When is Squirrel Season in Illinois?
The best time to go squirrel hunting in Illinois is early to mid-fall. This is when the squirrels begin storing up food for the winter. This time of year is also the best time to find them. They are most active in the morning and afternoon, and lull during the hottest part of the day. You must have a valid license to hunt them, which you can buy over the counter, online, or from the state’s Wildlife Code office. While the law allows you to use airguns for small game, it does not allow you to shoot deer or other big animals. In some parts of Illinois, coyotes are okay to hunt.
You can hunt for squirrels in Illinois from August 1 through February 15, and some public sites have further restrictions than others. Squirrel hunting is an excellent way to introduce kids to hunting, and they are abundant in the state. However, it is important to adapt to the changing behavior of the animals during different seasons. Squirrels spend the majority of the day hiding in trees. Because they spend so much time in trees, the leaves on the trees can make it harder for you to find them during the day. If you want to increase your chances of success, it’s best to hunt them early in the morning or late in the evening.
Although squirrel hunting is not popular, it is a popular activity in Illinois. The state has plenty of habitat for the critter. They range in size from a few hundred square feet to an entire acre, depending on where you hunt. During the fall and spring, squirrels are more active. They are more visible during the day and are easier to spot in the evening. When is squirrel season in Illinois?
Illinois has a long squirrel season. While there are a number of open deer seasons, this one is closed from Nov. 22 to 24 and December 5-8. There are also some restrictions regarding the number of squirrels you can shoot, including the possession limit. As with all games, the season lasts for about five to six months. The best time of day to hunt squirrels is half an hour before dawn. During the fall, the squirrels can be anywhere from one to ten feet tall.
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If you are new to hunting, you will be pleased to know that Illinois squirrel season opens in mid-August and runs until mid-February. Gray and fox squirrels are common in southern Illinois, but the early season is difficult to harvest. When it is open, hunters are required to wear orange-colored vests and blaze-orange hats. The IDNR’s website is at One Natural Resources Way, Springfield.
If you are a newcomer to squirrel hunting, you should start early. Look for dense timbered areas that are dominated by oak and hickory trees. The early morning and evening hunts are usually very productive. As the winter continues, the temperatures will drop, and you will feel the heat and cold. It’s important to dress appropriately for this weather and for the type of game you plan to take.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.