Differential Vulnerability of Fox and Gray Squirrel Age Classes to Hunting

Age ratios were determined for 361 gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) and 130 fox squirrels (S. niger) taken on 50 ha in Northeast Texas during 5 weekend hunts. Data indicated that adults were more likely than young to be taken on the opening weekend. During weeks 2 and 3, young were more frequently taken while during weeks 4 and 5, adults were again taken more frequently. Results were inconsistent with the beliefs of most biologists and hunters who claim that young animals are more susceptible to the gun than are adults. Because of different vulnerability of adults and young squirrels by week, caution should be observed when interpreting age-ratio data taken from hunter bags.

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