Air guns have been gaining popularity in recent years, and with the advent of sporting air rifles, more hunters are hunting squirrels with air rifles. At limited ranges, with good head shots, these rifles can be a great challenge.
Another alternate is archery equipment. This really tests your stalking skills and your shooting ability. The targets are very small and rarely very still for long. Since arrows are so costly, most of my shooting is at squirrels on the ground. Use a small-game broadhead such as the G5 Outdoors SGH; it uses blunt-force trauma to make a quick, clean kill. Other choices include the judo point. Note that in South Carolina, you cannot use broadheads on WMA lands for small game after the big-game season is over.
Rimfire handguns provide an excellent challenge in the squirrel woods. Making shots that are difficult and challenging help hunters to relive their childhood and also help to enhance the thrill of small-game hunting.