. Take a drive. Use that four-wheel drive. Go places that most people wouldn’t dare drive their cars through and get a little mud on your tires. Not only will you see sections of our states not touched by human hand in decades, but you’ll likely find some prime small game hunting while you’re at it.
Photo: D. Mott