Squirrel is typically one of the first game animals that outdoors enthusiasts attempt to pursue, alongside rabbits, doves, quail and other small game. They can be taken with a low-gauge shotgun, such as a .410 or 20 gauge with a No. 4 or No. 5 high-velocity load, as well as a smallbore rifle — .22 Long Rifle, .22 Winchester Magnum or .17 rimfire cartridges are ideal. Other methods include air rifles, slingshots, BB guns and even bows for those who have the aim for it.
The daily bag limit for squirrels is five, with a possession limit of 20, and the season will continue until Feb. 28, 2020.
There are two species of squirrel that hunters pursue in Kansas, according to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism — the larger fox squirrel, found throughout Kansas, and the smaller gray squirrel, found only in the forested regions of eastern Kansas. There are a few noticeable differences between the two. A mature fox squirrel can reach up to 3 pounds, while an average gray squirrel runs about a pound. Fox squirrels are active at midday and spend a good deal of time on the ground, while gray squirrels are mostly active around sunrise and sunset, spending midday hours resting. Both species, however, will remain in their dens on windier days, so a calm, sunny day is ideal.
Fall is the probably the best time to squirrel hunt, but summer-time hunters can find success by locating areas with mulberry trees. There are a few different techniques to locate and hunt squirrels. Squirrels can be coaxed into giving up their location using a squirrel call or even by clicking and scratching two quarters together to imitate a squirrel cutting into a nut — one of those Good Ol’ Boy techniques. For more information on that technique, view a brief video on the web version of this story at CJOnline.com.
Guided squirrel hunts on Saturday at Tuttle Creek State Park helped to kick off the season right, with guides teaching beginning hunters the basics of the sport.
“They will target shoot at first with a firearm to ensure shot placement and safety,” Todd Lovin, park manager at Tuttle Creek, said Tuesday. “After that, taken to areas to actually hunt squirrels. After the hunt, return to clean bagged squirrels and cook for a outdoor game feed. Our focus audience is hunters with little to no experience. Most hunters got their start hunting small game and we are trying to get people interested in hunting.”
Dodge City CC to host hunter’s ed course in Spanish
The KDWPT also will offer a hunter’s education class in Spanish next weekend in Dodge City.
Upon completion of the free, two-day class June 8-9 at Dodge City Community College, 2501 N. 14th Ave., participants will obtain their Kansas Hunter Education certificate. Students must be 11 years or older to participate and must attend both sessions. The first session runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 8, with the second session from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 9.
Class supplies will be provided, as well as lunch on June 8.
For registration in English, contact Dodge City Community College at 620-227-9269. For registration in Spanish, contact Manuel Torres at 620-966-8570. Students may also sign up online at http://www.safehunters.com.