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Old 05-07-2018, 06:58 PM   #1
jbord39
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Default East TX public land squirrels

Hey guys,

I am having trouble finding squirrels in E TX for spring season.

I took a weekend trip to Sam Houston this previous weekend for some spring squirrel hunting. I had no luck and saw no squirrels over 16 hours. I think I was not looking in the right places -- I have never squirrel hunted outside of Bastrop (hill country) and didn't know what to expect in the pineylands.

I checked a variety of habitats all over the forest (although they were all pretty similar), sitting still for ~20 minutes at least once in each one: dense thick medium sized pine; open tall pine w/ some scattered small oaks/gum; palmetto forest w/ pines/hardwoods.

I am hoping to have a successful trip before the season ends (E TX is the only place I can hunt w/ a rimfire) and I have a friend who has never hunted wanting to join for the next trip.

I would really appreciate any pointers on what squirrels are eating right now in E TX . Or if there are more productive WMA's I could check on my next trip (Sam Houston is 2.5 hours away, Davey Crockett 3.5, Gus Engeling 4, Sabine Forest 4.5). I am not looking for your secret spots (but i'd take them !!), just any pointers to help locate some squirrels on the next attempt.

I will share a tip for Hill Country Fox Squirrels in Spring: Most of their nut caches have run out but nothing is producing fruit or acorns yet, so they are eating the growing buds of trees. Cedar elm, pecan, and butternut trees leaves bloom in sequence. So at each peak leaf cycle (being when the leaves are most soft and tender) squirrels will have a pretty big preference to one vs. the other. You will see them a lot in cedar elms when the leafs first start to emerge (early spring), but towards May-ish the butternut trees (late leafers) are putting out leafs and catkin buds that they will move towards.

Last edited by jbord39; 05-07-2018 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:48 PM   #2
bigchiefj
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The Old Sabine Bottom allows rimfire hunting for squirrels. Plus you can hunt pigs. I would recommend waterproof footwear.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:39 AM   #3
Stykbow
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Find a creek with some hardwood/pine mix and hunt down the creek at first light.
That's about all the input I would have.
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:25 PM   #4
jbord39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigchiefj View Post
The Old Sabine Bottom allows rimfire hunting for squirrels. Plus you can hunt pigs. I would recommend waterproof footwear.
thanks I'll give that WMA a shot next
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:38 PM   #5
Double-O-Dave
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Are you using any squirrel calls? I use, or really, have used, the old bellows type as well as a "whistler" button that sounds like a young squirrel in distress. We used to use the whistler while whacking the brush with your hat to imitate the sounds of a young squirrel being attacked by a hawk or owl. Camo up good, use the whistler, and get ready for a bunch of angry squirrels sticking their heads up looking for the intruder. Keep in mind, I haven't hunted squirrels in over 45 years, but I still have my calls in my hunting closet.

Good luck,

Dave
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:54 PM   #6
White Falcon
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OSBWMA, SNAKE BOOTS a MUST!!
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:06 PM   #7
texansfan
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Quote:
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OSBWMA, SNAKE BOOTS a MUST!!
Yes!!! X3
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:13 PM   #8
Low Fence
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Quote:
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OSBWMA, SNAKE BOOTS a MUST!!
And every form of chigger & tick prevention you got
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:25 PM   #9
Felix40
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Where are you from? Tawakoni and cooper wmas have a lot of squirrels. I would say quite a few more than osb. I have no idea if they have a spring season though.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:58 PM   #10
Palehorse
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There are plenty of squirrels at the Sam but no way I'm sharing exactly where. There are few trophys too!

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Old 06-01-2018, 06:54 PM   #11
White Falcon
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In the woods!!
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:22 PM   #12
jbord39
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Quote:
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In the woods!!
Squirrels aren't just "in the woods". They are highly dependent on certain trees and plants to support them. Unlike deer which are a more adaptive species, squirrels are particularly specialist animals. They are also more affected by forest burns and selective logging. For example good luck finding fox squirrels in a pine tree forest.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:08 PM   #13
backwoods
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Quote:
For example good luck finding fox squirrels in a pine tree forest.
I think you may mean gray squirrels?
If you want to find Fox squirrels you will find them in the big pines. They go after pine cone seeds. Burning helps reduce ground litter and brush. Fox squirrels prefer open forest where they can see long ways which is also why you find them in old growth city parks. With the decline in old growth forest we have seen declines in fox squirrels.

The hardwoods along creeks that support oaks will have lots of gray squirrels
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:47 PM   #14
White Falcon
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This!
Quote:
Originally Posted by backwoods View Post
i think you may mean gray squirrels?
If you want to find fox squirrels you will find them in the big pines. They go after pine cone seeds. Burning helps reduce ground litter and brush. Fox squirrels prefer open forest where they can see long ways which is also why you find them in old growth city parks. With the decline in old growth forest we have seen declines in fox squirrels.

The hardwoods along creeks that support oaks will have lots of gray squirrels
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:52 PM   #15
Flex
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This thread resurrection makes me want to go squirrel hunting.

Opening day squirrel in SWLA will always be one of my favorite memories growing up.

Think I'll have to go down this year for a weekend!

We used to breed and run squirrel dogs. It was a lot of fun. Also had some luck with the Faulks squirrel calls.

As far as terrain we never really found any in the logged areas full of pine. Always hunted near bayous and areas with pecan and oak trees.

Don't know about any TX public land so can't help there.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:57 PM   #16
Bayouboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backwoods;1346t9406
I think you may mean gray squirrels?
If you want to find Fox squirrels you will find them in the big pines. They go after pine cone seeds. Burning helps reduce ground litter and brush. Fox squirrels prefer open forest where they can see long ways which is also why you find them in old growth city parks. With the decline in old growth forest we have seen declines in fox squirrels.

The hardwoods along creeks that support oaks will have lots of gray squirrels
This^^^^
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