Can You Trap, Hunt And Kill Squirrels In Maine? [What to Know]

can you trap hunt and kill squirrels in Maine

The Pine Tree State has the highest percentage of forested land in the United States, with 88.8% of the state covered in forest. This makes Maine the perfect environment for raccoons, coyotes, squirrels, and other wildlife. Unfortunately, homeowners may find themselves fighting nuisance wildlife like squirrels. So, it’s essential to understand the laws regarding trapping, hunting, and killing ground, tree, and flying squirrels.

Is It Illegal To Trap Squirrels In Maine?

According to Maine’s §12401 statute laws, any person may lawfully kill any wild animal day or night if the animal is attacking, worrying, or destroying the homeowner’s property or domestic animals. If you kill a wild animal, you must report the incident to the Maine Warden Service. Live trapping and relocating must be the homeowner’s last solution. 

Maine is home to ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and other rodents. 

However, the most common type of squirrel in the state is the tree squirrel. In addition, there is an abundance of gray, red, and flying squirrels that can be seen in Maine’s forests, backyards, and other areas.

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 Maine?

Maine offers different licensed hunters the opportunity to hunt squirrels during specific seasons. However, hunters must follow the rules and regulations depending on the type of species.

For example, according to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), woodchuck hunting is only permitted during specific days in late summer and fall.

Below is a table of the 2023 legal hunting seasons for squirrels, along with the daily bag limit. These dates change yearly, so you’ll want to check the MDIFW website for updates.

AnimalDatesDaily Bag LimitPossession
Gray Squirrel (Falconry)September 30, 2023 – February 28, 202348
Red SquirrelNo Closed SeasonN/AN/A
Gray SquirrelSeptember 30, 2023 – December 30, 202348
WoodchuckNo Closed SeasonN/AN/A

Is Trapping Squirrels Legal In Maine?

Maine and other states view live trapping and relocation as a last resort. This is because relocation can potentially spread diseases and other problems to non-target animals. Instead, homeowners must take necessary steps to deter them from their homes or contact a licensed wildlife control operator.

That said, live trapping is legal if a squirrel continues coming back and has taken up nesting in your home. Contact the Nuisance Wildlife Information Line (NWIL) at 1-877-463-6497 for tips and information on how to remove young squirrels in nests.

The NWIL offers free assistance to remove other nuisance species, such as the following:

  • Groundhogs
  • Bats
  • Birds
  • Chipmunks
  • Rats and Mice
  • Raccoons
  • Snakes

Do You Need A License to Hunt Squirrel In Maine?

Anyone who hunts in Maine needs a hunting license, permit, or both. The license type required depends on your age, resident status, the animal you’re hunting, etc. Hunting licenses vary from $26 for a big game hunting license to $15 for a small game license.

Below is a list of the fees and license types available in Maine.

License Cost
Small Game Hunting (Resident of 16 years and older)$15.00
Small Game Hunting (Non-Resident of 16 years and older)$75.00
Archery Hunter License (Resident)$26.00
Archery Hunter License (Non-Resident)$75.00

Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In Maine?

Homeowners are authorized to use firearms within the boundaries of their property as long as it is discharged at least 100 yards from any dwelling or residence. 

That said, you cannot hunt squirrels on your property unless it falls during the regular hunting season and you have the proper licenses and permits.

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 Maine?

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

Contact a licensed wildlife control operator if you continue having problems with squirrels invading your home or property.

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 Maine?

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. Removing them from their home range can have serious consequences, as it introduces new diseases and disrupts the local ecosystem.

It’s important to remember that wildlife control is a last resort when dealing with your squirrel problems.

Humane solutions such as exclusion, habitat modification, and repellents should always be your first choice in dealing with nuisance squirrels.

It’s best to contact a licensed wildlife control specialist experienced in handling and relocating nuisance animals. The expert will know the most humane way of handling the animal, including trapping and releasing it back into the wild.

They must also be aware of local, state, and federal laws and take steps to ensure the animal’s safety.

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 easier.

Several services throughout Maine 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

Homeowners can take steps to manage and prevent squirrels from damaging their property. For example, it is legal to trap, kill and remove a nuisance squirrel that builds a home in your attic. However, you can’t kill or trap a squirrel invading your bird feeders.

Instead, you must take the necessary steps to deter them from returning.

If all else fails, contact a licensed wildlife control specialist experienced in dealing with nuisance animals. They will know the most humane way of handling the animal and can help you remove it safely and quickly.

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