Black Squirrels

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
249
Reaction score
166
When I bought my rural house in northwestern Pa. 20 some years ago fox squirrel were the only squirrels around and you could get within bow range of them quite easily.
Now it is only grey and black squirrels and they are much more difficult to get close to. I guess natural selection has moved to fox squirrels out and the greys in.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2021
Messages
48
Reaction score
106
Location
Perth Ontario
I’m north of the border in SE Ontario having just moved back after a 30 year stint out west. When I left here it was extremely rare to see a grey squirrel only black, now I probably see 10% greys.. I don’t have the research to back it up but I’m told grey squirrels are more often seen in the black phase as you travel north…
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2010
Messages
4,716
Reaction score
2,540
Location
On the Mississippi in SE Minnesota
We have them in small geographical pockets here. If I see one or two in an area of a few acres, I won't see any outside those few acres for many miles.
This makes sense. An old friend of mine is a retired wildlife biologist that spent 40 years in the Minnesota DNR. I recently commented to him that I wished the DNR would close the squirrel season on public lands (populations have been decimated by over hunting) for a few years so they could repopulate and/or have others move in from surrounding private areas. He said that squirrels have such a small home range it would never work.

So, makes sense that a recessive gene trait would not spread far and wide in a squirrel population very quickly. Small pockets exhibiting the trait would be more common if it's a relatively new trait in a local population.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
4,312
Reaction score
5,728
Theres a black fox squirrel in the area I hunt deer at, big fella with a lot of red fringe on his tail been there for the last two years, Have decided to let him alone maybe the gene pool will pick up from him and there will be a few more, shot a white one years ago when younger had him mounted but if you look close at him there are hints of a fox squirrel in him. Its nice to see these things in the woods, Also have a piebald doe in my hunting area, there was a white wild turkey in there a few years back but have not seen it in a while, when I first seen it I thought someones tame turkey was running in the flock but the bands on its tail and other wild turkey markings were a cream color, the turkey had a beard of about 9 in. in length, he would make a good mount flying if one had the wall space for it.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
6,861
Reaction score
2,085
Location
Colorado
Growing up in the UP the dominant squirrel species was what we called ared squirrel. I guess because they had a reddish color. Every now and then id see one that was black.

Moving out west i found that same species but refered to here as a pine squirrel and with a more grayish color. Haven't seen a black one here though.

I used to see black Abert's squirrels in the foothills west of Denver.

They are still here! 😀 they live amongst the ponderosa pines and are fairly common in some places. The season opens November 15th. I usually get after them at least once. Not always successful.

Aberts-Squirrel-on-ground (1).jpg
 

10 Ga.

Plainsman
Joined
Sep 18, 2022
Messages
21
Reaction score
22
Location
Georgia
Those black Abert’s are very interesting looking. I hunt in CO for elk in the fall (started when I lived in a neighboring state). I’ll have to keep an eye out just to see one would be interesting. It seems I spend most of my time out ek hunting looking at birds , squirrels, and marmots and not actually looking at elk…
 

LME

50 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
1,476
I see Fox Squirrels occasionally in the woods of south Georgia. They are generally larger and mostly black. Bill
We have Fox Squirrels in my area. They are red , black and white a few have been seen that were white. They are a lot larger than a grey Squirrel.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
6,861
Reaction score
2,085
Location
Colorado
Those black Abert’s are very interesting looking. I hunt in CO for elk in the fall (started when I lived in a neighboring state). I’ll have to keep an eye out just to see one would be interesting. It seems I spend most of my time out ek hunting looking at birds , squirrels, and marmots and not actually looking at elk…

They favor large areas of ponderosa pine growth at elevations atypical of elk country.

 
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
3,948
Reaction score
2,444
I grew up in a Northern suburb of Chicago and remember the occasional black squirrel in our back yard. Of course, the grey's out numbered them probably a dozen to one. Also recall seeing them in southern Wisconsin.
 

MAC1967

40 Cal
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Messages
121
Reaction score
135
If you choose to shoot one, you should at least have it mounted, given its rarity.
 

TDM

69 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 28, 2022
Messages
3,321
Reaction score
5,972
Location
Louisiana & My camp in Mississippi
40 years ago I used to routinely hunt a small bayou in my pirouge ( yes, people really do that in Louisiana, I’m as big as that same pirouge now). I would jump shoot wood ducks as the sun came up, then squirrel hunt on the way back. For at least 2 years I saw a big jet black squirrel in the same general area, but never got a clear shot on it. Only one I’ve ever seen.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Messages
553
Reaction score
324
Bunch in Northern Ohio apparently. I see people posting pictures of them all the time. Haven't seen any down this way though. There did used to be a white one over by an elementary school in town though.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
5,263
Reaction score
5,630
Location
Western North Carolina
A common sight in Western New York when I lived there. There were pockets of them. Always told black squirrels were a faze of grey squirrels. Never really thought much about them as far as being special or unique.
 

Sandstrom

Original Pilgrim
Joined
Oct 3, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
Location
Ohio
They are in various places in Ohio as well. My Son is currently attending Kent State which is in the northern part of the state and they are numerous there as well. Apparently back in the 60s Kent imported some from Canada and the gene is now prevalent so they are not uncommon to see all over Northern Ohio.

1665980164359.png
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Messages
14,801
Reaction score
2,791
Location
Central Minn
Like a few others have said already we have several pockets holding populations with a high percentage of Black phase around here in central MN.
Typically in or near city parks and residentail areas where there's no hunting and folks feed'm for entertainment.
It's a genetic thing with Grey Squirrel, recessive genes pair up,,
There were Albino near here too in the 70's on a local Abby/University's ground, their biology dept made a big deal about the study of those.
Don't know if those are still around,
 

Frederickdav

32 Cal
Joined
Oct 13, 2021
Messages
46
Reaction score
38
I used to squirrel hunt in central west Michigan. It was fairly common to take a couple of black squirrels each season. Due to health issues, I've given up all hunting. Around my house there are many fox squirrels. A couple of females up the street feed the squirrels corn and goobers. Guess what I find in my yard every spring when the snow melts.
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2005
Messages
916
Reaction score
1,821
In Pa. , Black squirrels were occasionally found in the boundaries between hemlock pine and hardwoods , in the north central woods . Of the three species of full size squirrels ,those being fox , grey , and , black squirrels , black squirrels seem the most difficult to hunt. Any time I ran into one , the encounter was accidental. Of the more than a hundred + squirrels , I've killed and eaten , perhaps only four were black squirrels.
These days , all small game is under assault from several predator species . coyotes , Federally protected hawks and owls , newly state stocked Pine martins , etc. .etc. , etc.. I've quit hunting small game , due to the scarcity of it. I come from a hunting family , and from the 1950's until 2000 , before the predator scourge came , small game hunting was good. I don"t see how this sport will come back to anything near what it was like even a few years ago..........oldwood
I agree with you on some points. Here in Virginia, we have plenty of squirrels. I can't think of the last time I found any quail. I believe it is a combination of predators and loss of habitat. Regardless of what the anti-lead folks are pushing, I see more hawks, owls, and eagles than I ever did as a kid. Over the weekend we took the grandkids to one of the local corn maze/pumpkin patch attractions and there were two eagles soaring overhead.

Squirrels adapt and survive. Rabbits and grouse are cyclic. But unchecked predation and loss of habitat are decimating small game populations. As long as they keep plowing under woodlots and fields to build yet another unnecessary self-storage facility or quick stop the trend will continue.
 

Latest posts

Top