Gray squirrel hunting season begins on Thursday, September 1. The season runs through Saturday, December 31, according to the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Vermont has a healthy gray squirrel population, concentrated in southern Vermont and the Champlain Valley,” said Nicole Meier, hunter education coordinator. “They’re a fantastic small game species for new hunters to learn the basics of reading the landscape, shooting safely and ethically, and cooking wild game.” In Vermont, gray squirrels are often hunted with a .22 rifle, shotgun, or archery equipment. The department recommends that squirrel hunters wear a bright orange vest or hat whenever they are in the field. The best habitat for squirrel hunting is stands of nut-producing trees, such as oak, hickory, and beech. Hunters can catch four gray squirrels per day and can have up to eight squirrels in their possession, either in their game bag or in their freezer, at one time.
“Grey squirrels are incredibly tasty, many would say better than rabbits,” Meier said. “You can find great gray squirrel recipes in classic cookbooks, trendy culinary magazines, and of course anywhere that publishes wild food recipes.”