- Posted by Lance
- On February 15, 2017
- 0 Comments
We see them every day and for the most part, grey squirrels do a pretty good job of staying out of our way. They are not particularly pesky, like their rat and mice cousins, and mostly want to gather nuts and seeds and to jump between trees. That is all fine, but sometimes, a squirrel will become a nuisance and need to be removed from your property.
It could be a rabid animal, an unusually aggressive one or just a squirrel with a particular fondness for chewing on wires. When a squirrel becomes a pest, though, it’s important to know the proper rules, so you don’t run afoul of the law.
Trapping animals in North Carolina
Certain animals are called “fur-bearing” animals for the purpose of a hunting and trapping category. You can trap fur-bearing animals, like beaver, bobcat, nutria, opossum, coyote, raccoon, red fox and others. Even though some rodents were included in this list, squirrels are not, and therefore cannot be trapped as game. So, it would seem then that squirrels are not able to be trapped. But, this only applies to trapping for sport. There is more to consider on the question.
Hunting squirrels in North Carolina
You can, however, hunt squirrels with firearms. The hunting season for squirrels goes from October through February and allows eight animals to be taken per day. If you wish to remove the squirrel and are in city limits, this is likely not the solution you’re looking for, though. Firing a weapon on your property in the Raleigh-Durham area would usually violate city ordinances.
There is another option, though. A legal term called depredation covers damage being done to your property by an animal. In North Carolina statute, property owners have the latitude to eliminate most animals if they are harming any of your land or possessions. If you catch the animal in the process of depredation, you actually do not even need a permit. Think of this as the “caught redhanded” law.
Here is how NC Wildlife Resources Commission states it, “North Carolina Statute allows landholders to take wildlife at any time with firearms without a permit or license while it is in the act of destroying their property.”
So, that’s always an option, but again, you may live in an area where you cannot fire a firearm and you also may not see the squirrel doing the damage but simply suspect it. In these cases, you will need to get a depredation permit from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. At this point, you are legally allowed to shoot or trap the animal. In the Raleigh-Durham area, you will likely want to trap them, so as not to scare your neighbors.
Here is the recommended procedure once you have a depredation permit and wish to trap the offending animal. “Suitable size live (box-style) trap. Bait with peanuts, walnuts, peanut butter, or black oil sunflower seeds.Prebait for several days with trap doors in open position… Check live traps daily. Release non-target animals immediately. Release squirrels at least 10 miles away. If squirrels are in the house, repair building after the last squirrel is removed.”
If you do not wish to go through this process of permits and traps, a much easier way is to simply call an expert local Raleigh-Durham animal control company, like Critter Control.