FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2011
Squirrel Season Offers Hunters Preparation for Fall Hunting
Season begins September 1 and runs through January 31
COLUMBUS, OH -- Ohio's squirrel season will open on September 1, providing hunters with an opportunity to take as many as six squirrels each day, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife.
A long-time tradition for many hunters, Ohio's squirrel season offers ample hunting opportunities for fox and gray squirrels across the state. It is a great time to get out in the woods and scout for the upcoming deer and fall wild turkey hunting seasons or take a youth hunting. Legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.
Squirrel season will be closed during the one-week statewide deer gun season, beginning November 28 through December 4.
The abundance of nut crops is a good indicator of squirrel numbers the following year. Statewide nut production ratings for fall 2010 were higher in comparison to those from 2009. Therefore, the predicted squirrel hunting outlook for the 2011-12 season is above average. The widespread increase in mast production likely resulted in increased over winter survival and reproduction this spring, especially for gray squirrels. Although fox squirrel harvest is expected to increase somewhat, more substantial increases in gray squirrel harvest are expected.
Primary fox squirrel range occurs predominately in the agricultural landscapes in the northeastern and western regions of Ohio, whereas the primary gray squirrel range is in the extensively forested east-central, southeastern, and south-central regions. Gray squirrels are more dependent on hard mast and their abundance is closely tied to the mast crop the previous fall. Fox squirrels are less dependent upon mast crop resources and likely use supplemental food in agricultural areas.
Hunters who wish to participate in the Squirrel Hunting Diary Program, designed to track trends in nut crops and squirrel populations across the Buckeye State, should contact the Waterloo Wildlife Research Station 360 East State St., Athens OH 45701, for more information.
The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.
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