D’Arbonne NWR’s squirrel-hunting do’s and don’ts

You don’t normally begin reading an article about hunting a specific area with a suggestion of something not to do. Consider this one of those times.

Chris Jones of West Monroe only went hunting his favorite way — with dogs — on the D’Arbonne National Widlife Refuge one time. He and a friend took their squirrel dogs to the refuge and the dogs treed 28 times in about three hours.

The hunters only got one squirrel.

“Man, those big old hardwood trees up there have so many holes and hiding places they got the best of us,” Jones said. “Every time the dogs treed, by the time we got there, it was too late.”

Dog hunting is allowed after the refuge’s last gun hunt for deer.

However, still-hunting for squirrels might be more productive than using dogs. Finding a den tree or two in the hardwood stands and getting there early in the morning will give you a good chance of taking a limit of bushytails.

Some of the area’s more-successful squirrel hunters take a different approach, focusing on areas that are predominantly pine but sprinkled with hardwoods. Those trees aren’t as big, and the squirrels seem to like the safety of the thicker pine woods.

Here’s a good tip, too: It seems that on bright, sunny days, the squirrels wander farther out from the dens. On cloudy days, they seem to hang closer to their homes.

Because of the easy access, the refuge is a good place to bring young hunters. Quite a few young hunters in the area learn to hunt by going after squirrels on the refuge.

About Kinny Haddox 592 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, lakedarbonnelife.com and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.