Guide to opening day of squirrel season

Published 6:17 pm Friday, May 14, 2021

Spring squirrel season opens up this Saturday, May 15 and runs until June 1, so here are some things hunters should know before hitting the woods this weekend.

Public land hunts

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks manages Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area for public use. Located in the Homochitto National Forest, Sandy Creek has a diverse tree population with hardwoods, pines and mixed timber to hunt in.

To get to Sandy Creek from Natchez, begin at the intersection of U. S. Highway 61 south and Liberty Road in Natchez. Travel southeast on Liberty Road for approximately 14.1 miles to the intersection of Garden City Road, it is gravel and a sign points down the road saying “Sandy Creek WMA.”

Next, turn south (right) onto Garden City Road and continue for approximately 3.93 miles. The Sandy Creek WMA headquarters will be located on your right. If you have any questions regarding Sandy Creek call (601) 277-3636.

You do not have to wear hunters orange to squirrel hunt, but it is wise to practice firearm safety while in the woods. Hunters must check-in and out of Wildlife Management Areas. You can download the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks WMA app to check-in and out from your phone.

Firearms

Squirrels can be hunted with rifles and it is recommended to use a .22 caliber bullet. You can also use shotguns with a shot size smaller than #2. It is recommended to use shells from about #5 shot to #7 ½ shot. Squirrel hunting is only legal during daylight hours.

Calls

You can purchase a squirrel call, or you can scrape two quarters together to mimic the sound of squirrels.

Using one quarter, scrape the serrated edges of the other quarter to mimic their chirp and bark. While it may not get any squirrels to come running to you. A squirrel’s response will reveal its hiding spot in the tree. Squirrels make a sharp barking noise.

Tactics

Squirrels are active in both the trees and the ground at this point in the spring. Similar to the fall season, focusing on food sources is crucial. Keep in mind that squirrels have a lot more food sources in the spring. MDWFP small game biologist Rick Hamrick said they would eat anything from mushrooms, bark, fruit, acorns, grub and bugs.