LINCOLN — Small game, such as squirrel, is a great way to introduce novices to hunting. Skills, equipment and licensing are more basic than other types of hunting.

Squirrel season — Aug. 1 through Jan. 31, 2020 — is the first of Nebraska’s fall hunting seasons. This leaves the hunting woods available to novices and their mentors.

“Squirrel is one of the most easily accessible and feasible species to pursue in the state,” Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Hunter Education Coordinator Jackson Ellis said. “Squirrels are plentiful across most public land close to metro areas, they don’t require any specialized equipment, and the weather tends to be mild and enjoyable.”

Nebraska residents younger than age 16 can harvest squirrels without a hunt (small game) permit or Nebraska Habitat Stamp. Residents 16 and above and all nonresidents require the permit and stamp. A Hunter Education certificate is required for anyone ages 12 through 29 who hunts with a firearm.

Squirrels may be hunted statewide, but no hunting is allowed on state refuges and sanctuaries. The daily bag limit is seven squirrels, and the possession limit is 28.

“Bag limits are liberal and the meat is easy to process and create a meal that nearly anyone will enjoy,” Ellis said. “The reasons to take to the field after squirrels are as limitless as the opportunity to be had afield.”

Before a hunt, scout locations for trees that bear mast, as it could pay off when it is time to hunt. Squirrels prefer to eat the nuts of oaks, hickories and walnuts. They will eat other types of nuts and fruit when preferred food types are not available.

Hunt permits may be purchased at Read the 2019-20 Small Game and Waterfowl Guide at for more hunting information.

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