Allen Earl | Claiborne Progress

“Sciurus carolinesis” better known as the common gray squirrel

Squirrel season opening soon

Aug. 25 – Feb. 28, 2018-19, are the fall dates set aside for the hunting of squirrel in Tennessee. There are three species of squirrel available for harvest including gray, red and fox.

There is a daily bag limit of 10 squirrels and they are often harvested with rimfire rifles such as .22, .22-Magnum and the .17 HMR. Other hunters may choose the shotgun as their weapon of choice, muzzleloader and some even choose archery tackle.

Hunting styles include slipping quietly through the forest scanning trees for movement, sitting below trees that squirrels are feeding or “cutting” in and sometimes hunters prefer the application of dogs. These dogs seek out squirrels and assist the hunter in getting a close, clear shot.

All three types of squirrels often eat the same food items including acorns, hickory nuts, walnuts, fruits, bark, corn, insects and even other animals especially in areas that food is scarce.

The venison is cooked many ways including slow cooked, fried, baked and cooked over open campfire. Recipes include stews, deep fried breaded nuggets, fried squirrel and gravy and so much more.

Often underutilized, squirrel hunting in Tennessee is one of the best means of getting the younger generation interested in hunting and the outdoors. Many sportsmen and women begin hunting squirrels and then try out other game, so if you have the chance take a young hunter to the woods and let him experience our Creator’s beautiful outdoors by all means do. Squirrel hunting is a family tradition that can very beneficial for the closeness of the entire family unit.

For more information on licensing and more relating to squirrel hunting check out small game hunting on www.tn.gov.