Laws To Trap And Hunt Squirrels In Florida

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Squirrels can be a problem in many ways. The damage that squirrels do, from munching their way into your attic and gardens to disturbing your yard and home is widespread. You should familiarise yourself with the Laws to trap and hunt squirrels in Florida if you wish to legally keep squirrels off your property. 

You need a license to hunt and trap squirrels in Florida. People who live in Florida and those who visit Florida both need a Florida hunting license to hunt and trap squirrels. Early spring is the prime time for hunting squirrels.

Different states have different laws about how to hunt and trap squirrels. According to  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, all the laws are explained in the blog for those who want to hunt and trap squirrels on public land in Florida.

Squirrel Types Found In Florida

There are three types of squirrels found in Florida:

Eastern Gray Squirrel

The Eastern Gray Squirrel lives in Florida and is one of the squirrels that people fight with the most at their bird feeders in their backyards. In the wild, these squirrels live in huge, deep deciduous forests with lots of old trees that produce nuts. But these animals are very flexible and can live in suburban and city neighborhoods, parks, and farms.

Indeed, these squirrels were originally from Florida, but now they’re considered an invasive species in many other places. Eastern Gray Squirrels are a big problem in many parts of Europe because they push out native squirrels like the adorable Eurasian Red squirrels.

Fox Squirrel

Fox squirrels can adapt to many diverse habitats. Most of the time, they live in small patches of deciduous forests in Florida. Their favorite foods are acorns, walnuts, pecans, and hickory nuts, which grow on trees. To prepare for winter, they conceal troves of these nuts everywhere.

The fur of  Fox Squirrels found in Florida is a grayish brown, and they all have a few orange hairs on their bellies and the tips of their tails. However, the appearance of these squirrels varies significantly from place to place.

Unfortunately, Fox squirrels have been brought to many places in the west where they are not native. Fox squirrels are a problem for native squirrels because they can outcompete them.

Flying Squirrels

These flying squirrels are known for their gregarious nature, as huge groups may often be seen engaging in activities like foraging, gliding, and resting together. It’s common for as many as twenty squirrels to huddle together in a single nest during the winter. At night, flying squirrels feed on the peanuts and sunflower seeds left out in bird feeders.

Which Types Of Squirrels Are Legal To Hunt In Florida

  • Grey squirrels are considered game animals and can be hunted legally in Florida.
  • “Still hunting” and “stand hunting” are two ways that many squirrel hunters like to hunt them.
  • In Florida, it is against the law to hunt flying squirrels, fox squirrels, or any other species of nongame squirrel listed as threatened or endangered.
  • For nongame flying squirrel hunting, you need a hunting license.
  • Unless they are exempt, people who live in Florida or visit Florida need a Florida hunting license.

Squirrels Hunting Season In Florida

In Florida, the perfect time to go squirrel hunting is between early October to March. During Florida hunting season, you can go hunting in some of the different places in Florida. In addition to squirrels, deer, hogs, and turkeys, Florida’s alligator hunting season is an example of how hunting can be used to preserve natural resources.

Florida’s hunting is organized into four distinct zones. Zone A encompasses most of the state below State Road 70 and Lake Okeechobee. Zone B consists of portions of Western Central Florida located north of Tampa. Zone C includes everything in Zone B and everything outside Zone A up to the panhandle. Zones D and C are separated by State Road 61.

Laws Governing The Hunting Of Squirrels In Florida

In Florida, hunting has been a tradition for a long time. It is against the law for people to hunt wild animals. But when it comes to hunting for  squirrels, the following laws apply:

  • Residents and visitors must have a Florida hunting license (in addition to other permissions) unless they are allowed. 
  • The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission protects game squirrels. Under normal circumstances, hunting of game squirrels is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
  • However, if the squirrels are wild and causing you harm, you may shoot them.
  • Squirrels are categorized as nuisance animals in Florida and may be legally hunted if they cause property damage. 
  • When squirrels pose an increasing threat to public safety, it is legal to hunt them.

Laws Governing Trapping Of Squirrels In Florida

You can get rid of squirrels in the state of Florida through a variety of state-legal trapping strategies.

  • Trapping squirrels on your property is permitted only if you have a valid trapping license.
  • It is illegal to trap squirrels in the wild without a license.
  • If you have a license to trap squirrels, you may trap squirrels in animal-friendly cages.
  • You may also prevent squirrels from entering your residential areas by taking a few easy precautions. Using nuts as a lure to attract squirrels in traps.
  • Sealing trash cans in your neighborhood to prevent squirrels from entering. They can be relocated and opened later.

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Squirrels In Florida?

In Florida, you may hunt and shoot squirrels on your land, but you must be aware of the laws and have a license.

  • Squirrel hunting requires an official permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and strict adherence to guidelines, such as the use of light if hunting during nighttime.
  • Secondly, you must always carry your hunting license. If the police catch you, you might be asked to show it.
  • If wild squirrels are destroying your property, you can hunt them down and shoot them on sight if it is your land.
  • Typically, the sole legal firearm is a.22-caliber weapon. Only if you have this in your possession may you fire.
  • Choosing the appropriate trap is also crucial. Having traps with only one way out is best.

Conclusion

Squirrel trapping and hunting are only done as a last resort after other preventative measures have failed. Hunting and trapping squirrels in Florida requires a valid hunting or trapping license. Unless allowed, all hunters in Florida, both locals, and visitors, must have a valid Florida hunting license. 

The best time of year to hunt squirrels with a license is early spring, from October to March. Hunting of flying squirrels, fox squirrels, or any other nongame squirrel species categorized as threatened or endangered is illegal to hunt in Florida.  Grey squirrels are game animals that can be hunted legally in Florida.

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