Question about ground squirrels

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by Ober Gun Works, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Ober Gun Works

    Ober Gun Works

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    Was in Montana last week and shot ground squirrels for the first time. My question is that in reading about them was under the impression that they hibernated when the temperature got hot in the summer. Is this not the case or are they different in Montana than Oregon or Washington ?

    Enjoyed shooting them, they sure scurry around more than prairie dogs.

    Thanks;
     
  2. Rick in Oregon

    Rick in Oregon

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    I've shot ground squirrels most of my adult life, and from what I've seen here in OR, WY, MT and SD, is that the squirrels do not tolerate the heat and go down when it gets much above 85*F. They also go down much earlier than PD's usually around July, and they're all gone by August.

    We stopped shooting them years ago after mid-June, as the critters are all down by 0900 because of the heat. Going that late is just not worth it, as you only get about two hours of shooting in the morning, and maybe a couple of hours in the evening. We're talking squirrels here, and not PD's.
     
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  3. B23

    B23 Gold $$ Contributor

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    The ground squirrels you were shooting in Montana were more than likely Richardson's ground squirrels, the locals often refer to them as gophers. They're similar, but a little different, than the Belding's ground squirrels we have in Washington and Oregon. I think the Belding's ground squirrels hibernate the soonest and longest of just about any of them. I'm not sure PD's ever really hibernate per say and only really stop coming out if its extremely cold or they get a lot of snow in there areas.
     
  4. Ober Gun Works

    Ober Gun Works

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    Thanks for the information, lady we were shooting on said they were Richardson squirrels and that they would be more active morning and evening. Have four decades experience shooting PD's so aware of their habits, just first time shooting the squirrels and was surprised they were out this late in year from what had read on different forums.

    Thank you for information. Hope to get another chance at them next year.
     
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  5. jds holler

    jds holler Gold $$ Contributor

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    We've still got a few running around, but they are fast disappearing. They will stay up a little longer in watered grass pastures, but my shooting is about over for the year.

    We do have other squirrels around here that are a long tailed digger squirrel, I believe called Coopers Digger. They are fairly plentiful in rocky areas and share habitat with the rock chucks in many areas. They are a pretty sporty varmint and aren't dumb. jd

    IMG_2477.jpg
     
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  6. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    I have seen Montana gophers, or what I believe to be Richardson's ground squirrels on rocky areas next to prairie dog towns. The gophers were partially responsible for depletion of retail stocks of .22LR ammo during 2013.
     
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  7. blackwidowp61

    blackwidowp61

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    Back when I visited my daughter in Montana, I would sneak off to shoot ground squirrels on timber company land with a 10/22 or 22-250. Once all I had was a Ruger Mk 1 and I still nailed about 40 squirrels! Of course, I missed as many as I hit, but I was taking about every shot offered, up to 40 yards. With open sights. it was a blast.
     
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