Detailed Laws To Trap And Hunt Squirrels In Iowa

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Many squirrels reside in Iowa. These squirrels can be of various types. A lot of people want to capture or trap them so that they can get rid of them. That is why learning the laws to trap and hunt Squirrels in Iowa is essential.

As per the rules and regulations of the state, you can trap squirrels in Iowa. The code is relatively easy, but you must know the rules to trap and hunt in Iowa.

In this article, we will read through the methods of hunting and trapping in Iowa.  Hunters will become aware of the open season in Iowa. This way they can go hunting in the appropriate season.

Squirrel Types Found In Iowa

There are many types of squirrels in Iowa. This includes the fox squirrels, gray squirrels, and the southern flying squirrels.


The most frequently found specie is the fox squirrel. Fox squirrels have a medium size. Their long furry tail characterizes them. Their fur color can vary. In addition, Fox squirrels can also be black in color but typically they are rust-brown. In addition to this, they have silver hairs throughout their body.

Eastern Grey Squirrel

The other type of squirrel found in Iowa is the eastern grey squirrel. Gray squirrels have a greyish body with either brown or white fur. Also, their bellies are white. Some grey squirrels are even black. These squirrels have a body weight of 1.5 pounds. Additionally, they can grow up to 20 inches long.

Southern Flying Squirrel

Iowa has a considerable population of southern flying squirrels. Their recognizable feature is dark rings around their eyes. Their whiskers and ears are also prominent. They are very small in size and can be found nationwide. Southern flying squirrels are nocturnal and can be spotted at night.

  1. Fox squirrels are legal to hunt in Iowa. The fox squirrels are noticeable as they have red fur on their bodies. Fox squirrels are easy to find near woodlots and timber.
  2. Gray squirrels are legal to hunt too. They are easy to find near mature timber. Moreover, These squirrels reside in hollow trees and gather leaves to build a nest.
  3. Ground squirrels are illegal to hunt. Hunters are not allowed to hunt ground squirrels as their population is reducing in Iowa. As a result, ground squirrels are nearing endangerment in Iowa. Such squirrels have legal protection. 

Squirrels Hunting Season In Iowa

Squirrel hunting is a sport in Iowa. Squirrels like living in forested areas. It is their habitat. Hunting is permissible throughout the State of Iowa. As per section 521-107.3, the open season for squirrel hunting begins on the 1st of May and ends in January next year. This means hunters can hunt squirrels nearly throughout the year.

Early morning is the best time to go hunting for squirrels. As the nights are cool, the squirrels are in a hurry to get the first light rays. That is why hunting is productive in the morning time. The hunters should come out and hunt at dawn and end hunting at dusk.

Laws Governing Trapping Of Squirrels In Iowa

According to the state of Iowa, there are separate laws about trapping squirrels:

  • The hunters can use many traps for trapping squirrels. Furthermore, this includes the use of leg-hold traps and live traps.
  • The authorities prefer humane traps as they do not kill the animal instantly.
  • You should check the traps and snares once in twenty-four hours.
  • Each trap should have a metal tag attached to it. Additionally, the title should also mention the name of the hunter and the address on it.
  • You can resort to other methods like smoking devices, wires, mechanical ferrets, and instruments.
  • One should observe Iowa laws as per the Iowa Administrative Code. Notably, it has given guidelines online as an NWCO guidebook.

Laws Governing Shooting And Hunting Of Squirrels In Iowa

Regarding hunting squirrels, Iowa state has several different regulations:     

  • The hunters can hunt and shoot squirrels with firearms like 0.22 caliber rifles.
  • Hunters can hunt throughout the year except from January to May. This is the breeding season for squirrels.
  • The hunters cannot hunt Ground squirrels in Iowa. Moreover, they need special permission for hunting them. In particular, they can only hunt fox squirrels and grey squirrels.
  • There is no restriction on shooting hours in Iowa. The hunters can bag up to 6 squirrels in a day.
  • The entire state is open to hunting. Hunters cannot hunt near to residential areas Consequently, shooting may cause harm to buildings like schools or churches, etc. That is why the agencies have defined the shooting range and areas for hunters.

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Squirrels In Iowa?

If you are a hunter looking for a way to hunt squirrels, you have come to the right place. On the whole, here is how you can take up your rifle and go hunting:

  1. Hunters can use -.410 caliber shotguns for hunting. 
  2. People can also use 0.22 rifles for hunting. It depends on the skill level of the hunter. 
  3. Small shots and small loads are suitable for hunting 
  4. Shot distance shots are more accurate
  5. Morning time is the best time to hunt squirrels. 
  6. It is better to take other hunters with you. It improves the chances of success. 
  7. Hunting is not permissible near residential areas.

Yes, shooting squirrels with a pellet gun in Iowa is legal. People over the age of 18 can use pellet guns and air guns. Furthermore, A 0.22 caliber pellet gun is a good recommendation too. Indeed, the best pellet gun is Gamo Swarm Fusion, 10x Gen.

Hunters cannot hunt inside the premises of the city or near residential areas. On the contrary, shooting should be done at faraway places. However, they can carry unloaded rifles, air guns, and pellet guns with them inside the city. 

Yes, it is legal to shoot squirrels on property in Iowa as long as it is your property. If you are a hunter, you need permission from the owner. You can also use your property for trapping squirrels. In reality, the authorities will not take any action against you if you use firearms to kill squirrels on your land.

You can also shoot ground squirrels in Iowa if they come on your land. Evidently, the authorities will not make any issue that you have killed an endangered animal.

Wrapping It Up

On the whole, there are many laws regarding the trapping and hunting of squirrels in Iowa. Hunters must read them through before setting out. They must make use of rifles and pellet guns. Hunters trap squirrels in Iowa by the live-trapping method. 

Additionally, the property owners can hunt on their land. It is not legal to chase every squirrel. Only a few are allowed instead.  Certainly, the best time to hunt squirrels is in the morning. Hunting is permissible throughout the year.