Letter to the Editor
August 25, 2020
Time for a more humane squirrel hunting season
New Hampshire Fish and Game is promoting the start of small game season on September 1st. That includes gray squirrels. What the department neglects to mention is that this is the time — as well for the second wave — of gray squirrel births this year.
Gray squirrel mothers are devoted and caring. If something happens to her, the babies will starve to death. Also, the babies can get fly larvae on them and the mother is not there to groom and keep that danger off. She is also not there to prevent other adult squirrels from entering the nest. When hunters kill mother squirrels, all of that happens. That is a fact.
I petitioned last year to change the date of the season to a later time so that the babies could at least fend for themselves if their mother was killed by hunters. I used the evidence of wildlife rehabbers saying they had dependent babies even coming to them still in October. The reply from Fish and Game was a flat denial and they cited some useless study from another state that was decades old.
I leave you with the words of a hunter that stopped hunting squirrels after an epiphany. He shot a squirrel’s head off, but the body was still there hanging on by the back legs and dangling. He shot the body again to get her down, looked at the squirrel on the ground and asked himself, “Now, why am I doing this?” Why indeed.