Squirrel Season Opens May 15

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One of the great things about the outdoors is that there is always another great hunting season or event right around the corner. Just as turkey season is winding to a close, it’s time to think about another hunting season – squirrel season. Running May 15 through Jan. 31, squirrel season is one of the longest continuous hunting seasons available in Oklahoma.

While deer and turkey may get all the headlines, many experienced hunters started out stalking bushytails in the woods. Early season action is often fast paced and the weather is comfortable. But don’t think that it is necessarily easy, woodland squirrels have sharp eyesight and hearing and can disappear in a treetop faster than you can say abracadabra. Squirrels are not only a popular game species, they provide tasty meals of stew and other dishes.

Squirrel hunting is a perfect opportunity to introduce someone new to hunting. There is enough walking and action so rookies don't get bored, plus you don't even have to get up at the break of dawn to be successful. Both the gray and fox squirrel are abundant on many of the Department's wildlife management areas. A generous 10-squirrel limit offers a challenge to those going afield with a .22 caliber rifle. Other sportsmen prefer carrying a shotgun while going after squirrels. Another option that is increasing in popularity are pellet rifles, which through the years have become adequately powerful to deliver squirrels to the bag.

Public hunting opportunities abound in Oklahoma for squirrel hunters. Just about any tract of mast-producing hardwoods can be a productive area for hunters and you would be hard-pressed to find a small crowd of squirrel hunters anywhere. Excellent squirrel hunting can be found on Keystone, Spavinaw Hills, Deep Fork, Canton and other wildlife management areas.

To hunt squirrels in Oklahoma, you need a resident or non-resident hunting license unless exempt and a $5 Fishing and Hunting Legacy Permit, unless exempt. Resident hunters younger than age 16 can hunt squirrels without a license. For a complete list of squirrel hunting regulations consult the “2005 Oklahoma Hunting Guide” or log on to the Department's Web site at www.wildlifedepartment.com.