Is It Legal To Shoot Squirrels With A Pellet Gun?

You may have asked yourself – “Is it legal to shoot squirrels with a pellet gun?”

There are a few reasons why some people consider shooting squirrels. Although they are adorable and cute creatures, they can most certainly wreak havoc in your property when things get out of control.

For instance, they may be destroying your home or unraveling parts of your yard or even beating you to pick out your plumpest harvest.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where squirrels are becoming more of a nuisance than a friend, then you may want to keep reading to know if a pellet gun is a legal weapon to use when it comes to controlling your nasty squirrel situation.

Is It Legal To Shoot Squirrels With A Pellet Gun

The question on whether it is legal to shoot squirrels using any weapon depends largely on your state of residence. There are some states that do not allow shooting squirrels as they may only be hunted or taken down during open seasons. Moreover, you need to secure a hunting license to do this.

But if you absolutely need to kill them for whatever purpose, a special permit is a very important requirement before you can shoot away.

It is also worth noting that shooting is only recommended as a final resort to stop them at their tracks. When they are nuisance squirrels, then you need some legal issues taken care of before you can do anything to negatively impact the lives of these creatures.

Shooting Squirrels

Air guns and pellet guns are sometimes used by hunters to hunt their game birds. But then again, if you lack an understanding of how to use these weapons, then you might only end up causing injury to your target instead of killing it immediately. This results in the unnecessary suffering of the poor animal.

You should choose the right weapon since pellet guns only meet the lowest standards when it comes to legal hunting weapons. You also need to be proficient in using the gun and consider the right distance, so you can achieve success in your action.

Furthermore, you want to know how far you need to shoot the target. Bigger games should be fine at 15 yards. But then if you want a higher success rate, then at least go 75 yards closer to the squirrel. If you are using a pellet gun, you can’t go farther than 75 yards as the weapon becomes less lethal. Thus, you may end up wounding the animal and causing it to suffer.

Make sure you aim for the right shot placement such as the lungs or heart. This reduces the risk of wounding the animal since it is harder to kill the target from this type of weapon. Your shots must be ethical, so instead of wounding the animal, you can kill it and prevent prolonged, unnecessary pain and suffering.

Is Your Weapon Legal To Use

The answer to this question depends on where you are. If you are only using an air rifle or a pellet gun, then there is no need to secure a firearm certificate and permit.

There are, however, consequences involved when using this weapon. So, you should avoid messing around with it in a public place. If it is only in your own land, you should be good.

Another thing to note is that you can’t just shoot any type of squirrel. Grey squirrels are often permitted but not the red ones. So, you should be okay with the former.

Your rifle should have less than a 12-foot-pound muzzle energy. Go greater than this, and it is absolutely prohibited.

As long as you are shooting red squirrels and only the gray ones, and your pellet gun meets the requirement permitted, then it should be perfectly fine. But never ever fire it beyond your yard’s boundaries, as well as within a 50-foot public road. This is why if you reside in the city, then it should be hard to shoot squirrels without stepping on any toes.

If shooting them can be avoided, then you may want to explore human methods such as trapping them. That, or contacting a pest control specialist for the most definitive solution. This should save you from unnecessary headaches, anxieties, and potential penalties in case you end up breaking the law.

Read More: Expert Tips On Squirrel Hunting In The Rain


There comes a time when shooting an animal may feel like the only way to go once these creatures have menaced your yard. Squirrels, for instance, are very cute animals, yet they most certainly can cause some damage to your home, yard, and your plants.

This is why if you have been considering shooting them just to rid yourself of your squirrel problems, it is best to stop and think about it carefully.

Using a pellet gun may seem innocent, yet this is not usually allowed in some states. You should also know that oftentimes, squirrels don’t die from a pellet gun because of their relatively lower impact than other weapons.

Thus, these animals run the risk of getting badly wounded and not being able to recover. This is not the most ethical way to go, so it is best to consider other methods of catching that pesky squirrel without the bloodshed.

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