“When I was a kid, squirrel hunting was a big traditional thing, like deer hunting is now,” Bob Childress said. “Men would schedule their time off around squirrel season. There weren’t hardly no deer back then. If you saw one, it could make the paper, particularly if it was a big buck. The first of squirrel season, everyone would take their kids and camp out.”

And woods were pretty much open range.

“Deer leases have changed the way people hunt. Most people stay in box blinds over food plots,” he snorted in obvious disdain. “They miss out on learning to hunt — going in the woods and seeing sign teaches you a lot about the woods.

“We did hunt deer, but we had to leave this area to do it. We went to Three Rivers (Wildlife Management Area) or the Red River area.”

Childress now often hunts deer in Kisatchie National Forest, but he has never lost his love of squirrel hunting.

“You still see a few squirrel hunters, especially on opening weekend, but nothing like you used to see,” he said. “After opening weekend, you will pretty well have the woods to yourself.”