Fox and gray squirrels, Sciurus niger rufiventer Geoffroy and S. carolinensis pennsylvanicus Ord, are commonly hunted in Iowa. Average hunting success for 12 years as reported by hunter-cooperators was 0.8 squirrels bagged and 1.8 seen per gun hour. Significant variations in hunting success from one season to another were found. One squirrel was reported crippled for every 14.8 killed. Fox squirrels comprised 87.1% of the total kill; grays, 12.9%. Conservation officer contacts indicated actual hunting success was below that reported by hunter-cooperators. The cooperators were assumed to be hunters with above average skill as compared to average ability of those contacted by conservation officers. Hunters average 6.1 trips per season and spent an average of 2.8 hours per trip. The average size of hunting parties was 1.4. Hunting success varied little through the season. Two-thirds of all hunting effort was expended during the first month each season. Dogs were found detrimental to hunting success. Sex ratios of 119.2 males/100 females for fox and 110.3 males/100 females for gray squirrels were found. Age ratios varied somewhat from year to year. In fox squirrels the 14- year average was 53.9% juveniles; in grays, 49.4% juveniles. A simple method of measuring tree mast yield is described. The data indicate mast yield influences production of squirrels and subsequent hunting success in Iowa, although not as drastically as has been reported in other states. Evidence is presented which indicates the mast influence is mitigated somewhat by intensive agriculture. Squirrels probably rely more on grain food in Iowa than in more heavily wooded states.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1964 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Kline, Paul D.
"Iowa Squirrels: Hunting Statistics, Sex and Age Ratios, and the Influence of Mast and Agriculture,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 71(1), 216-227.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol71/iss1/36