Season Offers Abundant Opportunity
column and photo by Josh Boyd;
With a pocket full of shells, an old trusty .410 shotgun or .22 rifle, and a sunny disposition, numerous hunters across the bluegrass went afield this past weekend for the beginning of Kentucky's annual fall squirrel season. From young sportsmen who are just beginning to cut their teeth in the woods, to seasoned hunters reminiscing on the small game hunting of their youth, hunters from all walks of life joined in the pursuit of this pint sized game species.
Kentucky's fall squirrel season offers hunters ample opportunity to pursue the state's plentiful squirrel population. Kentucky's fall squirrel season runs from August 17th through November 8th. Season then resumes November 11th and runs through February 29th. The state's lengthy season offers hunting opportunities across a broad range of seasons and weather conditions, making for much diversity within a hunter's time in the woods.
During the current early portion of the season, warm and muggy conditions accompanied by woodlots still ripe with foliage often make for somewhat challenging hunting, though exciting none the less. Many shot opportunities come at minimal distances resulting from limited sight through the wooded canopy due to abundant amounts of leaf cover. It is always advisable for early fall squirrel hunters to apply suggested amounts of quality insect repellent due to the heavy presence of ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects.
As summer gives way to the cool breezes of autumn, Kentucky's fall squirrel season changes slightly in dynamics. This is the portion of season that is favored among many as their "go to time" for bagging a limit of grey or fox squirrels.
Oak trees begin to drop their yearly acorn yield, resulting in a feeding frenzy of sorts among populations of squirrels. A hunter is wise to find an oak that is plentiful in its yearly bounty and prepare for their share of fast paced and enjoyable action. If hunting an ideal location and true in their aim, a hunter can be heading back to their truck with an arm load of quality table fare in no time.
As the latter portion of the state's fall squirrel season is ushered in by often frigid temperatures, those who forgo a morning in the warmth of their bed often find hunting to be of excellent quality. Just as any other species of game during the coldest months of the year, squirrels are often found moving somewhat heavily as they scavenge for any remaining mast crops or additional food sources.
Hunting during this time of the year can be highly enjoyable due to the lack of remaining foliage present. This often allows a hunter to spot squirrels from some distance as they meander from one tree top to another.
Perhaps the greatest appeal to fall squirrel hunting is its all inclusive nature. Squirrel hunting allows for the perfect opportunity to introduce young sportsmen and women to the outdoors. The season often contains a relatively lengthy period of mild weather, steady action is usually standard, and small caliber weapons easily managed and handled by youth hunters, are the preferred choice of most.
The fall season is also ideal for elderly hunters who are no longer active in activities such as deer hunting due to limited mobility to climb stands or walk long distances to and from their hunting areas. Fantastic squirrel hunting is frequently found no further than the closest grove of oak trees.
As the final heat waves of summer come and go, and the chilly breeze of autumn brings multi-colored leaves falling to the woodland floor, take the time to head afield in pursuit of one of the nation's most popular small game species. Squirrel hunting is truly an experience that excludes no one in the enjoyment that it offers. With every memory made, the value of the hunt significantly grows.
Note: the thoughts and opinions expressed by Edmonson Voice guest columnists and authors of submitted articles are their own, not necessarily those of EdmonsonVoice.com