I'm not quite sure exactly why, but I think that we have almost completely lost the love of squirrel hunting here in Louisiana.

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The season always begins on the first Saturday of October and for this year, that will be this Saturday, October 1, however I'm left wondering how many people will actually be in the woods to enjoy it?

As a kid growing up here in Northwest Louisiana, I remember the joys of "squirrel camp." It was second only to "deer camp" and was usually comprised of friends and family who gathered together to squirrel hunt and officially kick off hunting season.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

It would appear those days are long gone. It could be that those of us who deer hunt were selfish enough that we quit teaching the kids about squirrel hunting because it meant we would have to stop our bow season in order to take them. It could also be that the last remaining "Granny" with a good squirrel and dumplings recipe passed away and took the recipe with her, so people just don't know how good they are.

Whatever the reason, I still believe that squirrel hunting is an incredible gateway for youth to develop a true passion for hunting and the outdoors, and it's our responsibility to instill that in them. As my friend Steve Gore at Sportsman's Depot puts it, "Kids who hunt and fish don't steal and deal."

Keeping with that thought, thanks to realtree.com, here are 5 Great Reasons to Take Your Kids Squirrel Hunting in Louisiana.

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Squirrels Are Everywhere

Unlike other quarry like deer or ducks, squirrels are literally everywhere in the woods of North Louisiana and finding them won't require an expensive hunting lease membership as any of the incredible public hunting areas we have in this part of Louisiana.

Squirrels Are Really Good To Eat

Fried and then smothered in gravy and resting on a split-open cat head biscuit is probably the most favored way to eat them, but however you prepare them, squirrels really are good table fare. Some prefer squirrel and dumplings, just like chicken and dumplings, or even in a gumbo, those who enjoyed squirrel as a kid still long for it today!

They Are Easy To Clean

A good, sharp knife is the only requirement to "take off that squirrel's britches" and a full limit of eight squirrels can be dressed in less than an hour.  Some would call this a "fishing story" but as a kid, I used to marvel at my cousin's squirrel cleaning prowess as he could have a squirrel completely dressed and sitting in a bowl of water in less than 5 minutes.

Squirrels Help Youngsters Develop Their Hunting Skills

Having three sons of my own, I can personally attest to the fact that hauling them into a box deer stand with their phone, a bag full of Little Debbie snacks and their cell phone, doesn't teach them anything about hunting.  It only teaches them the art of "waiting."  However, squirrel hunting teaches them about tree identification, how to look for "sign" and the proper way to stalk.  Done properly, it also teaches them a lot about firearm safety.

There's Lots Of Action While Squirrel Hunting

When squirrel hunting, you're always focused on "the hunt."  At some points you're listening for a squirrel barking in the distance or the sound of one chasing another one around the bark of a pine tree. Other times you're carefully watching for that bending of a limb as a squirrel moves through the trees or across the ground.  Then there are those times trying to determine his exact whereabouts on a particular tree. Then of course there's the actual shooting of the prey. And this action really multiplies when you're privileged enough to work with a good squirrel dog.

If you're planning to squirrel hunt this weekend, good luck, and be sure to take a kid with you.  It could be one of the best memories of their life!

WMA's and Public Hunting Lands in Northwest Louisiana

Northwest Louisiana is home to a number of public hunting grounds and surprisingly, some of these areas are conveniently located and used very little. See what we have found.

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