Finding the right firearm for your small game hunting needs can be a timely endeavor. Once you have found the right one for you there are many firearm accessories on the market to tune it and make it perfect for the small game you are chasing.
The following accessories can help make your hunt more enjoyable, comfortable and successful.
Oftentimes, the window of opportunity is very narrow when it comes to shooting opportunities at small game such as squirrels and rabbits. Since you won’t always have time to find a good resting position, and since you’ll often be shooting at upward angles when hunting for squirrels, a shooting stick can be invaluable.
This can be a commercially produced shooting stick such as the monopods made by Stony Point, or simply just a forked walking stick that you cut on location with the saw of your multi-tool. Just make sure that the stick is sturdy and thick enough for your hand to grip comfortably.
Protect your scope. For one thing, Scopes are expensive and you don’t want the lens to get scratched. For another, it’s nearly impossible to aim when your lenses are obscured by snow or excessive moisture. When conditions warrant the use, keep your scope covered until you’re ready to shoot.
Neoprene “scope socks” are a great bet, because they’re inexpensive, long-lasting, and provide a bit of protection against impacts to the scope body. Rubber “bikini-style” scope covers are great at keeping out moisture but they tend to fall apart. Same with flip-cap scope covers. If you’re sitting in a blind, these are fine. Hunters who put a few miles on their boots often find that flip caps are easy to demolish.
A sling lets you carry the weight of your rifle or shotgun on your shoulder, which frees up your hands for glassing, ducking limbs, and other tasks. Since .22 rifles are generally lighter and smaller than high-power centerfires, you can get away with using a more slender and therefore less obtrusive sling than you might need to use on your deer rifle.
A sling made from a 1” strip of leather or nylon webbing will usually suffice. However, insist on quality hardware for all of your rifle slings. You don’t want to risk the integrity of your fine-tuned double-deuce just to save a few dollars on a sling.
A good travel case protects from dings and scratches incurred from travel. Besides cosmetics, this ensures your scope doesn’t get knocked out of zero. I prefer hard-sided cases from Boyt and Pelican, but these might be regarded as overkill for a .22.
Soft-sided cases are a good bet as well, but they do do not offer enough protection for airline travel. Airlines require firearms to be cased inside a hard-sided, lockable case.