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08-13-2007, 09:48 PM
August 15 Marks The Opening Of Squirrel Season

8/13/07

Pursuing Bushytails - An Enjoyable Tradition for Hunters of all AgesSocial Circle, Georgia - Whether still-hunting, stalk-hunting or squirrel dog hunting is your preference, the beginning of squirrel season is just around the corner. Often revered as a celebrated American fall tradition, squirrel hunting provides the perfect opportunity to introduce a youngster to the sport of hunting. As opposed to some big game hunts, the pursuit of bushytails often involves more action for energetic youth, providing a greater level of interaction with the outdoors. Beginning August 15 and lasting through February 29, hunters can pursue both gray and fox squirrels. The maximum daily bag limit is 12 per hunter.

"Prior to the successful restoration of white-tailed deer, pursuing squirrels in the fall was a significant cultural tradition in Georgia," says John W. Bowers, Assistant Chief of Game Management. "Squirrel hunting can provide one of our best opportunities to introduce the younger generation to hunting and instill in them our responsibilities to wildlife conservation. Additionally, it's fun, inexpensive and provides constant action!"

Squirrel hunting, especially with squirrel dogs such as feists, terriers and curs, is a great way to introduce youth to hunting and the outdoors. In terms of number of hunters and harvest, squirrels are the number two most pursued small game species in Georgia behind doves.

Georgia's Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) offer more than 1 million acres of hunting opportunity for the reasonable price of only $19/year, and squirrel hunting is allowed on WMAs at specified times during the statewide squirrel season. Hunters are advised to check the hunting regulations for specific WMAs and dates.

Both the gray squirrel and the fox squirrel can be found throughout Georgia. The gray squirrel, abundant in both rural and urban areas is the most common species. Though mostly associated with hardwood forests, grays can also be found in mixed pine/hardwood forests. Gray squirrels, predominantly gray, with white under parts, appear more slender-bodied than the fox squirrel, weighing in at anywhere from 12 oz. to 1 pounds.

Fox squirrels have several color phases, varying from silver-gray with a predominantly black head, to solid black, to a light buff or brown color tinged with reddish-yellow. Generally larger than grays, fox squirrels range in weight from one pound to nearly three pounds. Fox squirrels are more closely associated with mature pine and mixed pine/hardwood habitats, and especially in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions.

Though it's entirely possible to squirrel hunt anytime during the season, it is considered much more enjoyable and successful to wait until late fall and winter when the leaves have fallen from the trees.

For more information on the 2007-2008 squirrel hunting season or other small game hunting seasons, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com (http://www.gohuntgeorgia.com/), contact a local WRD Game Management office or call (770) 918-6416.

Media Contact:
Jennifer N. Barnes (770) 918-6795