Make an ef­fort to cook and share the meat you bring home from a hunt.

Field and Stream - - CAMPFIRE - —Will Brant­ley

From Lou­i­si­ana to Vir­ginia, many South­ern states have “spring” squir­rel sea­sons in May and June. But don’t kid your­self: Sum­mer starts early in this part of the coun­try, and the heavy air will be about as pleas­ant as a gear-oil­soaked scarf. Still, heat and hu­mid­ity aside, the squir­rel hunt­ing can be pretty good at this time of year.

Squir­rels breed twice a year, and by now the pups born in the late win­ter are out of the nest, ac­tive—and very ten­der. Adults are feel­ing squir­relly again too, since the sec­ond “squir­rel rut” takes place in early sum­mer.

You won’t find sum­mer squir­rels scur­ry­ing high in the oaks or hick­o­ries now, though. In­stead, fo­cus your hunt­ing ef­forts on soft mast. If you can find a ripe mul­berry tree, plan on squir­rels run­ning amok as they search for fruit—and love. You just might have to shoot one in self-de­fense.

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