The UK Squirrel Season Is All But Upon Us

Way ahead of you.
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Just been a surge of them in my garden this week. Been keeping on top of numbers throughout the year but had 5 in the last couple of days and more to come today based on the two in my garden now!
 
There is quite an active thread on Pigeon Watch on this. They keep score and try to beat the year on year figures so if anybody wants to add their score to theirs it would help.

David.
 
I had 29 from my garden last year. I just couldn't add the 30th before 31st December, despite my best efforts. But I'm only on 15 this year so far. I've been too busy to concentrate on them. Been ramping it up in the past few weeks as they're all running around looking for acorns.
 
One of my favorite pastimes was shooting squirrels with my trusty BSA Mercury, a still autumn day was perfect as greys would be crashing around in the trees so easier to locate. Often a give away would be bits on nut shells steadily trickling to the ground and hazel nut trees were a certain draw.

Now must say winter shooting with the aid of a thermal is far more effective, in fact 2 riflemen with thermals and a runner with a shot gun has to be a lethal combination. One day early this year we had 20+ in an afternoon just walking around the hedgerows on one of my small permissions.

D
 
I miss a bit of squirrel shooting. Over the years I have shot hundreds with the air rifle and the shotgun. But as with where Ray lives there are only reds here so unless some idiot introduces greys I can't see me shooting any more.

Does anyone eat them? I have heard they taste quite good but are a devil to skin.
 
so far we only have the native Red squirrels in this area, but keep an eye open for any of the grey tree rats

We're the same here. I haven't seen a grey in our area yet, but I could say the same about magpies up until a couple of years ago. Rimfire at the ready though, and any grey squirrel that appears is going to be deaded
 
Can't help feeling that with a determined effort, the grey squirrel population can be reduced down to a level that Red Squirrels can thrive at. It will take a few years. In the 1980's Veniards would pay 50p per squirrel tail. It only took three or four to pay for a box of shotgun cartridges. I earned quite a bit of money shooting squirrels on neighbouring farms - so much so that for a number of years they became quite rare.
 
Wasn't there a dedicated program to eradicating greys in England only a few years ago? I remember watching a TV program about it, and there was at least one chap fully-employed in trapping and shooting them. The trapping program came to an end as ENH (or a similar body) refused to continue his funding. Wish I could remember the details :-|
 
Can't help feeling that with a determined effort, the grey squirrel population can be reduced down to a level that Red Squirrels can thrive at. It will take a few years. In the 1980's Veniards would pay 50p per squirrel tail. It only took three or four to pay for a box of shotgun cartridges. I earned quite a bit of money shooting squirrels on neighbouring farms - so much so that for a number of years they became quite rare.

i know there was a concentrated effort to remove greys from Anglesey in Wales. It resulted in a huge increase in the red population as competition decreased and the reds were more isolated from the pox virus that the greys carry. Unfortunately I think I read somewhere that there was an outbreak of the pox virus that has set things back. But it shows it can be done.
 
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