Can You Trap, Hunt, And Kill Squirrels In South Carolina?

can you trap hunt and kill squirrels in South Carolina

The Palmetto state comprises 13 million acres of forested landscape, with seven national parks. South Carolina is home to 10 types of rodents, such as mice, squirrels, rats, mice, etc. Unfortunately, many of these rodents have become pests in South Carolina. If you’re dealing with nuisance squirrels, you might wonder about your options for killing, trapping, and hunting squirrels.

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, it is the responsibility of a homeowner to prevent nuisance animals from causing damage to their property. Homeowners can hire experienced wildlife removal services, trap or kill squirrels, or enroll in the National Wildlife Control Training program to help them solve human and wildlife conflicts. 

We’ll discuss South Carolina residents’ options for solving nuisance wildlife issues below. But first, let’s take a closer look at the types of squirrels in the state. 

South Carolina categorizes its tree squirrels into three different groups:

  1. Large tree squirrels: Fox squirrel (Sciurus niger), Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
  2. Small tree squirrels: Red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
  3. Flying squirrels: Southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans)

According to several wildlife removal specialists, the Eastern gray squirrel and the flying squirrel are the most common nuisance rodents to homeowners. 

These rodents will take up residence in attics, basements, chimneys, fireplaces, etc., and can cause extensive damage to your property.

As a homeowner, it’s essential to understand the law before taking action with nuisance squirrels.

Let’s find out how to get rid of these pests and the legalities, licenses, and penalties for residents.

Is It Illegal To Trap Squirrels In South Carolina?

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, homeowners do not need a depredation permit when capturing a nuisance squirrel or furbearer animal. Protecting your property if the animal is causing damage within 100 yards of your home or property is legal.

Is Trapping Legal In South Carolina?

According to House Bill 4986, it is legal to trap or hunt the following fur-bearing animals with a valid license.

Furbearer animals include animals such as; muskrats, weasels, beavers, red and gray foxes, etc. The South Carolina Legislature goes into more detail about what classifies a furbearer.

When Is Squirrel Hunting Season In South Carolina?

South Carolina considers the Fox Squirrels and gray squirrels as small game animals. Squirrel hunting season opens on October 1 through March 1 annually.

Below is a table with the small game animals, dates, and bag limits.

AnimalSeason DatesDaily Bag LimitZone
Gray and Fox Squirrels October 1 – March 110 All Zones
RabbitOctober 1 – March 15All Zones
QuailNovember 21 – March 112
Other FurbearersNovember 24 – March 13

It is important to note that the dates can change from year to year, so check the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website before heading to the woods. The hunting dates will vary depending on whether you’re using dogs and the type of hunting.

Do You Need A License to Hunt Squirrel In South Carolina?

All hunting enthusiasts over 16 must possess a valid license or permit when hunting in the state. In addition, the SC Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) requires anyone born after June 30, 1979, to attend and complete a hunter education course before applying for a hunting license.

You can purchase a hunting license online by visiting the Go Outdoors South Carolina website, downloading the mobile app, or in person at any of the 500 statewide license agencies.

Below is a table with the different types of licenses and fees.

License DurationResident FeesNon-Resident Fees
State Hunting License3 years$36.00N/A
State Hunting License1 year$12.00$125.00
State Hunting License3 DayN/A$40.00
Small Game Apprentice License3 DayN/A$50.00
Small Game Apprentice LicenseAnnual$12.00N/A
State Hunting LicenseAnnual$12.00N/A

Fees are subject to change, so please check the website for the updated and correct fees.

Can You Shoot Squirrels On Your Property In South Carolina?

The rules and regulations regarding the discharge of firearms on personal property depend on South Carolina’s local and county ordinances. 

For instance, Cottageville, the mayor and Town councilman, clearly states in this interview that people can shoot squirrels in their backyard. However, an amended ordinance prohibits firearms from being discharged within the city limits.

Anyone caught violating the laws in their ordinance is subject to fines, penalties, and a possible jail sentence.

Before discharging any firearms on your property, please check with the local county ordinances in South Carolina to ensure that you abide by the law.

In addition, you will be held liable if anyone is injured or killed because you try to shoot a squirrel on your property.

Can You Poison Squirrels In South Carolina?

According to wildlife control operator professionals, there are no registered poisons for squirrels on the market, and using them violates State and Federal law.

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 control methods, such as poison, are inhumane and illegal in South Carolina.

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 South Carolina?

It is against the law to relocate squirrels continually because it 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.

Before relocating any wildlife, contact the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for specifications on the relocation of nuisance squirrels. They will be able to provide you with the best advice on how to deal with the situation. 

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 more straightforward.

Several services throughout South Carolina specialize in animal removal.

Be sure to perform your due diligence and choose a service with a good reputation, is licensed and insured, and offers humane solutions for squirrels.

Other Nuisance Wildlife In South Carolina

Unfortunately, tree and ground squirrels are not the only nuisance wildlife species in South Carolina.

The state is home to many other animals that can cause trouble for homeowners. The rules that apply to squirrels also apply to the following nuisance animals:

  • Moles
  • Minks
  • Alligators
  • Beavers
  • Black Bears
  • Amadillos
  • Coyotes
  • Bobcats
  • Herons
  • Foxes
  • Canadian Geese
  • Woodchucks
  • Skunks
  • Tree Squirrels
  • Muskrats
  • Otters
  • Voles
  • Wild Pigs
  • Otters
  • Raccoons
  • Turkeys
  • Bats

What Is The National Wildlife Control Training Program?

The National Wildlife Control Training Program (NWCTP) is a paid program that teaches people how to live with animals.

The NWCTP focuses on humane ways to deal with nuisance wildlife, from prevention methods to humane trapping and release techniques.

It comprises of a digital training program taught by professional wildlife biologists, experts, and from private and government agencies, etc. It’s the perfect course for anyone dealing with nuisance animals humanely and effectively.

Final Word

South Carolina residents are responsible for controlling the damage done by nuisance wildlife. They can trap, kill, and shoot squirrels that are causing damage within 100 yards of their property, home, or crops.

If you don’t feel comfortable or nothing seems to work, you can contact any state-approved Wildlife Control Operators. Unfortunately, the state does not endorse any of the companies. It is up to the homeowner to do their due diligence before hiring one.

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