Archive for the 'squirrel' Category

Texas Outdoor Story – The Squirrel and the Snake

Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Paddling Ladybird Lake.

Paddling Ladybird Lake. Image: Texas River School

This is Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories

Ginger Turner enjoys paddling on Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Over the years, she says she’s witnessed her share of unusual incidents on the water.

The one that was really funny and sticks out in my head. My friend and I were paddling and we saw something swimming and we couldn’t figure out what it was. We get over there and it’s a squirrel swimming over one of the widest parts of the lake. We’re like, “let’s get closer; get closer.” So we follow him over and he ran up this tree that was leaning over in the water. As he was running up he ran smack dab into a snake that was curled up sunning on the tree. And it startled the squirrel, and it startled the snake and they both jumped about 10 ft. up in the air! And the snake plopped in the water and the squirrel we couldn’t even find. Later we heard a rustling and we saw the squirrel had made it over to the shore. But it was hilarious, it was funny. But I didn’t know that squirrels swam, but I guess they do. [laughs]

Thanks, Ginger. You never know what you might see when you get outside.

Do you have a funny or memorable Texas outdoor story to share? Go to, and let us know. We love to hear what you do outside!

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Tips for Hunting Squirrels

Friday, January 27th, 2017

This is Passport to Texas

Mention hunting to a Texan and most think: deer.

That’s just the way it’s always been. But it doesn’t mean that for everyone.

For some people, hunting includes small game like squirrel, says Hunter Education specialist Heidi Rao.

I think we need to get outside of the box and pursue these opportunities that we have here in Texas. There’s such an abundance of wildlife.

We may legally hunt fox and gray squirrels in Texas.

A .22 is usually the best choice of rifle to use to hunt squirrel. They’re found statewide, and you do need your hunting license. And if you’re required to take hunter education, you must have that as well.

Heidi says it’s best to have a strategy before going squirrel hunting, such as the one she employs when hunting with her kids.

So, our strategy was what you call still hunting. And what that meant is that we moved very slowly through an area. We remained in a straight line, and we kept a good distance from each other. And we slowly moved throughout area looking for squirrel. You’re listening to the rustling of the leaves that the squirrels may be foraging in looking for acorns and food. You can hear them chattering between themselves, among themselves. And you can look into those different calls to see where they may be located.

After that, it takes patience, a keen eye and steady hand. Find season information and hunting regulations in the Texas Outdoor Annual.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Small Game, Big Challenge

Thursday, January 26th, 2017
A squirrel on alert.

A squirrel on alert.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re considering hunting for the first time, but feel intimidated when it comes to big game like deer …

Squirrel hunting is a very great way to introduce somebody to hunting whether they be a youth or an adult.

Heidi Rao is a Hunter Education specialist for Southeast Texas. Squirrel hunting may actually offer a more challenging and exciting overall experience.

Sometimes when you’re deer hunting, you might be sitting in a blind [for hours] just being quiet and waiting, and not see anything. But squirrel hunting, because it’s quick—meaning a lot of action in the field—if they take a shot, within a matter of often minutes, another one comes out. So, it’s a pretty high paced activity. You can really have an enjoyable outing.

Whether hunting big game or small, the same rules apply.

You do need your hunting license. And, if you’re required to take hunter education, you must have that as well. Anyone born after September 2nd 1971, to hunt in Texas, must have hunter education.

The specifics of squirrel hunting. That’s tomorrow.

The different counties have different dates in which you can legally hunt squirrel.

Download the Texas Outdoor Annual App for hunting information and regulations. Find it at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series, and works to increase shooting and hunting in Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.