Is It Legal for Me to Trap a Raccoon?

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If you live in an urban area, you should check with your local wildlife control officials in order to see if homeowner raccoon trapping or raccoon killing is allowed in your particular jurisdiction. In most US states it’s illegal for a homeowner who isn’t a licensed hunter or animal control professional to trap a raccoon.

Raccoon trapping and hunting regulations vary from state to state. You may live in a state where raccoon trapping is absolutely illegal, and may lead to criminal charges of animal cruelty. Capturing and killing a raccoon with a firearm will also lead to charges of possession of a deadly weapon on top of the charges of cruelty to animals.

Some states will allow raccoon trapping, but they still make it illegal for you to release the animal into the wild. This means you have to kill it yourself and dispose of the corps. You can just imagine all the shades of nasty that come with this, so I won’t go into details.

Even if you live in a state where homeowner raccoon trapping is legal, you’re probably still allowed to do so only during limited hunting seasons, meaning only during wintertime.

Keep in mind that whichever the case, you will most definitely need hunting permits if you want to trap and kill raccoons, otherwise you’re engaging in an illegal activity. If you do become a licensed hunter, you still have to take into account all the different hunting regulations that have been put in place for your specific region, or you might end up having to pay hunting violations fines. Just be thorough with your homework, is what I’m saying.

All in all, it’s no secret that people will sometimes try to trap raccoons themselves without being a wildlife removal professional or without having a hunter permit, no matter what the law says. If you are one of these people, make sure that you use humane live cage traps, you wear thick gloves and a facemask, and you don’t end up orphaning a bunch of baby raccoons.

Depending on the specific state you live in, raccoon trapping may or may not be legal, but it’s illegal in most cases. The legislation around raccoon trapping differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so make sure you educate yourself about the status quo in your particular state by checking with your local Fish and Game or Wildlife Department.

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