Can You Hunt Trap And Shoot Squirrels In Kentucky?

can you hunt trap and shoot squirrels in Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky also known as as the Bluegrass State has one of the most diverse hardwood species in the nation, second to Florida. This lush environment makes it the perfect dwelling place for white-tailed deer, rabbits, squirrels, grouse and wild turkey. This means that homeowners may find themselves dealing with pesky squirrels in their attic, trees, and gardens. So it’s important to understand the laws regarding trapping, hunting, and killing squirrels.

Is It Illegal To Trap Squirrels In Kentucky?

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, homeowners can use fencing, scare tactics, repellents, or removal of animals via trapping or shooting methods. That said, you must obtain a captive wildlife permit from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department.

That said, wildlife classified as unprotected or predatory animals, such as; raccoons and skunks, cannot be released without written permission. 

Kentucky is home to three species of squirrels, the fox, gray and northern flying squirrel. The Bluegrass State is home to several species of ground squirrels, the Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) is the most common.

As a homeowner, you must understand the laws and regulations regarding trapping and hunting squirrels, to avoid penalties and fines.

Can You Hunt Squirrels In Kentucky?

Kentucky has three species of tree squirrels, northern fox, eastern gray, and the southern flying squirrels. Small game hunting is split into two parts. Licensed hunters can legally hunt the gray and fox squirrel during the months of August 20 – November 14, and the second part of the hunting season falls from November 16 – February 28.

The daily bag limit on squirrels is six, with a total of 12 daily.

Hunting dates and regulations may vary by zone, so make sure you check the regulations in your area.

Small game animals you can hunt in Kentucky consist of the following:

  • Grouse
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels
  • Quail

Is Trapping Squirrels Legal In Kentucky?

It is legal to trap rabbits and squirrels during the regular hunting season, with a valid captive wildlife permit. You must obtain the permit from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife department, prior to trapping any live wildlife.

To obtain the license, you must be 18 years of age, and submit an application fee of $75. Here’s a link to the captive wildlife permit application.

Do You Need A License to Hunt Squirrel In Kentucky?

Anyone over 12 years of age or older must possess a vaild hunting license. Licenses and permits can be purchased online from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Online License Sale website. Residents have the option to purchase a 1-day or annual license.

Below are the types of permits and licenses you can purchase.

License/PermitNon ResidentResident
Annual Hunting License$27.00$150.00
1-Day Hunting License$7.00$25.00
7-Day Hunting LicenseN/A$65.00
Hunting and Fishing Combo License$42.00Not Available

The state offers youth licensing , senior licensing and disability licenses. Prices are subject to change, so consult the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources website before applying.

Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In Kentucky?

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, homeowners can remove nuisance animals from their property via shooting or trapping. That said, you will need to check the gun laws in your area, as in some cases local regulations may supersede state laws.

For example according to section Lexington-Fayette County, it is illegal for anyone except police officers, or military personnel to discharge a firearm within the city limits.

Before discharging a firearm, you must understand your area’s laws and regulations to avoid penalties. Every municipality is different and may have its own laws regarding shooting wildlife on personal property.

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 Kentucky?

There are no registered fumigants or poisons for controlling tree squirrels in Kentucky. Instead homeowners dealing with nuisance squirrels should use baited traps, or chemical repellents to prevent squirrels from gnawing on wood.

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 Kentucky?

Only nuisance wildlife control operators’ or residents with a valid trapping permit can euthanize or release captured animals back into the wild. Also, ensure you understand which nuisance animals can and cannot be released back into the wild.

In many cases, it’s illegal and inhumane to relocate squirrels since they often can’t adjust to unfamiliar surroundings.

Squirrels and other animals choose their environment based on their habitat, food, water, and safety.

Relocating them to a new area disrupts this balance and often leads to the animal’s death. 

In addition, it introduces new environments to diseases and can create new problems for the local wildlife.

Professional Squirrel Removal Services

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 Kentucky 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.

Final Word

Residents with the proper licenses and permits can hunt, kill, and shoot squirrels. That said, it is illegal to shoot, injure or kill the northern flying squirrel.

If you’re dealing with nuisance squirrels on your property, it is best to contact a professional wildlife control expert. These professionals will have the right tools, knowledge, and experience needed to remove the animals without causing unnecessary harm.

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