Can Squirrels Help You Bag More Deer?

By Marty Prokop

In a prior blog post at, one of our community members, Marcel, asked a great question regarding chattering red squirrels and squawking jays warning deer hunters of approaching deer.

This particular question has been a topic of deer hunting debate for years.

It is always a great idea to keep your eyes and ears searching for any sign of deer activity when you are sitting in your deer hunting treestand, deer blind or out deer hunting.

Red squirrels are notorious for chattering when something new is in their territories. I can not recall one instance when I did not have a red squirrel chattering at me while I was sitting on my deer hunting tree stand. It is just the squirrel’s way of letting you know it sees you.

I have had squirrels alert me to approaching deer on more than one occasion. In these cases, the squirrels were 50 to 100 yards distance from me when they started to chatter.

At times, when I turned toward the squirrels’ callings, deer were coming from their directions. Did this happen every time? No. Many times the squirrels were simply chattering to let me know they saw me.

I have heard squirrels chatter at other animals like fishers, mink and coyotes too. Nonetheless, I believe squirrels could alert you to something approaching your location.

Jays, on the other hand, are opportunists. They will fly in and around your deer hunting area looking for food. When food becomes a bit more difficult to find, jays can be territorial, squawking to chase off other birds or squirrels.

I have listened to and followed the calls of jays and crows to help me find downed deer.

A few years back I had taken a nice buck toward the end of the deer hunting day. I knew I had a good hit but could not find any sign. I tracked the deer for an hour. Finding no sign, I opted to let the deer go over night. It was the only deer I have ever let go over night. Talk about a sleepless evening.

The next morning, I went back to where I saw the deer go into the woods. I stood on the edge of the tree line looking in. I noticed about 60 yard in the woods, two bald eagles were perched high in one tree, and crows and jays filled the next tree over.

The eagles were quiet. The crows and jays were squawking. I walked towards the tree the crows and jays were calling from.

Twenty yards into the woods, I picked up a good blood trail. Forty yards further into the woods, right below the jays and crows, was a nice 10-point buck.

Always pay close attention to the sights and sounds when you are out deer hunting. Although squawking jays and chattering squirrels don’t always alert you of approaching deer, there are times they will.

The next time a squirrel chatters in the distance, he could be telling you a big buck is heading your way.

Good Luck and Great Hunting.

Marty Prokop

About Marty Prokop

Deer hunting expert Marty Prokop reveals closely guarded deer hunting secrets on how to get deer every time. Get his Free Deer Hunting Tips Newsletter, free deer videos and free online deer hunting game at Free Deer Hunting
Marty Prokop has 24-years experience deer hunting, processing deer for deer hunters and venison sausage making.

Marty Prokop teaches deer hunting, hunter safety, deer processing and deer sausage making classes. Marty Prokop has processed 7,805 deer, field dressed 422 deer and made over 991,990 pounds of sausage, smoked meats and jerky. Marty Prokop worked with Minnesota DNR programs. His deer hunting videos are used in statewide advanced hunter education classes. Marty Prokop is a successful speaker, outdoor writer and published author.

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