Spring squirrel season starts today

Published 9:49 pm Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spring squirrel season opens today in East Texas and runs through the end of the month.

    There are two species of squirrel in East Texas: the gray or “cat” squirrel, and the fox squirrel. The fox squirrel has the widest range and roams creek and river bottoms throughout much of Texas. Ideal fox squirrel habitat in East Texas is mature mixed pine and hardwood forests. Cat squirrels are limited to the eastern portion of Texas and inhabit mature stands of hardwoods.

    They are early risers, so hunters working the bottoms for cat squirrels should plan on getting afield early to catch the action.

    Fox squirrels, on the other hand, forage throughout the day. In addition, you do not necessarily have to be in prime bottomland hardwoods to get in on these squirrels.

    There is plenty of squirrel hunting opportunity on public lands throughout the region.

    “Even if you don’t have access to prime squirrel habitat on private land, squirrel hunters in East Texas can find ample opportunities on public land,” said TPWD East Texas biologist Gary Calkins.

    Most of the national forests and wildlife management areas offer quality squirrel hunting. The TPWD manages over 800,000 acres in East Texas, available for squirrel hunting through the Public Hunting Lands Program.   

    For a $48 Annual Public Hunting Permit, which hunters may purchase at any license vendor, hunters can access these areas during designated seasons.

    Squirrel hunting is a pursuit that does not come with much pressure. Squirrels are abundant and relatively easy to hunt, so they make an excellent quarry for first time hunters or for those looking for a stress free day outdoors and ingredients for a fine dinner.

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