Biologist Billy Dukes of SCDNR said that the squirrel population is still super-abundant across South Carolina. 

“Hunting on WMAs for squirrels can be great statewide; just find the right habitat,” he said. “The key here is to look for large river drainages and primary tributaries with large bottomlands. These are the ideal places for squirrels to be found in very large numbers. The reproductive nature of squirrels is such they can withstand reasonable hunting pressure and maintain their numbers. Most areas can actually sustain more squirrel hunting pressure.

“The best places to hunt squirrels are usually the larger WMAs because of more potential ideal habitat and would include the Sumter and Francis Marion national forests,” Dukes said. “Both have huge bottomland areas with abundant squirrel populations. Squirrels are found on other WMAs where good bottomland habitat exists on a smaller scale.”

It’s important, Dukes said, to note that reasonable numbers of squirrels can be found in isolated tracts of hardwoods, and if a hunter can find two or three such areas in close proximity, he can enjoy a successful hunt.