The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll
All the TV shows and most the hunting magazines may be preoccupied with the onset of fall and the pursuit of white tailed deer, but there are many a good day to be had in the woods pursuing a small game species that has been legal to hunt in Missouri since Memorial day weekend. There are two species of squirrels in Missouri and both are active every day now preparing for the leaner days ahead. Fox, or red squirrels, are the larger of the two species. They tend to be found near the edges of timber stands, in isolated woodlots and open woods without much understory, along timbered ridges and uplands, and even in hedgerows. Grays are more likely to occur in extensive tracts of forest and bottom lands, but it’s not unusual to find them both using the same woods.
I like to use a .22 rifle or my flintlock trade gun loaded with .No 5 shot when I hunt squirrels. You don't need anything else in the way of special equipment. I do like a camouflage shirt or jacket, but a good woodsmanship is your main requirement.
Gray squirrels usually stir around early in the morning at first light while fox squirrels are more active after it warms up a little. You can have six squirrels total in your daily limit. Both Gray and Fox squirrels nest in tree cavities and both build leaf nests. Remember it's not legal to shoot into the nests. Most hunters don't but occasionally it’s tempting for a young hunter.
opportunity to learn skills a hunter needs to take big game is at a premium. The weather is good and squirrels are plentiful and busy. There’s no better way to spend a day in the October woods, weather you are hunting by yourself or introducing a young hunter to the ways of the woods.