Spring squirrel season opens Wednesday

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, May 14, 2024

LOYD STAR — Today moves hunters one more day closer until Mississippi’s brief spring squirrel season opens. Hunters can pursue ol’ bushy tail in the spring woods for what some people call the “Mulberry season.” 

Mulberries happen to be one of a few food items hunters can key in on to harvest squirrels in the spring season. Spring can be a challenge for hunters as they battle limited visibility with green leaves, mosquitos and heat. 

May 15 is the first day of the spring squirrel season which runs until June 1. The daily bag limit on squirrels is four regardless of species during the spring season. Mississippi is home to two species of squirrels, eastern gray squirrels and fox squirrels. 

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Fruit bearing plants such as cherry trees, mulberry and blackberry are good places to locate squirrels on a hunt. Squirrels will also feed on new buds found on oak, hickory and maple trees. 

Mulberry trees are the squirrel’s favorite food source in spring time according to the MDWFP. Mississippi Forestry Commission states these trees can often be found on floodplains, river valleys and moist hillsides. They prefer deep, well drained soil that is high in organic matter. A red mulberry tree is not able to produce fruit until it is 4 to 10 years old according to the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Den trees are another tactic used in hunting squirrels during the spring season. Turkey hunters may remember specific trees loaded with squirrels just a few weeks ago and might choose to return to those areas. 

Hunters do not have to worry about young squirrels during the spring season. The season dates were selected to allow for young squirrels to already have been weaned from their mother. Squirrels are born between January and March and June to August according to the MDWFP.