Mississippi’s squirrel hunters can start chasing the bushy-tailed quarry statewide on Monday, and results from the first five days of the youth season show it could be spotty.

“We’ve had pretty good conditions except for Wednesday when it absolutely poured all day and flooded us out,” said Willie Norris of Jackson, who hunts on many properties around Central Mississippi. “My two boys are 12 and 15 and we have gone three days, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and the conditions were pretty good. It was wet and that let’s us slip around quietly.

“We are lucky that we have a lot of family with 20 acres here, 50 acres there and some of it is connected so we have different places to go. I was disappointed honestly. It’s been pretty spotty. Acorns are not as plentiful as we’ve seen in recent years but where we found acorns we did find squirrels. We just had to find the right spots.”

The youth season opened on Monday Sept. 24, and adults could accompany kids but not shoot. Everybody can shoot starting Monday, with a daily limit of 8 each. Norris is hopeful they can find more acorns and more squirrels.

“We’ve killed five squirrels, three squirrels and six squirrels the three days we’ve hunted,” he said. “We saw a lot more but didn’t get close enough to shoot. Those were all in areas where red oaks were abundant and had acorns. A lot of oaks are barren or just aren’t far enough along. I don’t now what the deal is. 

“These are areas where acorns and squirrels were plentiful last year. Everything I’ve ever heard is that squirrel hunting is more impacted by the previous year’s acorn crop and not the current year, but I guess if they don’t have acorns to eat they will just up and move. That seems like what has happened.”