Home News and Features Vermont’s Hunting Season for Gray Squirrels Opens September 1

Vermont’s Hunting Season for Gray Squirrels Opens September 1

Two hunters in orange vests in fall new england woods
Hunters can pursue one of Vermont’s tastiest and most abundant small game species—the gray squirrel—anywhere stands of nut-bearing trees are found. Photo courtesy of Vermont Fish and Wildlife.
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, such as 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, anyplace that publishes wild food recipes.”