There are two game species of squirrels found in Mississippi, the eastern gray squirrel and the eastern fox squirrel. Both species are found throughout the state, but gray squirrels are the most widely distributed and most numerous. Gray squirrels are perhaps the most abundant small game species, and generally offer plenty of hunting opportunities in most areas of the state. There are two subspecies of fox squirrels that occur in Mississippi. The Bachman, or "Hill Country," fox squirrel is the subspecies that occurs in more open upland areas throughout the state. The Delta fox squirrel is primarily limited to the Delta region and is mostly abundant in mature forests. Hill Country fox squirrel populations have declined substantially in many areas because of changes in land use and management.
With the exception of Bachman fox squirrels (which have more specific habitat requirements), squirrel populations are abundant throughout the state. However, squirrel populations will often fluctuate from year to year in response to mast crops (acorns, pine seeds, berries, and fruits). With proper management, local squirrel populations may be increased for greater hunting opportunities. A number of habitat management practices can be used to enhance squirrel habitat quality and accessibility for hunting, including timber stand improvement and forest restoration. If you are intersested in managing squirrel habitat and populations, visit the Feature Links under the Habitat and Population Management heading for more information.
Small Game Program
Wild Turkey/Small Game Program
Habitat and Population Management