Very Disappointed In This Year's Squirrel Season

Discussion in 'Small Game Hunting' started by davers, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. davers

    davers 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    Don't quite know the reason, but I have found so far that Squirrel Season have been very poor, in my area. So far I've been out seven times spending 3 + hours, each hunt outing, and seen very few Squirrels. The best morning was the first day of the season, but since then and after only harvesting 4 Gray Squirrels, I've not bagged anymore and seen far fewer Squirrels than this time last year. There is an abundant of mast for them so that isn't the reason. A week before the season opened; I scouted out my usual hunting spots, on my property, where there are lots of Hickory, Oak, Walnuts. I saw a lot of cuttings under the Hickory, so I am thinking that maybe they were more active before the Season opened. Went hunting this morning and only saw 3 Squirrels, and nothing cutting, so I am guessing they have moved off my property. I wish the State would open Squirrel Season the FIRST Saturday in August, as I believe they are more active at this time in most areas.
     
    Munson likes this.
  2. KYT

    KYT 8 pointer

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    May 3, 2008
    Eastern Ky.
    The same area swarming with squirrels last year at this time has NONE this year. Not a sign of a squirrel. This is the same thing that happened a few years ago when the summer was hot and dry for the second half of the summer. (By the way-- blue tongue weather conditions). My theory is the squirrels have to move because the area is too dry to find enough food before August, and the nuts that are on the trees don't develop and ripen properly. The last time i saw lots of acorns, but nothing seemed to be eating them. And the hickory nuts were dried up inside. Hickory trees that never failed to have nuts and squirrels every August-- as reliable as the sun coming up--had none.
     
    Munson and davers like this.
  3. davers

    davers 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    I am hoping that latter on in the season, when the weather becomes cooler there will be more Squirrel sightings. It occurred to me that while Deer Hunting (Rifle) season, the past three years, I wasn't bothered by Squirrels nor did I see any while up in my stand. I have a Beech Tree loaded but nothing has touched it yet. Back up in Indiana, Squirrels would be starting to hit the Beech, around this time of the year. Squirrel Hunting is (for me) much better up in Southern Indiana. I sure miss my old hunting spots up there. Hope your Squirrel hunting also picks-up soon.
     
  4. MikeKy

    MikeKy 10 pointer

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    Feb 17, 2008
    I can remember one season that every squirrel I killed was in a hackberry tree. Hickories and walnuts were loaded that year but the hackberries were getting all the action. Now that I think about it I don't think I have seen squirrels in hackberries before or after that year.
     
    mallardkiller and davers like this.
  5. ancienthunter

    ancienthunter 6 pointer

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    Dec 25, 2011
    Over the Hill
    I was out this morning checking cameras and found a ridge with squirrels everywhere. They were cutting tightbark hickories (pignut). Have seen some in gum berries and a few eating red oak.
     
  6. Munson

    Munson 10 pointer

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    Dec 24, 2011
    Natural Bridge
    My resident population at the house isn't near what it was for reasons unknown. Plenty food&water close by. I went opening morning on a place I hadn't hunted before and never seen squat, even watched my buddies corn pile for 30 minutes. I guess I should've went closer to the river. Didn't have any trouble finding my share of chiggers and turkey mites tho!
     
    barney and davers like this.
  7. davers

    davers 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    Seems like, at my home & woods; that the Squirrel population has not been there, since 2015. I believe that the ice storm of 2009, the two heavy late snows of 2014 & 2015 played a major role. Also noticed this years, the four harvested Squirrels, of which three were around two years old with the remainder around a year old. What has me puzzled is: this year is considerably poorer than last year and the mast crop this year is much better than last years crop of mast, and the Hickory nuts are fine as is the beech and Oak acorns. We had a warmer than normal July and maybe the Hickory nuts as well as other mast ripen earlier. It will be interesting to see if the Squirrel numbers will pick-up later in the Season.
     
  8. xbokilla

    xbokilla 12 pointer

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    Jun 28, 2012
    I haven’t had a chance to go but I was thinking it would probably be a great year.
     
    davers likes this.
  9. davers

    davers 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    I also thought this year's Squirrel Season would be good. I went out in my backwoods, where I've not hunted on my 83 acres. I didn't see one Squirrel and looked under several Hickory trees and found numerous cuttings that were at least 2 weeks old. I pick-up several of the hulls and they had no hickory odor to them, as they would have, if they were freshly cut by Squirrels. They should have open the Season the first Saturday in August.
     
  10. Since about 2014, the squirrel hunting was sparse in my home area near Cave Run Lake. I attributed this to some late season frosts that nipped the mast trees in the bud and without food sources the squirrels moved out. But last year was different, we were overrun with squacks and had some epic hunts. This year, there are loads of hickories and I have seen them cutting on a few pignuts hard and test cutting on the scaly barks but not feeding on them yet. I have only been to two of my go-to places with only fair results. Planning to hit another good spot this weekend and see what we see.
     
    davers likes this.
  11. ojibwa62

    ojibwa62 12 pointer

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    Jul 1, 2018
    NOTW
    Don't know if it has anything to do with the low squirrel numbers, but I am see lots and I mean lots of Hawks this year..
     
    davers likes this.
  12. davers

    davers 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    I thought the same thing concerning the amount of Hawks I've been seeing especially in the Spring Months. I guess you aren't seeing as many Squirrels on your place (?) I went out in my woods this morning, for 3 hours and 15 minutes, and only saw two Gray Squirrels, and couldn't get a shot at them with my .22 rifle, as they were moving most of the time and also hiding in the thick foliage. Since I moved here 11 years ago this season so far has been the poorest. Before I moved here from Southern Indiana, spots where I hunted, I would have bagged 12 - 18 Fox Squirrels so far. I am certain some areas are a bit more productive, but it's not here in Northern Taylor County. Maybe, after Deer Rifle season, Squirrel Hunting will be better, but based on last year, it too will most likely be very poor. My total harvest this season still stands at 4 Gray Squirrels all but one were old Squirrels too.
     
  13. bad_lighting

    bad_lighting Fawn

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    Aug 26, 2019
    Lexington
    I recently moved to KY from AZ. I've been out to Veterans Memorial WMA and Kleber WMA looking for squirrels the last two weekends and I've seen exactly *zero*. I thought it was just me. Are these usually good places for squirrels under normal conditions?
     
    davers likes this.
  14. Duster

    Duster 12 pointer

    Not sure if this is what your running into but several years ago we had for the best term a migration of squirrels. They follow a creek and ate everything they came across. You could track them almost day to day as they hit the woodlots down that creek. Was nothing to find a hickory they were cutting on there be 25 squirrels in that one tree and next day gone. All you had to do was follow that creek to the next small woodlot and there they were. I killed over 100 squirrels that season and never moved but a couple mile. A clue was we were seeing more than the usual numbers of roadkill squirrels.
     
    davers likes this.
  15. davers

    davers 12 pointer

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    Jul 14, 2014
    Kentucky
    Know what you mean, and it's frustrating not seeing any Squirrels. I too for a few hunt-outings that it was me, but I've been hunting Squirrels for 54 years, mostly in Indiana and the past 11 years here where I live in Kentucky. Squirrel hunting was far more productive in my home state of Indiana. One important reason is up there, where I hunted, there were more field crops and grain fields then there are around my property.
     

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