SOCIAL CIRCLE: For hunters and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a healthy, sustainable source of protein and a good hike in the woods, squirrel hunting season, which begins in Georgia on Monday, can do both.
“Squirrel hunting season is a great introduction to hunting,” Alan Isler, head of WRD’s Game Management Section, said in a news release. “Because of 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 continues through February 28 and hunters can go after both gray squirrels and foxes. The maximum daily bag limit is 12 per hunter. Hunters should be aware that some of the state’s Wildlife Management Areas have a limit on the take of fox squirrels. For more information on how to get started, visit GeorgiaWildlife.com/LearnToHuntFish.
The Georgia WMAs offer access to nearly 1 million acres of hunting opportunities, 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/).
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 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 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, those who know say that it is 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.