Ohio is not only the home of the Buckeyes; it has over 8.0 million acres of forest land with 103 tree species. This makes it the perfect environment for wildlife, including ground and tree squirrels. Some people enjoy hunting and trapping these animals for their pelts or as a means of population control, while others view them as pests that need to be eradicated. So is it legal to hunt, trap and kill squirrels in Ohio?
Is It Illegal To Trap Squirrels In Ohio?
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, it is legal to hunt red, gray, and fox squirrels during regular hunting season. It is within a homeowner’s right to trap and relocate nuisance squirrels.
Ohio is home to both ground and tree squirrels. The ground squirrels consist of the chipmunk, the groundhog, and the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.
Unfortunately, the legalities regarding ground squirrels were not readily available as the tree squirrels. Residents dealing with ground squirrel issues should contact their local wildlife office for more information.
As for tree squirrels, the laws are more black and white. As a resident, it’s essential to understand the laws regarding these small rodents’ killing, relocation, and trapping.
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.
Is Trapping Legal In Ohio?
Trapping nuisance squirrels on your property is legal but can’t be kept for more than 24 hours after trapping them. In addition, it is illegal to trap any wildlife with the intent to keep it as a pet, sell hides, or trade it.
It is illegal to trap or take nuisance wild animals on public land without first obtaining a valid permit or license. That said, using inhumane traps with teeth is illegal unless monitored.
Does Ohio Have Squirrel Hunting Season?
Yes, residents can hunt red, gray, and fox squirrels from September 1 – January 31, when small game and furbearer hunting season occurs. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset.
All hunters must possess the proper license, permits and follow the bag limits. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources strictly enforces these rules and regulations.
What Is The Bag Limit For Squirrels In Ohio?
According to Ohio Administrative Code 1501:31-15-01, the bag limit for squirrels is six (6) per day. This includes taking any combination of fox, gray, and red squirrels.
Any person who takes more than the daily bag limit or possession limit of any species may be charged with a wildlife violation. The penalties for violating these laws can result in costly fines and jail time.
Do You Need A License to Hunt Squirrel In Ohio?
If you’re planning on hunting squirrels, you must have the appropriate license, which you obtain through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
Like most other states, Ohio has a hunting license requirement for residents and non-residents who want to hunt small or big game animals.
Below is a list of the different types of licenses you can buy in Ohio.
- Youth: $10 – $43.56 (Lifetime License)
- Adult: $19 – $449.28 (Lifetime License)
- Senior: $10 – $84.24
You’ll need to provide proof of residency, your Social Security number, and a completed application to get a license. Licenses and permits are valid for 365 days, starting from the date of purchase.
What Kind Of Squirrels Can You Hunt In Ohio?
The two main types of squirrels in Ohio are the grey squirrel and the fox squirrel. The grey squirrel is the most common, while the fox squirrel is less populous but still hunted by many people.
If you’re under 18 years old, you must have parental consent to get a hunting license.
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.
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.
So before trying to hunt, trap or kill squirrels or any other wildlife, ensure you understand which squirrels are fair game and which are protected.
Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In Ohio?
It is illegal for anyone other than the homeowner to shoot on personal property.
The only time it would be legal to shoot a squirrel on your property is if it was causing damage to your crops or home.
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.
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. First, it’s essential to know that lethal methods of control, such as snares, barbed wire, hooks, or fire in a squirrel den, are inhumane and illegal in Ohio.
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 Euthanize Squirrels In Ohio?
According to the Ohio Administrative Code 1501:31-15-03, it is unlawful to trap nuisance animals with the intent of euthanizing them. Anyone unable to get rid of a nuisance squirrel using other methods must possess a permit from the Division of Wildlife before euthanizing any wildlife.
Can You Relocate Squirrels In Ohio?
It is not illegal to relocate squirrels or other small mammals in Ohio. However, Ohio state law states that you must release squirrels outside city limits.
In addition, keeping the squirrel in your possession for more than 24 hours after trapping is illegal.
That said, it is illegal to relocate small mammals, such as bats, weasels, raccoons, etc, that are susceptible to rabies without a permit.
These safety measures are taken because an infected animal can spread the disease to the animals already there. This could wipe out an entire colony.
If you have a problem with nuisance squirrels, the best solution is to contact the Ohio Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE for updated laws regarding nuisance squirrel removal.
It is legal for residents to trap, hunt, and kill gray, red, and fox squirrels during regular hunting season.
Homeowners dealing with nuisance squirrels can use legal methods such as trapping and relocating wildlife or contact a wildlife control specialist to safely and legally remove them from their property.
Illegal trapping of squirrels has consequences, including fines and jail time. The best way to keep squirrels away for good is to eliminate any food sources that are attracting them to your property in the first place.
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