Laws To Trap And Hunt Squirrels In Virginia

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If you live in Virginia and have a squirrel problem. You may have seen the damage to your home or property, but you may need to find out legal ways to do something. To get rid of squirrels in Virginia, you must know the laws to trap and hunt squirrels in Virginia.

Unless you have a permit, it is against the law to own, hunt, trap, or transport squirrels in Virginia. Only federal, state, and local government officials and anybody with a Department of Wildlife Commercial Nuisance Animal license are allowed to hunt and trap squirrels.

This blog provides information about the rules governing squirrels’ hunting and trapping on Virginia’s state-owned land.

Squirrel Types Found In Virginia

There are many different species of squirrels that live in Virginia. Four subspecies of fox squirrels, two subspecies of grey squirrels, and two subspecies of red squirrels. And two subspecies of northern flying squirrels and two subspecies of southern flying squirrels

The Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern grey squirrels are common in parks, gardens, and trees in Virginia. The eastern grey squirrel eats tree fruits, nuts, acorns, buds, and flowers. The eastern grey squirrel plays a significant role in spreading new plants.

Squirrels move their food stores and store them in multiple underground burrows when winter approaches. The eastern grey squirrel’s strong sense of smell aids it in its hunt to dig for hidden pieces of food.

The American Red Squirrel

The American red squirrel is easily recognizable by its long tail and distinctive eye ring. The bushy tail of a red squirrel is a dark crimson color with white tips. They have a white underbelly. A narrow black band occasionally appears at the edges.

Fox Squirrels

The fox squirrels are the largest tree squirrel, their upper parts are grey and, the underparts are rusty brown. An alternate name for the fox squirrel is the eastern fox squirrel. Fox squirrels tend to be alone, however, they will feed with other squirrels in the area if given the chance.

All day long, they eat, search and store food. Normally, it will find a hole in a tree to nest in, but if it can’t, it will construct a leaf nest in the crotch of a tree.

Flying Squirrels

While it’s true that flying squirrels may glide from tree to tree at high speeds, they actually glide rather than fly when trying to avoid predators on the ground. Unlike birds and bats, flying squirrels do not have their own specialized mode of flight.

Patagium, a hairy membrane extending from the wrists to the ankles, is what they use instead to glide. This loose skin flap forms a square when they jump from a tree and works as a hang glider.

Which Types Of Squirrels Are Legal To Hunt In Virginia?

  • If you have a valid hunting license, you can hunt grey and red squirrels from September 3 through February 28 during the regular hunting seasons in Virginia.
  • However, hunting squirrels without a license is unlawful in the commonwealth.
  • Hunting for fox squirrels is legal in all areas in Virginia with a valid hunting license
  • Homeowners have the legal right to kill and trap squirrels causing problems for their properties.
  • A hunting license is compulsory in Virginia if you wish to go hunting there.
  • You should also inquire about bag limits and other regulations regarding when and where you are going to go squirrel hunting before you set out.

Squirrels Hunting Season In Virginia

In Virginia, multiple hunting seasons apply to small game animals, including squirrels. The hunting season typically starts in the early fall and continues until the late winter. You can only hunt six squirrels daily with a valid hunting license.

The dates are different for each different species of squirrel. The hunting season for red and grey squirrels starts on 3rd September and ends on January 31st. Only those people from the areas, who hold a valid license can participate.

Hunters can hunt red squirrels and grey squirrels across the state during the season except for locations that are either a part of the National Forest or otherwise posted. Dates and rules can change, so it’s essential to check the DWR website for the latest information.

Laws Governing The Hunting Of Squirrels In Virginia

Wildlife in Virginia and the Laws Regarding squirrel Hunting:

  • According to the DWR, a hunting license is compulsory for both residents and non-residents to hunt squirrels in Virginia.
  • The kind of wildlife and the geographic area of the pursuit both play a role in determining the necessary permissions and licenses for hunting.
  • A person is a resident of Virginia if they have kept a permanent residence in the state for at least 183 days within one calendar year.
  • A person is a non-resident of Virginia if they have taxable income from the state of Virginia but do not reside in the Commonwealth state.
  • After determining where you will live, you can acquire the necessary licenses and permits.

Laws Governing The Trapping Of Squirrels In Virginia

There are several different rules about trapping squirrels:

  • According to the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), it is against the law for residents to trap squirrels.
  • Squirrels are small game animals and you can trap them during the hunting season in Virginia, which runs continuously throughout the year.
  • The Department of Water and Wildlife (DWR) has established a trapper tool.
  • Residents to locate and get in touch with commercial nuisance animal permit (CNAP) holders and licensed trappers who can assist them with their issues.
  • With the help of the Trapper Tool, finding a trapper or CNAP within a 25-mile radius of your current location is quick and easy.
  • After searching the database, the tool will provide information about licensed trappers or CNAP holders within a 25-mile radius. 
  • The service providers are not DWR employees, so the Department of Water Resources cannot guarantee the high quality of their services.

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Squirrels In Virginia?

Regarding shooting squirrels, the Virginia Department of Game and Fisheries has a detailed list of what hunters should and should not do. You can get additional information by reading through the following options, which are given below:

  • You can bring as many bags or other personal items as you travel across the area as you choose.
  • During the closed seasons, shooting for entertainment is against the law.
  • Squirrel hunting is restricted to those who have a valid license.
  • There are times of the year when hunters are allowed to shoot squirrels.
  • Firing firearms is not permitted on Sundays.
  • Shooting is permitted in certain regions, including Arlington and James City. 
  • Shooting with arrow guns and muzzle-loading firearms is allowed. 
  • Individuals who avoid these points run the risk of being arrested and punished. In addition to that, their license could be revoked.

Is It Legal To Shoot Squirrels With A Pellet Gun In Virginia?

In Arizona, using a pellet gun is illegal to kill squirrels during closed seasons. In addition, it is legal to hunt squirrels in Arizona using an air gun, but you will need a license for this practice.

The law of the state of Virginia gives local governments the authority to regulate air firearms. On the other hand, there are some limitations. These laws do not apply to private properties that have been approved as shooting ranges or public properties that have the approval of the owner to allow air guns to be fired there.

Is It Legal To Shoot Squirrels On Property In Virginia

According to 29.1-517 of the Virginia Code, landowners can trap and kill fur-bearing animals on their own land beyond the usual hunting season if the squirrels are causing damage to their crops and property or are a nuisance.

With a permit from the conservation police officer, the following people can shoot squirrels at any time of the year. The landowner or a member of their immediate family, a tenant living on the land with written permission from the landowner, or a member of a hunting club that owns the land.

You can shoot squirrels on your property if they are causing damage, but you should be careful and talk to a lawyer first.

Conclusion

When squirrels become a problem for Virginia residents, the best action is to contact a wildlife removal expert for assistance. Trying to do it yourself can fail, be dangerous, or be against the law.

If you are a hunter, the best thing to do is to wait until the regular hunting season starts. Make sure you know the law and what could happen if you break it. It’s also essential to keep the animals from returning to your property, like getting rid of food sources and closing places they can get in.

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