Is It Legal To Trap And Kill Raccoons In Pennsylvania [Yes]

Spread the love

In America, there are many rules and regulations regarding the trapping and killing of fur-bearers. The same is the case in the state of Pennsylvania. Raccoons thrive in this state but are it legal to trap and kill Raccoons in Pennsylvania?

Yes, it is legal to trap Raccoons in Pennsylvania, but only landowners or private property owners can do this. A commoner cannot kill Raccoons of his own accord. He needs to seek a permit from the Game Commission first. 

In this article, we will walk through the laws and conditions of hunting Raccoons. Which people are responsible for relocating Raccoons, and what can be done about the trapping of coons in Pennsylvania.

Yes, it is legal to trap and relocate Raccoons in Pennsylvania. However, there are specific laws one needs to know before acting. Raccoons can be trapped using box traps or cage traps. They can be set alone and left until the species are lured into it.

For kill-trapping, a license is required from the Game Commission. You cannot relocate Raccoons casually to any place you want in Pennsylvania. Their regulations are different because Raccoons are vectors for Rabies.

The state of Pennsylvania is much concerned about the safety and health of its people. That is why it does not permit the re-location of Raccoons within the premises of Pennsylvania. You need to report to the authorities so that they can take action and resolve the situation as per their rules.

Yes, hunting is legal in Pennsylvania, but the use of live ammunition to kill or frighten the animals has limited scope. The shooting can only be done during the hunting season and not otherwise. Hunters have to wait all year round to go out and hunt this season. 

Even though hunting is permissible for licensed owners, they still cannot use ammunition like shells or crackers. The state is against it and will arrest you if you use ammunition the authorities have not allowed.

Read Laws To Trap and Kill Raccoons in Washington

The center fire rifle and handguns should be at least 26 calibers before you go out hunting in the field. They should have 12 gauge in a single projectile. Cross-bows and archery are not permissible in the case of hunting Raccoons. The state does not like the animal being injured and dying in pain.

Laws Governing About Raccoon Trapping In Pennsylvania

Live-trapping of Raccoons is encouraged, but killing is still a better option if the state of Pennsylvania rather than releasing the animal out in the wild. The Game Commission disapproves of this, and you will get caught if you try to act in this manner.

The wildlife that is trapped is not usually retained alive. It is either relocated to the wild, killed if it is sick, and cannot be treated or given away to some other seller. It is usually up to the Game Commission to decide what needs to be done with the trapped animal. 

However, the laws are much different for private property landowners. They can trap, kill or shoot the Raccoons if the fur-bearers are attacking their property now and then again. They can also use the Raccoons to sell and make a living out of their small business.

Laws Governing About Raccoons Shooting In Pennsylvania

Sometimes, releasing a captured animal is not the solution to your problem, and you can’t do anything except for killing that particular animal. In such a scenario, you must tread very carefully not to upset the authorities.

If releasing an animal is not the last resort for you, you can go for shooting the animal with a .22 caliber rifle or a pistol. You can also euthanize the animal by placing it in a glass chamber filled with carbon dioxide. However, in both scenarios, you must be sure that the captured animal has Rabies.

The other shooting laws involve the practicing of hunters in the shooting ranges. Only after they have completed their training session and passed the tests are they allowed to hunt Raccoons and shoot them with particular firearms in the hunting season.

How Can You Trap Raccoons In Pennsylvania State?

There are several ways by which you can trap the fur-bearers in the state of Pennsylvania. The live-trapping is the best way, and here is how you can go about it.

  • The live traps that have been approved by the Game Commission come in variable sizes
  • They are also available with a single-door-closing feature.
  • These traps are to be set in residential areas only. 
  • The cages must be a standard size of 10 x 12 x 32 inches
  • The use of dogs to hunt coons in the State of Pennsylvania is not permissible.
  • The traps must be checked at least once in 36 hours. 
  • To kill the trapped animal, a permit has to be taken from the Game Commission. Once permission has been granted, you can only use the enlisted firearm to kill the animal. 
  • It is not permissible to trap within 150 yards of any sort of camp, commercial building, residence, industry, farmhouse, or school

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Raccoons In Pennsylvania?

Shooting and hunting of Raccoons are Allowed on the state grounds but the listed precautions and rules must be followed so as to not alert the authorities:

The shooting and hunting can only be carried out in the safety zones in the hunting season. The safety zones define the distance you need to keep from the residency areas

  • It is unlawful for a commoner to go out and hunt Raccoons down by using a firearm. The license must be attained first
  • A fur-taker license is needed during the hunting season for killing and shooting coons
  • A license is valid for only 1 year and has to be reviewed after this time period
  • You can only shoot and hunt if you are a resident of the state of Pennsylvania. Outsiders are not allowed to hunt on the same grounds. 


The state of Pennsylvania allows the hunting and trapping of Raccoons. Many laws are not for the common people and only the hunters are liable to abide by them. Therefore, it is necessary for a common person to have a license first and then act accordingly.

The relocation of Raccoons is not encouraged due to health concerns. The Game Commission is responsible for making the decision of what to do with them. Options like live-trapping, killing, and euthanasia can be considered by the landowners.