Kentucky Squirrel Trapping and Hunting Laws

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Squirrels can damage insulation and electrical wires in the attic and walls. In Kentucky, squirrels are responsible for around 30,000 house fires annually. If you want to get rid of squirrels in Kentucky, you should find out what are the laws to trap and hunt squirrels in Kentucky. 

Under Kentucky law, it’s legal to trap and hunt squirrels if you have a permit. Except for those with a captive wildlife permit from the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, trappers are required to kill any squirrels or rabbits they capture immediately.

Since squirrels are furbearers, you might need a trapping license or a depredation permit to take them. This page tells you a lot about squirrel hunting in Kentucky.

Squirrel Types Found In Kentucky

Kentucky State is home to three distinct species of tree squirrel. This group includes the eastern grey, the northern fox, and the southern flying squirrel.

Eastern Grey Squirrels

The eastern grey squirrel is the most frequent species of tree squirrel in Kentucky. These rodents range in size from little to medium, and all have bushy tails. Their weight is 1-2 pounds, and their length is 16-20 inches.

The underside of a grey squirrel is white, and the rest of its body can range from grey to brownish grey. Separately, there are melanistic whole-body black and albino all-white varieties (albino).

Northern fox squirrel

Northern Fox Squirrels are the largest species of tree squirrel in Kentucky. Fox squirrels, including their thick tails, can grow to be anywhere from 18 to 28 inches long and 1.75 to 3.25 pounds. Northern Fox squirrels have grizzled grey fur on their backs and a splash of yellow or orange on their heads.

Fox squirrels have underbellies that range in color from drab yellow to flamboyant orange. Fox squirrels’ tails are covered in hairs with bright yellow tips, whereas grey squirrels’ tails are tipped with white.

Southern Flying Squirrels

Big black eyes, large ears, long whiskers, and a flat, fluffy tail with a rounded tip are all characteristics of the flying squirrel. Edges are dark and practically black, whereas the top of the body, the head, and the tail are a dull olive to grey. The lower half of the tail and the underside, throat, chest, and arms are a creamy white to greyish color.

The flying squirrel is a nocturnal creature that consumes a wide variety of foods. Nuts, fruits, seeds, buds, flowers, insects, snails, spiders, fungi, birds’ eggs, tree sap, and flowers make up the bulk of their diet.

Flying squirrels spend most of their time in trees, where they climb, walk, and gallop along branches in search of food. Males are less likely to initiate conflict than females, and their territories may overlap. In order to conserve heat during the colder months, it is possible that males and females will share a nest.

  • The two types of tree squirrels that live in Kentucky are the grey squirrel and the fox squirrel. There’s also an invasive non-native species.
  • In Kentucky, you can hunt for grey and fox squirrels, but you can’t hunt for flying squirrels.
  • The Kentucky Fish, Wildlife, and Parks say it’s legal to hunt Gray and fox squirrels during the state’s normal hunting season with a valid license. The rules are much clearer when it comes to flying squirrels.
  • In Kentucky, it is against the law to hunt flying squirrels without a hunting license.
  • As a local, you should know the rules about trapping, relocating, and hunting these animals.

Squirrels Hunting Season In Kentucky

According to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources, there are two different times of year in Kentucky to hunt and trap squirrels:

  • In Kentucky, there are two different times of year to hunt squirrels.
  • Free Youth Week: Starting the Saturday after Christmas, youth hunters and trappers who live in or are not from the state can hunt and trap small game without a hunting or trapping license for seven days straight.
  • All hunters must wear hunter-orange clothing to hunt squirrels.
  • Free youth hunting season starts from December 31st to January 1st, and youth hunters are also allowed to use guns to hunt deer during that time.
  • When hunting or trapping for small game, young hunters must follow all rules about equipment and the number of animals they can catch.
  • Falconry Season: Falconer is allowed to hunt a maximum of two squirrels per day throughout the fall and winter. The limits are the same as for other hunting methods.
  • Falconers must have a falconry permit, which costs almost 100$. It’s valid for three years, and a valid Kentucky hunting license unless they are exempt from the license requirement. They must also follow all state and federal laws.

Laws Governing The Hunting Of Squirrels In Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Natural Resources says there are a lot of rules about squirrel hunting in the state. These are some of them:

  • In Kentucky, it’s legal to hunt squirrels.
  • It’s legal to go hunting for squirrels at night.
  • You can only hunt on certain public lands. 
  • It’s illegal to kill or hunt squirrels on private property unless you have written or verbal permission.
  • You can hunt squirrels during hunting season or when they are hurting people or the area.
  • An NWCO can use lethal or nonlethal capture methods to eliminate other noxious wildlife all year long, as long as the person who wants control has given written or verbal permission.
  • Squirrel trapping and wild animal removal should never be done without the right training and permission.

Laws Governing The Trapping and Relocating Squirrels In Kentucky

  • The Kentucky Department of Natural Resources says that there are different rules for trapping and relocating squirrels.
  • In Kentucky, it’s legal to relocate squirrels and trap them.
  • In Kentucky, it is legal to trap squirrels that are a nuisance.
  • But before you take any animals, you or your wildlife control technician may need to get a trapping license or a depredation permit from the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • You can trap them properly and then set them free if you do it in a safe way.
  • But if you trap animals in a way that is against the law, you could be fined.
  • Squirrels can’t be moved from one place to another in Kentucky.
  • It is against the law in Kentucky to move squirrels and let them loose on private land. You can only do it if the owner of the land lets you.

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Squirrels In Kentucky?

According to Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources, hunters can only shoot squirrels with the following in the fall and winter:

  • During the modern firearms deer season, you can’t hunt squirrels during the day. 
  • It is against the law to use a light while hunting from a boat and take a squirrel.
  • From March 1 at noon until September, no one can hunt squirrels with a slingshot or a gun.
  • On public land, you can only use a crossbow, a bow, or a shotgun, and you can’t use single-shot shotgun shells.
  • A gun or handgun that shoots rimfire rounds.
  • 410-gauge handgun
  • shotguns that load from the muzzle or the back that are no bigger than 10-gauge 
  • Breech-loading shotguns can hold three shells, two in the magazine and one in the chamber, and they must be plugged.
  • No. 2 shot made of lead or non-toxic shot.
  • you can use Muzzle-loading rifles
  • Archery and  crossbows to shoot squirrels
  • Dogs can be used to help hunt.

According to Kentucky law, it is against the law to use Pellet, BB, and air guns that don’t use powder. But in many U.S. states, it is legal to shoot squirrels with a. 25-caliber air rifle that shoots lead pellets at 800 feet per second.

No one is allowed to shoot or fire an air rifle, pellet gun, slingshot, or any other device that can fire dangerous projectiles. To buy a BB gun, airgun, air rifle, or pellet gun in Kentucky, you must be at least 18 years old.

On some public lands, it is legal to shoot squirrels. You can’t kill or hunt on private property unless the owner gives you written or verbal permission to do so.

When it is hunting season or when squirrels are hurting people or the area, it is legal to hunt them. On private property, a person can only use a bow, crossbow, shotgun, or shotgun shell with a single projectile. From December 1 to March 31, a person can also use a rifle with a bullet diameter of 6.5mm (.264 caliber) or less.


In Kentucky, people who have the right permits can kill squirrels and trap them. You can hunt and catch squirrels in some states. Squirrels can’t go somewhere else. When a squirrel moves, a new squirrel moves in right away.

Kentucky has made it legal to hunt and trap squirrels because they are a nuisance. To trap and kill squirrels, on the other hand, you need a license. Besides being accused of being cruel to animals, if you shoot a squirrel you will also be accused of having a deadly weapon on you.