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California, known for its diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes, offers ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters alike. One popular hunting activity in the state is pursuing ground squirrels, a small mammal that can be found in various regions. In this article, we will explore the world of ground squirrel hunting in California, including the species, hunting regulations, techniques, and the overall experience.

Species of Ground Squirrels in California:

California is home to several species of ground squirrels, each with its own unique characteristics and habitats. The most common species found in the state include the California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), Belding’s ground squirrel (Urocitellus beldingi), and the golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis). These furry creatures can be found in diverse habitats ranging from grasslands and agricultural fields to foothills and mountainous regions.

Hunting Regulations:

Before embarking on a ground squirrel hunting adventure, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations set by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Ground squirrels are considered small game, and specific rules and restrictions apply.

In general, a valid California hunting license is required for hunting ground squirrels. The CDFW sets hunting seasons and bag limits, which may vary depending on the region and species. It is essential to check the current regulations for the specific area you plan to hunt. Additionally, some public lands may have additional restrictions or permits, so it is advisable to contact the relevant land management agency for any specific requirements.

Techniques and Equipment:

Ground squirrel hunting can be an exciting and challenging endeavor. Hunters typically employ a variety of techniques and equipment to increase their chances of success. Here are some commonly used methods:

1. Spot-and-Stalk: This technique involves locating ground squirrels by scanning the landscape with binoculars or a spotting scope. Once spotted, hunters carefully approach the target, using natural cover to remain undetected.

2. If you are you looking for more on small game hunting missouri review our web site. Calling: Some hunters use predator calls, such as distress calls or squirrel chatter, to attract ground squirrels out of their burrows. This technique can be effective when combined with spot-and-stalk or when hunting in areas with denser vegetation.

3. Shooting Positions: Ground squirrel hunting often requires shooting from various positions, including prone, sitting, or kneeling. A lightweight and accurate rifle or shotgun are commonly used firearms for this type of hunting. It is important to select appropriate ammunition to minimize the risk of ricochets and ensure ethical kills.

The Experience:

Hunting ground squirrels in California offers more than just a thrilling pursuit. It provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the state’s natural beauty and observe the ecosystem at work. Many hunters find joy in the challenge of locating and stalking these elusive creatures while enjoying the picturesque landscapes that California has to offer.

Moreover, ground squirrel hunting can be an excellent way to practice marksmanship skills and improve shooting accuracy. It also aids in managing squirrel populations, as these animals can cause damage to crops and property if their numbers go unchecked.


Hunting ground squirrels in California offers an exciting outdoor experience for hunters of all skill levels. With proper knowledge of hunting regulations, techniques, and equipment, enthusiasts can embark on a rewarding adventure while contributing to wildlife management efforts. So, grab your gear, study the regulations, and head out to explore the diverse habitats where ground squirrels reside. Happy hunting!

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