Laws To Trap And Hunt Squirrels In Tennessee [What Laws To Follow]

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Squirrels are a problem for orchards and market gardens in Tennessee. They eat tree nuts and recently sown seeds and damage thatched and shingled roofs, telephone wires, and electric cables. If you want to get rid of squirrels in Tennessee, you should find out what are the laws to trap and hunt squirrels in Tennessee. 

It’s legal to hunt and trap squirrels with a valid permit from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. If squirrels damage your property, you can shoot them. Residents of Tennessee don’t need hunting licenses or WMA permits to go hunting.

To hunt in Tennessee, hunters who don’t live there must have the right licenses. This page has a lot of information about hunting for squirrels in Tennessee.

Squirrel Types Found In Tennessee

There are four distinct squirrel species in Tennessee State.

Easter Gray Squirrels

Tennessee has five species of squirrels, but the Eastern Gray Squirrel is by far the most prevalent. This is a year-round sight in parks and private yards, with these creatures always present. Their fur is a mix of grey and white, and their tails are longer than the rest of their bodies.

The Eastern Fox Squirrel is larger and has a rusty underbelly, so it’s easy to get the two species mixed up. Grey squirrels have two litters a year, so there is always a lot of them, even though they are hard to catch.

Southern and Northern Flying Squirrels

Tennessee is home to both the Southern and Northern Flying Squirrels. While the Gray squirrel and fox squirrel get more attention, the red squirrel is actually more widespread across the state than you might think given their diminutive size.

In contrast to other squirrel species, flying squirrels chose to form communal wintertime residences. In this way, they can keep warm and maintain their mutual dependence. Because of this, they frequently set up residences on ceilings and under floors, necessitating extermination.

Dark stains running down the exterior of the house are a telltale sign of a squirrel population explosion. These splotches are made by their excrement, urine, and the oil left on their feathers.

Fox Squirrels

These rodents are also known as Bryant’s Fox Squirrels or Eastern Fox Squirrels, depending on where you live. As the state of Tennessee’s largest species, they are easily recognizable.

They were given their moniker because their looks and heads resemble those of foxes. This squirrel species typically avoid subdivisions and neighborhoods. They prefer to spend their time in the trees of parks and wooded areas. They could be better at playing the role of ground squirrels.

America’s Red Squirrels

Tennessee is home to a wide variety of squirrel species, including the endangered American Red Squirrel. That’s because they prefer pine forests and like to spend much of their time up high.

Due to their preference for a diet rich in pine cones, these squirrels are sometimes referred to as Pine squirrels or Piney squirrels. Chickarees and North American red squirrels are both common names for this species.

  • The state of Tennessee is home to five different species of squirrels. There is also an invasive species that is not native to the area.
  • Hunting opportunities for fox, red, and grey squirrels are available in Tennessee.
  • During the typical hunting season in Tennessee, it is permissible to possess a valid hunting license to hunt both grey and fox squirrels. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency states this. When it comes to flying squirrels, the laws are a lot more straightforward.
  • Even if one possesses a valid hunting license, it is against the law to hunt flying squirrels in the state of Tennessee.
  • You should be familiar with the regulations regarding the hunting, moving, and trapping of these animals because you are a local.

Squirrels Hunting Season In Tennessee

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, there are two different times of the year in which one can hunt squirrels in the state of Tennessee:

  • August marks the beginning of the fall squirrel season, which continues until the end of March.
  • During the fall squirrel season, the daily bag limit is 10.
  • The season for spring squirrels begins in May and continues through June. The daily bag limit for the spring squirrel season is ten squirrels.

Laws Governing The Hunting Of Squirrels In Tennessee

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says there are many rules about hunting squirrels in the state. Some of them are:

  • It’s legal in the state of Tennessee to hunt squirrels.
  • You can use the dogs at any time of the year to get rid of the squirrels.
  • There are times to hunt squirrels, which the government of Tennessee calls the open season.
  • To hunt, you can only go out during these times. If you don’t pay, it’s a crime, according to the law.
  • You can’t have guns or axes while chasing squirrels with dogs. But during hunting season, guns can be used.
  • You can’t shoot squirrels any other way from a car or even a boat.
  • It takes more than six months to hunt for squirrels. During that time, the person and the dogs are trained. Before June, the dogs can’t chase squirrels and catch them.

Laws Governing The Trapping and Relocating Squirrels In Tennessee

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says there are different rules for trapping squirrels and relocating them.

  • Tennessee State Law protects squirrels.
  • To move these squirrels, you must get permission from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and follow their rules.
  • If a squirrel is causing trouble, a person might call a wildlife relocation agency for assistance.
  • This lets the authorities know about your problem, and they can send professional help to help you solve it.
  • If you wish to trap squirrels, you’ll need a permit. It’s legal to catch squirrels without government permission.
  • But the rules are a little different when it comes to private property.
  • If you own the land, you can control what you do and decide whether to trap the squirrels or move them to a different area.

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Squirrels In Tennessee?

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, you can hunt and shoot squirrels in Tennessee, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The Tennessee Code 70-4-115 says that landowners can kill wild animals, wild fowl, and wild birds that bother them.
  • Since it is their property, they can do whatever they want with it and put whatever they want on it.
  • For the rest of us, you have to go through about six months of the proper training before you can shoot the Squirrels.
  • It is better to tell the police and let them take care of the problem.
  • The season for private land is from August to March.
  • When hunting, you can only catch enough food for about two people per night.
  • You need a license to hunt, shoot, or trap ( 009, 005, 019, 011, or 010). Any of these should be bought to get rid of a pest.
  • As a landowner, you can kill squirrels that are causing damage to your property.

Tennessee’s only state law about pellets, BBs, and airguns is that they can’t be sold to minors. But in many U.S. states, it is legal to shoot squirrels with a. 25-caliber air rifle that fires lead pellets at 800 feet per second.

In Tennessee, you must be at least 18 years old to buy a BB gun, airgun, air rifle, or pellet gun. Tennessee lets hunters use air guns to hunt certain animals. Small Game animals are among these species.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency asserts that it is against the law to shoot squirrels anywhere in the state, even on private and public lands. You can’t hunt or kill on private property unless the owner gives you written or verbal permission to do so.
Even if you are hunting from a public access point on a body of water, you still need permission from the landowners to hunt on their property. It’s the law in the state of Tennessee. Even if you shoot a squirrel out of a tree and it ends up falling into the water, that tree still grows on somebody’s land.


Tennessee has laws that are different from those of other states. They allow you to decide how to deal with animals that bother you on your property. Still, the best way to catch squirrels is to learn how to do it from a real person. Training can give you the confidence you need to deal with any situation involving animals.

If things get out of hand, it’s also best to tell the authorities. You can tell them about it and have them send someone to put up a fence around your home. Then you won’t have to worry about the squirrels anymore.