SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. – It’s time to go to the forest in search of Ole Bushytail! Squirrel hunting season provides the first opportunity of the year to start replenishing that meat in the freezer, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife Resources. Unlike some big game hunts, squirrel chasing often involves more action for energetic youngsters, providing a higher level of interaction with the great outdoors.
Beginning August 15 and running through February 29, 2020, hunters can chase both gray squirrels and foxes. The maximum daily bag limit is 12 per hunter.
“Squirrel hunting is part of an important cultural tradition of hunting in Georgia,” said John Bowers, chief of the Division of Wildlife Resources’ Game Management Section. “It’s fun and it doesn’t take much to get started, and it really gives you a great opportunity to introduce a youngster or someone new to hunting.”
Georgia’s wildlife management areas offer access to nearly a million acres of hunting opportunity, and squirrel hunting is permitted in WMAs at specific times during squirrel season statewide (https://georgiawildlife .com/locations/wrd). Hunters are advised to consult the current hunting regulations for specific dates and information from the WMA (www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations).
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 species. 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 various 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 almost three, and are most closely associated with mature pine and mixed pine/hardwood habitats, and especially in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions.
For more information about the 2019-2020 squirrel hunting season or other hunting seasons, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/regulations. To renew or purchase a hunting license, visit www.GoOutdoorsGeorgia.com.