The Magnolia state of Mississippi is known for its lush forests and wildlife, making it a prime destination for nuisance wildlife. With an estimated 19.5 million acres of forestland, Mississippi has a variety of wildlife species, ranging from largemouth bass and white-tailed deer to black bears, alligators, and backyard squirrels. These little creatures can be a nuisance when they start raiding your garden or attic, but is it legal to trap, hunt, and kill them?
Is It Illegal To Trap Squirrels In Mississippi?
According to the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries & Park Website, homeowners can contact the USDA Wildlife Services for humane tips on dealing with nuisance animals. Nuisance animals can be chased, killed, hunted, or trapped on private land. That said, anyone 16 years or older trapping, hunting, or killing nuisance animals must possess an All-Game hunting license, Sportsman license, or Lifetime license.
Gray squirrels are the biggest nuisance in Mississippi. These rodents are commonly found in urban and suburban settings causing property damage, digging up gardens and yards, and invading attics. As a result, Mississippi has implemented nuisance animal regulations to help homeowners manage and control species from damaging their property.
If you’re having squirrel problems, knowing the legalities, which species are protected, and how to protect your property from damage is essential.
Let’s find out how to get rid of these pests and the legalities, licenses, and penalties for residents.
Can You Hunt Squirrels In Mississippi?
The state does not have a squirrel stocking program on managing habitat for squirrels and classifies the Eastern Gray and Eastern Fox squirrel as small game. However, Mississippi understands that squirrels play in the environment and manage the population through hunting.
The hunting season varies yearly, so check the Fish and Game website for the exact dates. At the time of the writing, the bag limit for squirrels in Mississippi is eight during the fall and youth season and four during the spring hunting season.
Below is a table of the small game animals and the hunting seasons.
|Season||Season Dates||Daily Bag Limits|
|Opossum||October 1 – October 31||5|
|Squirrel – Spring Season||May 15 – June 1||4|
|Frogs||April 1 – September 30||25|
|Squirrel Fall Season||October 1 – February 28||8|
|Youth Squirrel Hunting||September 24 – September 30||8|
|Rabbit||October 15 – February 28||8|
If you’re new to hunting squirrels, this video will walk you through on tips on where to hunt and other tips you will find useful.
Can You Hunt Tree And Ground Squirrels In Mississippi?
At the time of this writing, hunting enthusiasts can legally hunt the Eastern Gray and Eastern Fox squirrel and any other animals listed in the table above. Ground squirrels are not considered small game animals.
Is Trapping Legal In Mississippi?
Trapping squirrels and nuisance animals other than wild hogs is illegal unless the trapping occurs during the regular hunting season. Anyone 16 years of age must possess a trapping license, an All-Game license, a Sportsman license, or a Lifetime license to trap nuisance animals.
Trapping licenses can be purchased online or by calling any regional office throughout the state. Below are the two types of trapping licenses you can purchase:
When trapping on private property, you must have written permission from the landowner.
Do You Need A License to Hunt Squirrels In Mississippi?
Anyone 16 years and older must possess a valid hunting license during the regular hunting season. In addition, Mississippi requires new applicants to pass an online hunter safety course that costs $24.95. Anyone interested in taking the test must be 12 years of age and a resident of Mississippi.
At the time of this writing, Mississippi residents can purchase the following types of hunting licenses:
- Mississippi Resident: Anyone who has resided in the state for at least 12 consecutive months or meets the state’s requirements for new residents. Active duty members stationed in the state and students attending an accredited college or university can apply for a resident hunting license.
- Non-Resident Hunting License: Anyone who has not lived in the state for at least six months. Anyone 16 or older must possess a non-resident hunting license.
- Youth Hunting License: Residents and non-residents under 16 can legally hunt without a permit or license. However, they must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
- Senior Hunting License: Residents 65 or older are exempt from purchasing a license.
- Military and Veteran License: Active duty military members stationed at any of the four military bases can purchase a resident license. Mississippi residents stationed in any other state do not need a license when hunting in their home state while on leave.
- Migratory Waterfowl Requirements: If you’re 16 or older and looking to hunt migratory waterfowl, you must purchase the Federal Duck Stamp or Mississippi Electronic Waterfowl Stamp at the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries & Park website or office.
You can purchase a hunting license online by visiting the Mississippi Wildlife Fisheries & Park website or calling 1-800-5GO-HUNT (1-800-546-4868). The table below shows the license type and fees associated with each license.
Hunting License Fees
|License||Resident Fees||Non-Resident Fees|
|Small Game Hunting||$10.00||$85.00|
|7-Day All Game License||N/A||$150.00|
|Apprentice Small Game Hunt & Fishing License||$13.00||N/A|
|Fall Turkey Permit||$5.00||$20.00|
Fees are subject to change, so please check the website for the updated and correct fees.
Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In Mississippi?
It is illegal for residents to shoot any nuisance animal on their personal property, unless it is during the regular hunting season. Wild hogs are the only exception.
That said, you must have written permission from the landowner before shooting a nuisance squirrel on private property.
Gun laws will vary throughout the state, depending on the county or municipality in which you live. Therefore, checking your local laws before shooting squirrels on your property is critical.
The unlawful discharge of a firearm resulting in bodily injury or death will be prosecuted as murder. Even if no harm is caused, you are subject to prosecution for felony and misdemeanor charges.
Can You Poison Squirrels In Mississippi?
It is illegal to use rodenticides on any animal, excluding mice and rats. This is because Mississippi has no registered fumigants or poisons for controlling tree or ground squirrels.
Even though it is illegal, several homeowners will use rat traps and other poisons to try to kill squirrels.
Before using any rodent control products, read the label and follow all instructions. In addition, homeowners must take precautions to ensure no other pets, children, or wildlife will be exposed to the toxicants.
When using poison or rodenticides, make sure to use them in areas where there is no risk of other animals or people being exposed.
What Are The Penalties for Trapping and Hunting Squirrels Illegally?
The penalties for trapping and hunting squirrels without a permit or out of season are harsh, especially if the animal is listed on the protected or endangered list.
Doing so can result in misdemeanor charges, fines, and expensive court costs. In addition, the department will revoke your hunting license if found guilty until the fees and sentencing are paid.
How Do I Get Rid of Squirrels Permanently?
If you are in a situation where you need to get rid of squirrels on your property, the best action is to contact a wildlife control specialist who can help you safely and legally.
These professionals will have the necessary equipment, knowledge, and experience to remove the animals without causing any harm.
If you decide to take matters into your own hands, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
It is illegal to trap the gray wolf, furbearing animals, or unprotected animals, except unprotected rodents such as; pocket gophers, ground squirrels, mice, voles, etc.
Second, even if you can trap and remove the animals from your property, they will likely just come back unless you take steps to prevent them from returning.
The most effective way to keep squirrels away for good is to eliminate any food sources that are attracting them to your property in the first place.
This may include removing bird feeders, sealing up any holes or cracks where they get inside, and keeping your yard clean and free of debris.
Flying squirrels are the most common nuisance for attics. So, it’s crucial to identify the entry point and seal it with metal sheeting or wire mesh.
Can You Relocate Squirrels In Mississippi?
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks offers nuisance wildlife trapping and relocation permits for anyone interested in relocating nuisance animals. These permits are valid for game animals, nuisance species, and bats.
It allows residents to trap nuisance animals outside the regular hunting season and relocate them to other areas away from their homes. However, it is illegal to trap and relocate any live feral hog.
Anyone convicted of relocating a wild hog is punishable as a Class I Violation and subject to a $2,000.00 – $5,000.00 fine and no more than five days of imprisonment in the country jail.
In addition, you risk forfeiting your hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for 12 months.
Professional Squirrel Removal Services In Mississippi
The best way to get rid of nuisance squirrels damaging your yard or home is to contact a professional squirrel removal service.
These professionals are trained and experienced in dealing with nuisance wildlife and can help you remove the animals safely and humanely.
They are knowledgeable about animal behavior, local laws, and techniques needed to trap squirrels quickly.
They also have access to specialized traps explicitly designed for squirrels, making their removal much easier.
Several services throughout Mississippi specialize in animal removal.
Be sure to research and choose a service with a good reputation, is licensed and insured, and offers humane solutions for squirrels.
Other Nuisance Wildlife In Mississippi
Unfortunately, squirrels are not the only nuisance animals homeowners have to deal with throughout the state. Due to developers encroaching on their habitats, many animals live in urban and suburban areas.
The most common nuisance wildlife include:
- Fox Squirrels
- Red Squirrels
- Gray Squirrels
It is essential to remember that all these animals are integral to the ecosystem and merely trying to survive.
While it can be frustrating if they set up shop in your backyard, it’s essential to follow the laws and regulations when attempting to remove them.
The same laws and regulations that protect squirrels also apply to these animals.
Therefore, it is essential to follow local guidelines when dealing with these nuisance critters.
Hunting enthusiasts can hunt the gray and fox squirrels during the regular trapping season. The law prohibits the trapping of these animals unless it occurs during the regular hunting season. Anyone trapping any wildlife animal, other than wild hogs must possess a valid Mississippi trapping license.
If you’re dealing with nuisance animals, the state encourages homeowners implement non-lethal measures for controlling the issue. You can contact the Center for Wildlife Damage Management at 601) 432-2199, if you’re having issues with dangerous animals such as alligators.
Unfortunately, they don’t remove squirrels and other nuisance animals. Homeowners must contact a pest control service or wildlife removal service to deal with these pests in a humane and safe way.
These services follow proper safety protocols and laws when trapping animals, such as squirrels, so that they don’t harm the animal or cause any trouble for you. They will also take steps to ensure that the same animal does not return in the future.
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