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Seasons & Regulations 2014 ING HUNT T FORECAS S SQUIRREL QUIRREL HUNTERS WILL have the woods to themselves late in the season, thanks to an extension (to the end of February) in the squirrel hunting season in 51 East Tex- as counties. If the hardwoods PHOTO BY CHASE A. FOUNTAIN / TPWD VIDEO Family Squirrel Hunt 30 O TEXAS HUNTING 2014 cooperate and acorn produc- tion rebounds, that should equate to some above-av- erage late-season hunting. Timely spring rains certainly helped production, and TPWD field biologists are anticipat- ing that squirrel populations should be bouncing back. “On Gus Engeling [Wildlife Management Area], squirrel numbers have been trending downward the past several years due to the drought conditions,” says Jeff Gun- nels. “We have seen low mast crops in the bottomland hard- woods the past three years. However, last fall we did have decent hard mast, acorns and hickory nuts production in the uplands. Last fall, our area squirrel counts were some of the lowest we have ever seen here. I do anticipate that the population will begin to re- bound this year due to spring production, so this fall may be about average or just below.” Squirrel hunters are re- minded that a new regulation change now permits the use of air rifles meeting minimum standards of 600 fps (feet per second) muzzle velocity, fired from the shoulder (no hand- guns) with projectiles of at least .177 caliber. The bag and possession limits on squirrel in 12 counties in north-central Texas have also been elimi- nated beginning this year.