|Ohio’s squirrel hunting season begins Sept. 1|
|Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:10 AM|
COLUMBUS — Ohio’s squirrel hunting season opens Sept. 1, when many hunters will go to the woods with the opportunity to take as many as six squirrels per day, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
Ohio’s squirrel season is a longtime tradition for many hunters. Ample hunting opportunities are available for fox, gray, black and red squirrels. This is an excellent time to take a young person hunting, or scout for the upcoming deer and fall wild turkey hunting seasons. Legal hunting hours for squirrels are one half-hour before sunrise to sunset daily, and the season runs through Jan. 31, 2014.
Squirrel season will be closed during the one-week statewide deer gun season, Dec. 2-8.
The eighth annual Squirrel Hunting Cooperator Survey conducted by the ODNR Division of Wildlife compared hunter results and nut crop ratings to provide an index of Ohio’s squirrel population status. The abundance of nut crops is a good indicator of squirrel populations for the following year. The statewide nut production ratings for the fall of 2012 was higher than 2011. All tree species, except beech, showed above average production in 2012. However, a cold winter in 2012-13 may have negatively impacted squirrel densities. The 2013-14 harvest may not equal the above-average harvests of the past two seasons, although a good harvest is still expected for this season.
Primary fox squirrel range occurs in the agricultural landscapes in northeastern and western Ohio, whereas the primary gray squirrel range is in the extensively forested east-central, southeastern and south-central Ohio. Gray squirrels are more dependent on hard mast such as acorns and hickory nuts, and their abundance is closely tied to the mast crop of the previous fall. Fox squirrels are less dependent upon mast crop resources and are more likely to consume supplemental food in agricultural areas.
Hunters who wish to participate in the Squirrel Hunting Cooperator Survey, designed to track trends in nut crops and squirrel populations across Ohio, should contact the Waterloo Wildlife Research Station, 360 E. State St., Athens, Ohio 45701, at 740-589-9930 for more information.