Squirrel Season First Hunting Season of Fall

Squirrel Season First Hunting Season of Fall

Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources News

From Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources


FRANKFORT, KY – The first hunting season of the fall opens in about two weeks.

Kentucky's fall squirrel season, a 192-day split season that kicks off the calendar of fall hunting, opens on Aug. 20 and continues through Nov. 11. The season opens again Nov. 14 and runs through Feb. 29, 2012.

The daily bag limit is six squirrels.


Ben Robinson, small game biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said the outlook for the season is excellent.

"Last fall we had a really good mast (nut) crop, particularly the red and white oak groups, with the hickories close behind," said Robinson. "There was lots of food and females were in good condition going into breeding. There should be lots of young squirrels this fall."

The Kentucky Division of Forestry reported on its website that 47 percent of Kentucky is forested, some 11.9 million acres.


An estimated 65 percent of Kentucky forests are composed of saw timber. Since 1988, the acreage of stands of these harvestable, mature trees, has increased by 6 percent. Across most of Kentucky, oak and hickory woodlands are the dominate forest type.

The department's annual mast survey began in 1953 and evaluates the crop of nuts produced by hickory, white and red oak and beech trees. These nuts are the most important foods for Kentucky's forest wildlife – squirrels, white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and bear.

Biologists walk the same route every year and estimate the year's mast crop, based on what they observe.

Hickory nuts begin to mature in August and acorns and beechnuts in September and October.

Weather extremes, such as late frosts and heavy rains in spring along with summer droughts, can limit the amount and quality of mast.

"What we've been hearing is there's another strong crop of acorns and hickory nuts, and walnuts, where these trees are available," said John Morgan, small game program coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. "Due to the excellent growing season there are also vigorous crops of soft mast (berries and seeds)."

The Squirrel Hunting Cooperator Survey, which started in 1995, supplies information that biologists use to monitor squirrel population trends in Kentucky.

Hunters simply record information about their hunts as the season progresses. This includes the county hunted, hours afield, number and species of squirrels seen and harvested, number of hunters in the party and the number of dogs used to find squirrels.

"The use of squirrel dogs continues to grow," said Morgan. "It's a great way to get back into squirrel hunting."

When hunters are finished hunting for the season, they simply mail in their survey. Postage paid forms are available on request by calling 1-800-858-1549. Logs must be sent to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife no later than May 31, 2012.

Each year, after the survey information is compiled and analyzed, a report is mailed out to squirrel hunters who shared the details of their hunting activities from the previous season. They also receive a new hunting log and a hunting ball cap for participating.

After a hot summer, hunters look forward to getting into the woods again. Squirrel season is the perfect opportunity.

Author Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield magazine.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources manages, regulates, enforces and promotes responsible use of all fish and wildlife species, their habitats, public wildlife areas and waterways for the benefit of those resources and for public enjoyment. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is an agency of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For more information on the department, visit our website at fw.ky.gov.

Recommended for You

Bows

New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.

Fishing How-To

Why You'll Lose Your Next Big Bass

Larry Larsen

Now that you know you might screw it up the next time a big fish bites, let's fix it.

Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Logic cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

MLF Pro Tips: How to Fish a New Lake

Major League Fishing pros Alton Jones, Jeff Sprague, Anthony Gagliardi and James Watson share their thoughts on how to approach fishing a new lake for bass.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson - February 13, 2018

Veteran bass anglers often dismiss urban fishing opportunities as "kid's fishing ponds," but...

Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

See More Stories

More Stories

Stories

Arizona Mountain Lion Hunt Turns Into Dangerous Jaguar Encounter

Aaron Decker - November 30, 2011

A father and daughter with their dogs on a dry ground mountain lion hunt get more than they...

Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

Stories

Predator Hunting: 3 Ways to Find Elusive Coyotes

Brad Fitzpatrick - June 26, 2018

Calling all coyotes:'These predators are efficient, so finding and calling them to the gun can

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×