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Taxidermist for Kosh Trading Post
In mid to late May both Arkansas and Missouri opened the squirrel season for the 2015-16 season Most hunters started their hunting careers or as the old saying goes “cut their teeth hunting squirrels.”
In Missouri th squirrel season runs May 23 to Feb. 15, 2016. Daily limit is 10, and the possession limit is 20. Some restrictions apply during deer season.
In Arkansas squirrel season runs May 15 until Feb. 29, 2016. Daily limit is 12, and possession limit is 48. Some firearms restrictions apply.
I can remember many wonderful hunts with Dad and Uncle Bill where the big game was a brushy tail. We always loved to hunt as soon as the season would open in the spring for a couple reasons. One, because that was when you could find the young ones that could be fried and were tender enough to eat without having to do anything to tenderize them (making them much better eating), and the other reason was ripe mulberries.
There are a lot of ways to hunt squirrels, but none more effective that ripe mulberries. We knew where there were several mulberry trees along a dried up stream bed, and if we approached quietly to each of them we could each get our limit (back in those years that was 6 each) before we were to the end of the trees. I had a couple close calls with snakes in that old dried up creek, but all that mattered was the chance for squirrels.
There were many times that we would spend the entire day hunting, and if we got game we got lunch, and if not, it would be a long day as back then everybody knew everybody and many times we would walk several miles on a hunt and never be on land without permission. I had gotten a Remington single shot .22 for my 7th birthday. All I was allowed to shoot were short shells, and Dad carried them, so when we found a squirrel he would give me a shell.
Then, in a year or so, I got to carry my own shells (not in the gun), but at least when game was spotted I could load and harvest without having to go to him for ammunition. I can’t remember at what age I was allowed to carry a loaded gun, but by then I had taken many of the bushy tails (probably several with bow by then).
Dad always spoke to everybody in the hunting party about gun safety before every hunt until he quit hunting at age 94. He had been shot in the legs with a shotgun in a hunting accident shortly after the Second World War, and he never had a hunting trip after that without a talk about safety. I think that was the thing that I will take to the grave, his respect for a firearm. The other thing was the fact he grew up through the Depression, and there was a shortage of ammo (kind of like trying to buy .22 shells now), and if I shot six shots I better have six squirrels.
I seldom hunt squirrels anymore, but I try to at least a couple times a year.
I got to take my grandson a couple years ago. He took a bow and I took an atlatl on an overnight outing to the Irish Wilderness. He got a chance at a squirrel but missed. I didn’t get the opportunity to try to take a squirrel (spent more time with the camera), and got some good pictures and video of a couple deer stalking him. He couldn’t believe the video because he had not seen them. I think that squirrel is the perfect opportunity to start the young hunter in the proper way to learn to respect both the hunting equipment, and the animals they hunt. Without that respect they will never be a true conservationist, and will be dangerous around firearms.
This year I haven’t got to go hunting yet but have been in the field several times and have been seeing a lot of squirrels. I really want to try the atlatl again. I know where there are some fat fox squirrels (and with the atlatl that is a very good thing).
We do mount squirrels at Kosh Trading Post, and they are a perfect trophy for the young hunter. In the store I have both my oldest son’s and my youngest son’s first squirrels on display. Remember that season is open and this is a great opportunity to spend extremely quality time with that son or daughter or grandkids.
I want to thank my sister, Janice Kelley, for this week’s pictures.
You can contact us at 206 Bingham St. in Koshkonong, 417-280-6304, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or view the Kosh Trading Post page on Facebook , or see our web page at koshtradingpost.angelfire,com.