Can I Shoot Squirrels In My Backyard?

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Before engaging in squirrel hunting, you need to ask the consequential question, can I shoot squirrels in my backyard? Yes, if you intend to shoot squirrels in their season or otherwise, it’s possible to do it in your backyard.

Squirrels are the most sought after small game for state resident hunters. In a hunter’s lifetime, squirrel hunting is fancied most among the different small game

What You Need to Know About Shooting Squirrels in Your Backyard

Your backyard is part of your property, and if you live in a wooded location, squirrels are bound to interact with you. Albeit, this is an unwarranted interaction since humans can prey on these creatures. Also, your backyard can be that forested community area surrounding where you can undertake game hunting. These areas create friction between locals and authorities since the human and wildlife conflict manipulates the control factors.

In this kind of situation, regardless of the authority, the human factor will always get the upper hand. But this is not to mean the regulation elements cease to function. That’s not the case regardless of the struggle with squirrels in your backyard. Therefore, let’s dig in and mine information to help you realize how you can start hunting squirrels.

How Are Squirrels Categorized?

Different animal species are characterized distinctively depending on the kind, and so are squirrels. All squirrels belong to a particular family, but it’s dependent on the location of these creatures. There is a more in-depth characterization for squirrels; nevertheless, this will involve an unfathomable deeper understanding. In this case, the aim is to dissect all this and give you modest but comprehensible facts for indulgence.

In America, just like any other jurisdiction, squirrels have a deeper classification but are branded according to the color. This is to ensure that hunters, regardless of age or level of conception, can identify these small games.

Typically, there are four types of squirrels, these are:

Gray Squirrels

These squirrels have gray fur with a white underbelly, but sometimes it can be orange or brown. This is due to their regeneration owing to cross-breeding or the type of soil in the environment they inhabit. These are generally regarded as tree squirrels, and they are the most common type you will find in most parts of America. It’s essential to note that the gray squirrels are also known as the Eastern squirrel.

This is because of their origin in the eastern part of North America, which is their natural habitat. Hence, in this region, they naturally multiply and move in scurries. Here, they are in plenty and found all season round if you’re a seasoned squirrel hunter.

Red Squirrels

Chickaree squirrel is another name that the red squirrels will be referred to by residents across America. Red squirrels have a North American origin, and their characteristics are distinct from the gray squirrels. Chickarees are shorter in length and have a reddish color with a white underbelly. These squirrels tend to be more territorial compared to their counterparts.

They mainly occupy regions with conifers; hence this makes their habitat, but also, it’s what they feed on most. The red squirrels occupy parts of Alaska and most Rocky Mountains in the US. It’s impossible to be a hunter in these regions and not spot a red squirrel in your range. This is due to their mass population in and around these sites.

Flying Squirrels

They happen to be the most nuisance types of squirrels. These can fly from one tree to the other because of their physical physique. The limbs, body, and tail structure, allow this rodent to take flight whenever jumping from one subject to another. It can be a tree branch or a rock, but the fascinating part is their flight length.

When these squirrels are ducking predators or avoiding harm, they can jump to extended lengths, thus their uniqueness.

Legal Requirements Governing Squirrel Shooting

If you are a hunter, you already know that there are laws on hunting squirrels. As we have seen, hunting them is essential, and so is protecting them.

License or Permit

The permit for hunting squirrels in your backyard will differ with a few variables. These are the type of squirrel you intend on hunting and the laws stipulated in your state. In America, you need a license or permit to hunt squirrels in your backyard. But these permits will also depend on whether you are a resident of that state or not.

If you are a local, you only need a hunting license. But also, you can acquire a sporting license if you intend to hunt this small game. For non-residents, what you need is a hunting permit for either small or big game, and you’re good to go.

The Manner of Killing Squirrels

Killing squirrels is required by law to be humane. To hunt squirrels, you have to trap or kill it by shooting it in the head. This will kill it instantly, but you can also use carbon dioxide or a lethal injection to euthanize these rodents. This is as long as the squirrel doesn’t suffer.

You are not allowed to drown, strangle, or use other underhand tactics that will make the squirrel agonize.

The Best Time for Hunting Squirrels

You can hunt squirrels all year through, and the law allows it. Autumn or fall is regarded as the best season to shoot squirrels since they move around a lot during this time. Winter makes the worst season to hunt squirrels, but it’s dependent on the time. Hence, you can hunt squirrels from late mornings to the afternoon.

From this time, it becomes impossible to spot this small game since their movement is limited. In winter, these rodents forage less for food in the afternoon to avoid being prey.

Why Is Shooting Squirrels Encouraged?

Every state in American tries to have control of the hunting game available in the jurisdiction. For control of these rodents either side of the coin has to be deliberated on. It’s a balance that unless realized, the equilibrium may fall on one side, which could be dangerous. This is down to the gestation period, which is forty-four days or six weeks plus.

Also, the availability of other game in the woods influences how you hunt squirrels. Here are a few reasons why you can be encouraged to shoot squirrels in your backyard.

Control the Population

Since their gestation period is minimal, squirrels can multiply rapidly. One female can give birth to a minimum of four to eight young ones. This is a considerable number if eighty percent happen to survive through to younglings. If their population gets unbalanced, then these creatures are bound to start reaching outside their territory.

This is in search of food, and it causes them to invade human territory. Also, squirrels can damage trees through their bark eating habits, which strip off the tree’s natural protector.  Since these rodents can be a nuisance, hunters will be encouraged to shoot them to control their snowballing population.


Another reason that hunters are encouraged to shoot this game is for food. Squirrels happen to have tender meat compared to other small game. It’s close to rabbit meat but softer, and when prepared well to accompany some vegetables, its taste is spectacular. With the upsurge in population, it becomes essential to find a natural balance, and this can be through hunting them.

Note that squirrels can be edible, but the best tasting squirrels habit the woods.

Conserve Big and Medium Game

For a while now, there has been a surge in hunting big and medium game completely disregarding small game. These statistics keep spiking every day, and it’s vital to ensure the realization of a natural balance. For conservation reasons, hunters are encouraged to hunt squirrels and small game as long as you observe the set rules. Consequently, this enables conservation of other game which needs enhanced hunting control.

This is considering the big and small game can bring in income by watching them compared to squirrels.

Best Weapon to Use When Shooting Squirrels

The most preferred weapon for killing small game, including squirrels, is the air gun. Here is a list of the best air rifles for squirrel hunting.

A BB gun can be less effective since the worst damage it can cause a squirrel can survive through it. So, a pellet or a 22 caliber rifle is the ideal weapon to kill both squirrels and small varmints. The 410 caliber shotgun is another firearm that you can use to hunt squirrels.

All these weapons are deemed effective and can enhance your squirrel hunting voyage.

Here are some air gun accessories you might need when shooting squirrels in your backyard.

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Final Verdict

Squirrels happen to be creatures that require constant control to ensure they don’t become a bother. But if you keep on sighting them in your backyard, drastic measures need to be taken. A hunter’s ethics will be put to the test at this time since laws bound one.  

Therefore, can I shoot squirrels in my backyard? We’ve seen it’s legal to shoot this small game in your backyard. Although not at your consensus or when you feel like shooting squirrels merely because they are in your backyard. For legality reasons, it’s vital you broadly learn what it takes for you to hunt squirrels in your backyard.

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