Squirrel Hunting in California: An Ultimate Guide

Hunting season is in full swing and if you’re lucky enough to live in California, that means you can go after one of the most popular game animals in the state – the squirrel. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or new to the sport, Squirrel hunting in California can be a fun and rewarding experience. In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know in order to have a successful hunt, including where to find them, what equipment you need, and how to properly clean and cook your catch.

Squirrel Hunting Laws in California

Squirrel hunting laws in California are very specific and should be followed closely. The season for hunting squirrels generally runs from October through January, but check with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for specific dates. A hunting license is required for all hunters, regardless of age. In addition, a wildlife area pass is required if you plan to hunt on public lands.

There are bag limits in place for squirrel hunting in California. For most areas of the state, the bag limit is five squirrels per day. However, there are some areas where the bag limit is two squirrels per day. Be sure to check the regulations in your specific hunting area before heading out.

When it comes to firearms, only shotguns or air rifles may be used for squirrel hunting in California. No other types of firearms are allowed. Baiting is also not allowed when hunting squirrels in California.

Squirrel hunting can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors and put some fresh meat on the table. Just be sure to follow the laws and regulations in place to ensure a safe and successful hunt.

Related: Raccoon Hunting in California: An Ultimate Guide

Do you need a license to hunt squirrels in California?

In California, you need a license to hunt squirrels. This can be obtained from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The cost of the license is $22.50 for residents and $35 for non-residents. In addition to the license, you will need a hunting permit, which can be obtained from any Department of Fish and Wildlife office or online at the California State Parks website.

Squirrel Hunting Seasons in California

There are two squirrel hunting seasons in California: the early season and the late season. The early season runs from October 1-15, while the late season runs from January 1-31.

During the early season, hunters can only hunt grey squirrels. However, during the late season, they can hunt both grey and fox squirrels.

The bag limit is six squirrels per day during both seasons.

Can you hunt squirrels at night in California?

Yes, you can hunt squirrels at night in California. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will need to get a hunting license. Second, you will need to purchase a shotgun or air rifle that is powerful enough to take down a squirrel. Third, you will need to find an area where there are squirrels. Fourth, you will need to be aware of your surroundings and be careful not to shoot any non-target animals or people. Finally, you will need to have patience and be willing to sit in one spot for long periods of time waiting for a squirrel to appear.

Bag limits for hunting Squirrel in California

The bag limit for squirrel hunting in California is four squirrels per day. There is no limit on the number of days you can hunt, but you must possess a valid hunting license. You may take your four squirrels by any means including firearms, air guns, and bow and arrow.

When harvesting your game, it is important to follow the guidelines set forth by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). The CDFW offers two options for taking possession of your squirrels: either field dresses them or quarters them. Field dressing involves removing the entrails and internal organs from the animal while it is still in the field. Quartering involves removing only the legs, shoulders, and head. The quarters must be placed in separate bags before being taken from the field.

It is important to note that there are different seasons for different types of animals in California. The general season for squirrel hunting begins on September 1st and runs through February 28th. However, there are also specific dates set aside for early season (August 1st-31st) and late season (March 1st-31st) hunts. These dates vary depending on the area you will be hunting in, so be sure to check the regulations before heading out.

Legal ways to hunt Squirrels in California

In California, there are several legal ways to hunt squirrels. The most common and well-known method is a shotgun, which can be used to take down these small animals at close range. Other popular methods include using air rifles or pellet guns.

If you’re looking to hunt squirrels in California, make sure you check the regulations in your specific area before heading out. In general, however, as long as you follow the basic rules of hunting (obeying seasons, getting proper licenses and permits, and respecting property boundaries), you should be able to enjoy a successful and safe hunt.

Can you use dogs to hunt squirrels in California?

Yes, dogs can be used to hunt squirrels in California. There are a few things to keep in mind when using dogs for squirrel hunting, though. First, it is important to make sure that the dog is well-trained and will not chase other animals or birds. Second, the dog must be able to be quiet while waiting for the hunter to shoot the squirrel. Finally, the dog should retrieve the squirrel after it has been shot.

Can you hunt squirrels from a vehicle in California?

In California, you can only hunt squirrels from a vehicle if you have a valid hunting license and if the vehicle is stationary. You must also be within legal shooting hours.

Final Thoughts

As with any hunting, there are a few things to keep in mind when squirrel hunting in California. First and foremost, always be sure of your target and what is beyond it. Shooting across a canyon may seem like a good idea, but if you miss your target the consequences could be disastrous. Second, remember that squirrels are very quick and agile, so even if you think you have the perfect shot lined up, they can easily dart out of the way at the last second. And finally, always follow all safety procedures and regulations when handling firearms.

With that being said, squirrel hunting can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature while also getting some exercise. And of course, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of coming home with a bag full of fresh-caught games. So whether you’re a seasoned hunter or just starting out, be sure to give squirrel hunting a try next time you’re in California.

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