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Lengthy squirrel hunting season begins in Ohio

By Olivia Hnat
On September 7, 2012

Squirrel hunting season, one of the earliest and longest hunting seasons in Ohio, began Sept. 1.

Eli Aubihl, a sophomore at Miami University and an avid hunter said he has hunted since he was six years old with his father and grandfather in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

"I hunt a lot," Aubihl Said. "More when I am at home because I don't have a car here. [Squirrel hunting season] is at the end of the summer, it's the first season that comes in. It is usually pretty fun. It is hard when the first season comes in because all the trees still have their leaves."

The Pater Wildlife Area, eight miles south of Oxford, is one of the primary places for squirrel hunting in the Oxford and Hamilton area. Bruce Terrill is the wildlife area supervisor there and in the Rush Run Wildlife Area. "The areas that are good to hunt are in the hillsides and valleys along the creek," Terrill said. "[Hunters] should look for more mature oaks and hickories with cuttings (nutshells) at the bases."

Hunters are allowed to hunt on private property with permission from the property owners.

A person must have a hunting license to hunt squirrels in designated areas. Ohio hunters can kill up to six squirrels in one hunt during regular hunting hours from sunrise to sunset. The main tree-squirrel species that are hunted are the fox, grey, and red squirrels, according to Brett Beatty, the wildlife management supervisor for district five of southwest Ohio.

Beatty described some different hunting methods.

"There are different methods and different firearms for hunting squirrel," Beatty said. "Sit under a nut-bearing tree that attracts squirrels and wait for squirrels to show up. Some [people] hunt with dogs that are able to track squirrels and tree them."

Squirrel hunting is not only a recreation sport.

"Hunting squirrels provides a nutritious source of food. It is pretty tasty as well. [Squirrel is] low in fat and low in cholesterol," Beatty said.

The Division of Wildlife, under the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, provides a wild game gourmet cookbook. It features a recipe for oven-fried squirrel.

"Squirrel brains are also a delicacy in Applachia," Beatty said.

Whether you are hungry or looking for a hobby, you have until Jan. 31 to legally hunt squirrel this season.

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