Texas, Are You Ready For The Small Game Seasons - Squirrel This May?

Squirrel hunting isn’t as popular as it once was, but that doesn’t stop hunters from all over eagerly awaiting the start of the much-loved Texas Squirrel Hunting Season. 

Let’s start by taking a closer look at the game at hand.

There are eight species of squirrels found in Texas, divided into three groups: ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels.

Out of the eight, only two species are classified as game animals. Gray (or “cat”) squirrels and fox squirrels.

When is Squirrel Season?

If you’re in east Texas, you’re going to want to circle the entire month of May in your calendar from the first to the thirty-first.

There are also 157 Texas counties outside east Texas, where there is no closed season on squirrels, but they do impose a 10-per-day bag limit.

It also goes without saying that you will need to have a valid Texas hunting license if you’re interested in partaking.
 

Where should you hunt?

Fox squirrels are the most populated species of squirrels in Texas. They prefer open, upland forests with a high number of oak, hickory or other mast-producing trees.

Gray squirrels, on the other hand, prefer dense forests like those found in the wide bottomlands along rivers and streams in eastern Texas. 

What are your best firearm options?

If you ask enough hunters, the answer you’ll get most is: “it depends on the season you’re hunting in.” In the autumn, you’ll want to be looking at shotguns with shotshells holding numbers 4, 5, or 6 shot.

Shotguns tend to be more effective early in the autumn squirrel season, when trees still retain their leaves and getting a clear shot is more difficult.
 

Later in the season, when the leaves have fallen off most trees and the chances of an unobstructed shot is higher, a trusty .22 rifle is likely going to be your favorite choice.

What to have on you.


The Bag

Any field bag, small backpack, or even a waterfowler’s blind bag will work. 
It’s pretty obvious that you’ll need something big enough to carry your gear, plus any squirrels you bag, but not so big that it becomes bulky and problematic for your hunt.
 


The Contents

Ammunition.
If you’re not bringing ammo, you’re in the wrong activity.

Compact Binoculars

Seeing is crucial, and binoculars will help you distinguish the difference between a tree stump or earth-colored rock, and a living and breathing squirrel.

That’s just one of the many reasons you should consider getting a Rangefinder.

The more you can see, the better your chances of bagging as many squirrels as possible are. Having a tracking function will drastically improve your hunt.

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Bug Spray

Never underestimate the power of bugs (but you’re living in Texas, so you already know that!)

Water & Snacks 

You’re going to want to stay away from sodas or juice. A bottle of water will work just fine. The more you can take with you without being encumbered, the better.

As for snacks, grabbing a few sandwiches and apples will go a long way in keeping you in top shape.

 

First Aid Kit

You’re going to need bandages, tweezers, a small mirror, gauze pads, Ibuprofen, and some Kleenex wipes. Remember, it’s always better to have it and not need it than the other way around.

Rain Poncho

There are plenty of options out there that are lightweight and durable.

Cell Phone

Make sure it’s charged and keep it handy in case of an emergency (or, if you spot something interesting because snapping a quick pic is always an option as well).

Last But Not Least: Toilet Paper.

Don’t leave home without it.
Just don’t.

If you’re interested in picking up squirrel hunting, this article should serve as a good first step in that direction.

If you’re already familiar with all of this, it never hurts to brush up on your knowledge!

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