Bowhunting squirrels is a good way to break up a slow bowseason. (Beka Garris/)
The air was so cold that my eyes watered. Snow hung heavy on low-lying branches and blanketed the ground, muffling the sound of my footsteps as I made my way through the hardwoods. Late deer season in Ohio can be pretty uneventful, and although I still had a deer tag burning a hole in my backpack, I was concentrating on squirrels. After weeks of struggling to even see a deer during gun season, I was all about bagging something.
I spotted a flash of gray, a flick of a tail. Only 15 yards away, perched on a hemlock branch, was a fat gray squirrel. I felt my jacket bunch around my elbow as I drew my bow and released an arrow. It met its mark, and the squirrel tumbled, all but disappearing into the fluffy snow.
Success. That’s what it was. Going home with something to throw in the Crockpot is always a good feeling. And sometimes, especially when deer season gets tough, it’s good to just get out and shoot some game.
When most big-game seasons in, small game and squirrel seasons keep the cabin fever at bay. (Don Freiday / USFWS/)
Overlooked Hunting Opportunity
I grew up hunting squirrels, and still enjoy it every year. Hunting squirrels, however, doesn’t seem to be very popular. Small game in general tends to be overlooked for other larger, more glamorous game. And indeed, the available data confirms it. According to a 2016 national survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 70 percent of the 11.5 million U.S. hunters in 2016 said they hunted deer. A scant 13 percent—only 1.5 million people—hunted squirrels.