Squirrel and Rabbit Open Seasons

Saturday September 25th marks the start of the gray squirrel and cottontail seasons, two of our favorite small game/highland quarries.

Hare and hare seasons fall under the rabbit banner, but good luck finding one of these. The “swampers”, those huge rabbits (compared to the standard cottontail) that inhabit the swampy and swampy areas, are still technically cottontails, although the sizes are more akin to jackrabbits with snow rackets.

The bunnies are for a later blog, as we prefer to chase them when the brush foliage has thinned, and the fields and edges of grass and brush have started to flatten out, usually around the third week of October.

Sure, early deer archery season is still underway, as is September’s Canada goose season and railway bird season, but nothing gets our hunting juices flowing more than a stalk and/or a seat for the squirrels, especially when the leaves begin to fall. tint and the weather of the Indian summer is refreshingly cool and sunny.

squirrel catcher tom ps

Tom P’s Squirrel Catcher

It is legal to hunt with a shotgun, bow, airgun, and, in certain parts of the Garden State (see map on page 60 of Hunting & Trapping Digest) with a muzzle-loading rifle (no larger than .36 caliber), this frenzied small game species offers challenging opportunities and lends itself to numerous delicious recipes. Fried, grilled, baked, stewed, and in a cacciatore (see photo), the sweet white meat, to the taste buds at least, is a pleasing mix of pork and chicken, both in texture and flavor. Yes, a skin ache, but well worth it!

Squirrels with a shotgun? Absolutely! They are incredibly fast, running along the ground and jumping from branch to branch through the treetops. A reddened pheasant is no match for the evasive tactics of a squirrel on the move. A 12 or 20 gauge mod, full or full mod, loaded with #5 or 6 shot, depending on the area you’re hunting, will put them in the game bag.

White oak acorns are prized for their bushy tails, and will also eat red oak acorns, beechnuts, and hickory nuts and are especially fond of corn. Who has not fed the deer with corn and the squirrels invaded the heap or spread out? Where cornfields are available, we will switch from loitering and sitting in wooded terrain to positioning ourselves along the edge of the forest/cornfield. This happens at the end of October and until November, when the fields are cut. A Gray will go to great lengths to get an ear of corn hidden in a nest or a notch in a tree and such areas are better bets as the season progresses.

The daily limit is five, and the hunt is from sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

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