Little Rock-(Ammoland.com)- What is a hunter to do?
Deer hunting is over except for a handful of bow users.
Duck season is now complete. Turkey season is weeks in the future, and what few goose hunters are out are working fields, not timber.
Here’s a tip that a good many Arkansans already know. They have the woods virtually to themselves in late January and through the month of February. Squirrel and rabbit seasons are open, and there is some good hunting to be found across the state.
Both squirrel and rabbit seasons run through Feb. 28. Populations of both rabbits and squirrels are good in most parts of Arkansas. It has been a comparatively mild winter, so natural die-offs are at a minimum.
If the later season hunter needs a place to go, much public land in the state is open. Nearly all of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife management areas are open for rabbit and squirrel hunting, and so are some – not all – of the national wildlife refuges. Check the current AGFC Hunting Guidebook.
It is even possible that a hunter could go after both rabbits and squirrels in a day of hunting. Rabbits are not likely to be found in deep woods, and squirrels won’t be hanging out in open fields. Edges of woods, however, could produce both animals within a short distance.
Squirrels are plentiful this season. Acorns, hickories, pecans and other nuts have been abundant as well, but they are diminishing since deer, turkeys, wild hogs as well as squirrels have been feeding on them for a few months now. Tree buds, another favorite squirrel food, have not emerged yet.
Many squirrel seekers like this late January-February hunting for another reason. Snakes generally are not present so hunters don’t have to keep one eye on the ground in front of them and another eye looking toward treetops.
Ditch banks are traditionally a place for rabbit seeking, and here there is a chance for swamp rabbits as well as cottontails. Swampers tend to be a good bit larger than the more numerous cottontails.
A hunter with thoughts of both rabbits and squirrels could load pockets with high brass No. 6 or No. 7 ½ shotgun loads and be ready for whatever turns up. Hunters who use .22 rimfire rifles are ready for both animals.
The daily limit for rabbits is eight, and for squirrels it is generous 12.