When is the Opening Day of Squirrel Season in WV 2015?
Squirrel hunting used to be a big deal for the opening day of West Virginia deer season. But nowadays, with an abundance of deer and increased chances of success with whitetails, this hunt isn’t as popular. So, when is the opening day of squirrel season in WV 2015? Here are some of the important dates to know. In addition, you’ll learn about special bear hunts in select counties.
Saturday, September 9th
The statewide squirrel hunting season is set to begin this Saturday, September 9th, with special events for novice hunters and introducing newcomers to the sport. The Division of Natural Resources will be hosting an event on Saturday to introduce young people to the sport. You can also register to participate on the official website. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be ready to head out and start your hunt.
Depending on the area, you can hunt both red and gray squirrels in West Virginia. Both species are legal to harvest in West Virginia, although harvesting red squirrels is restricted to certain WMAs. These include Fairystone State Park, Hardware River, Hidden Valley, Highland, Hog Island WMA, Little North Mountain, Mattaponi Bluffs, Merrimac Farm, Powhatan WMA, Goochland Tract, Stewarts Creek, and Rapidan WMAs.
Fall fox squirrel season opens on Oct. 10
The upcoming fall fox squirrel season in West Virginia opens on Oct. 10, and the state’s small game seasons run through Jan. 31. The bag limit for each species is six per day. Squirrel productivity was up in 2014, thanks to excellent mast production and winter survival. Hunters should target areas with hickory and beech early in the season. The season is open to people who are at least six years old.
While the fox squirrel is an attractive animal to hunt, it is not particularly easy to hunt. The fox squirrel is a non-territorial and strictly diurnal creature. It spends more time on the ground than other tree squirrel species, despite its reputation as a great climber. It has two basic types of homes: summer dreys, which are platforms in the branches of trees, and winter dens, which are hollowed-out tree trunks. Both types of dens are co-occupied by breeding pairs. They can jump fifteen feet horizontally and twenty feet free fall.
Regulations for harvesting gray and red squirrels
A healthy autumn squirrel population consists of thirty percent juveniles and thirty percent sub-adults. Three gray squirrels per acre of prime woodland is a good density. If you find more than three squirrels per acre, it’s not a healthy density. Likewise, you shouldn’t find 100 squirrels in a park or college campus. Large segments of the population may travel in search of food.
There are two hunting seasons per year for red and gray squirrels in West Virginia. While the winter season begins in late September and ends the following Sunday, the summer molt begins in early June and is completed by mid-November. The tail molt occurs once a year, but the other two seasons run from Sept. 11 to Nov. 20 and November 18 to Feb. 28 in 2022.
Special bear hunts in select counties
The statewide squirrel season opens on Saturday, September 9th. The state’s Division of Natural Resources (DNR) moved the opening date almost a month later this year to accommodate hunters using bows and arrows. The move is designed to lure people back into the woods to hunt squirrels again and relive their childhood. It also gives hunters a chance to enjoy the sport of hunting Tall Hickory trees.
Until Dec. 23, deer hunting is legal in many West Virginia counties. In addition to Amherst, Bedford and Nelson counties, hunting is allowed on public lands in Charlotte, Culpeper, Frederick, Halifax and Martinsburg. In the state’s eastern regions, it is legal to hunt white-tailed deer between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. There are several exceptions to this rule, however.
Preliminary harvest numbers for white-tailed deer
West Virginia’s Division of Natural Resources recently released preliminary harvest numbers for the 2020 and 2021 hunting seasons. Deer hunters harvested 104,223 white-tailed deer, a decrease of more than one-third from the previous year. This is less than half the five-year average of 113,444 deer. While deer hunting season numbers are not final, the state will continue to monitor population numbers to ensure that the numbers are consistent with the expectations of hunters.
The state’s statistics also exclude hunting on special late antler-less-only deer seasons and deer killed under out-of-season deer kill permits. It also excludes the harvest of deer hit by vehicles and killed in urban areas. Deer numbers are not yet final for West Virginia because the state continues to monitor the number of deer in its range. Deer harvest figures are based on a number of factors, which are often conflicting.
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.