Squirrel Season Opens Early for 2011


The long held tradition of squirrel season in West Virginia will expand.  Hunters in the Mountain State will be able to hit the woods a full month earlier in 2011 thanks to a change in the season dates by the Natural Resources Commission.    This year’s opening date will be September 10th.

"The season change was done primarily to attempt to provide additional days of recreation, particularly for youngsters and for parents and grandparents to take their kids out when the weather was a little nicer and not in conflict with other seasons, particularly the bow hunting season," said DNR Chief of Game Management Paul Johansen.

West Virginia isn’t breaking new ground with the change.   Neighboring states have had earlier opening dates for the squirrel seasons and some open even earlier than September 10th.

"We know an awful lot of our youngsters start out their hunting tradition with small game hunting, particularly squirrel hunting," Johansen said. "So that was the purpose, was to try and provide some additional days of recreation both for adults and in particular for youngsters."

The season also affords more after school hunting for those youngsters after the school day ends, since the time change is still a month away.

Meanwhile, hunters will be excited by the numbers.   Due to the incredible mast crop of 2010, squirrels are expected to be thick in the Mountain State this fall.

"This should be a bumper year, there’s no question," Johansen said. "Squirrels tend to track according to the food conditions of the prior year.  Squirrels came through the winter in excellent shape and many had two litters.  This should be an excellent year for squirrel hunting,"


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