The hunting season for gray squirrels begins Thursday, September 1. The season runs through Saturday, December 31, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
“Vermont has a healthy population of gray squirrels, concentrated in southern Vermont and the Champlain Valley,” said Hunter Education Coordinator Nicole Meier. “They’re a fantastic small game species for new hunters to learn the basics of reading the landscape, making a safe and ethical shot and cooking wild game.”
In Vermont, gray squirrels are often hunted with a .22 rifle, a shotgun or archery equipment. The department recommends that squirrel hunters wear a blaze orange vest or hat anytime they are afield.
The best habitat for squirrel hunting is stands of nut-bearing trees like oak, hickory and beech. Hunters can harvest four gray squirrels per day and can have up to eight squirrels in their possession—whether in their game bag or in their freezer—at a time.
“Gray squirrels are incredibly tasty—many would say better than rabbit,” said Meier. “You can find great gray squirrel recipes in classic cookbooks, trendy culinary magazines, and of course anywhere that publishes wild food recipes.