Looking for a healthy, sustainable source of protein and a nice hike in the woods? Squirrel hunting season, which begins Aug. 15, can meet those goals and get everyone excited about the fall hunting seasons, according to the Wildlife Resources Division (WRD). Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
“Squirrel hunting season is a great introduction to hunting,” said Alan Isler, WRD Game Management Section Chief. “Due to their abundance, squirrels are easy to find, but still present little challenge to hunters. You can chase them while sitting, walking, and maybe even picking up the pace a bit as you take the opportunity to scout some ground before other hunting seasons.”
Squirrel season begins August 15, 2022 and lasts through February 28, 2023, and hunters can go after both gray and fox squirrels. The maximum daily bag limit is 12 per hunter. Please note that some of the state Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) have a limit on the harvest of fox squirrels. Need more information on how to get started? Visit GeorgiaWildlife.com/LearnToHuntFish.
The Georgia WMAs offer access to nearly a million acres of hunting opportunity, and squirrel hunting is permitted in the WMAs at specific times during squirrel season statewide (GeorgiaWildlife.com/allwmas). Hunters are advised to consult the current hunting regulations for specific dates and information from the WMA (eregulations.com/georgia/hunting/).
the two species
Both gray squirrels and foxes can be found throughout Georgia. The gray squirrel, abundant in both rural and urban areas, is the most common. Although primarily associated with hardwood forests, grays can also be found in mixed pine-hardwood forests. Predominantly gray, with white underparts, gray squirrels appear to have a slimmer body than fox squirrels, weighing between 12 ounces and 1.5 pounds.
Fox squirrels have several color phases, ranging from silvery gray with a predominantly black head, to solid black, to a light beige or brown tinged with reddish yellow. Generally larger than grays, fox squirrels range in weight from a pound to nearly three, and are most closely associated with mature pine and mixed pine/hardwood habitats, and especially in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions.
Finding squirrels is usually easy as they are found on almost every hunting and WMA lease in the state and that is great news for meat lovers as the meat is high in iron and B vitamins, and best of all, it’s delicious! You can find culinary inspiration for harvested squirrels at GeorgiaWildlife.blog/2018/08/26/5-squirrel-recipes-youll-ever-taste/.
For more information on the 2022-2023 squirrel hunting season or other hunting seasons, visit GeorgiaWildlife.com/hunting/hunter-resources. To renew or purchase a hunting license, visit GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com.