It is often difficult to spot a treed squirrel if the canopy cover is dense. While gray squirrels tend to hide by flattening their bodies against tree trunks or in forks where they resemble bumps or knots, fox squirrels often run to the ends of long-leaf pine tree limbs and curl into balls, looking exactly like pine cones.
To help spot either species, a hunter should carry a good compact pair of binoculars and a Haydel’s Mr. Squirrel Whistle strung around his neck. No matter how good your eyes are, unaided vision is not enough to locate even a large fox squirrel if it is hidden among densely packed cones in a tall pine.
“The Mr. Squirrel Whistle imitates an injured young squirrel or a hawk that has killed one and is standing over it,” said veteran squirrel hunter Bruce Trujillo of Castle Hayne. “The call is sucked, not blown. Its piercing whistle can startle a treed squirrel, making it move so you can see it. It doesn’t work all the time, but when it does, you are always glad you remembered to bring it along.”