Eastern fox squirrels are the largest tree squirrels in the western hemisphere, weighing up to three pounds and having a body the size of a house cat. They are also strikingly colored in silver, gray, and black. This squirrel prefers open timber and small groves of nut trees or long leaf pines instead heavily forested areas. Fox squirrels are rare in North Carolina, but some sections produce enough to satisfy hunters. Still, their number had declined to such a degree in 1973-74, that the hunting season was closed on them.