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Is It Legal To Trap Squirrels In Illinois

Squirrels are a common sight in many parts of the United States, including Illinois. But what happens when these furry creatures become unwelcome visitors in your home or garden? Is it legal to trap squirrels in Illinois?

This article will explore the laws surrounding squirrel trapping in the state, so you can make an informed decision about how to handle any potential infestations. In general, trapping wild animals is regulated by the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

In Illinois, that means it's illegal to trap most wild animals without a permit. However, there are some exceptions that allow for trapping squirrels without a permit. We'll discuss those exceptions and provide advice on how to humanely trap squirrels if necessary.

Overview Of Illinois Trapping Laws

In Illinois, trapping is a popular hobby, with over 12,000 licensed trappers. These individuals are legally allowed to capture certain animals as long as they have a valid permit.

Unfortunately, squirrels are not one of the animals that can be trapped without a permit. It is illegal to trap squirrels in Illinois without the proper paperwork.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) regulates the trapping of wildlife in the state. All trappers must obtain a valid IDNR license before attempting to capture any animal for recreational purposes or for profit. This license grants permission to hunt and trap fur-bearing animals such as raccoons, coyotes, opossums, minks, foxes and muskrats. However, it does not cover some species such as squirrels and chipmunks.

All wildlife caught by an individual must be reported to IDNR within 72 hours of its capture. Depending on the species and purpose of the catch, some individuals may be required to tag their catches with an IDNR-issued tag before releasing them into their natural habitat or transporting them out of state. Failure to properly report catches can result in legal repercussions such as fines or jail time.

This overview provides insight into Illinois' trapping laws and regulations surrounding the capture of wildlife such as squirrels and other small mammals. The next section will discuss what animals can be trapped without a permit in Illinois.

What Animals Can Be Trapped Without A Permit

In Illinois, it is legal to trap certain animals without a permit. These include species such as raccoons, opossums, skunks, weasels, foxes, and coyotes. However, it is illegal to trap birds of any species, including squirrels.

Here are four things you should remember when trapping animals in Illinois:

1. Always check the local laws regarding trapping animals before setting traps

2. Do not leave your traps unattended for more than 24 hours

3. Make sure that any trapped animal has access to food and water

4. Know the proper methods for releasing a trapped animal safely and quickly

For these reasons and more, it is important to be informed about trapping regulations and safety measures before attempting to trap any animal in Illinois. With knowledge of the laws and safety protocols in place, it's possible to successfully capture a wild animal without putting yourself or the animal at risk of harm or injury.

What Is The Best Way To Trap A Squirrel

The question remains: what is the best way to trap a squirrel? Trapping a squirrel can seem intimidating, but with some research and preparation, it can be done safely and humanely. Below is a table that outlines the different types of traps available, as well as their pros and cons.

| Trap Type | Pros | Cons |


| Live Cage Traps | Humane | Can be difficult to bait |

| Box Traps | Easy to use | Animal may injure itself |

| Snare Traps | Fast-acting | Can cause trauma to animal |

| Water Bottle Traps | Inexpensive to build | May require special bait |

When deciding on which type of trap is best for you, keep in mind that certain traps may require specific baits or lures for successful trapping. It's important to also consider the environment in which you're trapping—you want to set your trap up in an area where the squirrel will feel comfortable enough to investigate it. Additionally, using humane trapping techniques will help ensure that the animal does not become injured during its capture. With these tips and considerations in mind, you'll be able to choose the right type of trap for your needs and humanely capture a squirrel.

Humane Trapping Tips

Humane trapping is a great way to catch squirrels without causing them harm. In Illinois, there are laws that regulate the practice of trapping animals. It is legal to trap squirrels in Illinois with the proper permits and following regulations outlined by the Department of Natural Resources.

To ensure humane trapping, it is important to follow these tips:

1. Use traps that are large enough for a squirrel to turn around in comfortably.

2. Avoid setting traps on trails used by other animals or humans.

3. Place bait inside the cage and position it away from the entrance so that the squirrel does not have to reach too far into the cage to get it.

4. Check traps regularly and remove any trapped animal promptly in order to reduce stress and suffering of the animal being trapped.

Trapping can be an effective way to reduce squirrel populations, but it should always be done humanely and responsibly with consideration for local wildlife regulations. To ensure successful outcomes, proper preparation and knowledge of appropriate techniques is key. With this understanding, you will be better equipped for what comes next - caring for a trapped squirrel before releasing back into its habitat!

What To Do Once You’ve Caught A Squirrel

Once you’ve trapped a squirrel, you must take the necessary steps to ensure its safe release.

You should first check the laws of your state to make sure trapping is allowed and that the methods used are legal. In Illinois, it is illegal to trap or possess any species of wild animal without a permit from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Before releasing the squirrel, inspect it for any injuries that may have been caused by the traps. If there are any signs of injury, contact your local wildlife rehab center as soon as possible so it can receive proper medical attention.

It's also important to wear protective gloves when handling an animal, as their claws can easily break through skin and cause infection.

Once you’ve determined that the squirrel is healthy and unharmed, relocate it at least one mile away from where it was captured. This will help prevent it from returning to the same location and being recaptured again.

Moving on, consider alternatives to trapping such as humane exclusion techniques and habitat modifications so you can deal with nuisance wildlife in a more compassionate way.

Considering Alternatives To Trapping

Gliding across branches, scampering up trees and dashing from one spot to another, squirrels are a delightful sight that bring life to our yards. But sometimes these furry nuisances can become too much for homeowners, leading some to consider trapping them.

However, before taking this drastic measure, you should be aware of the legalities surrounding trapping in your state. In Illinois, it is illegal to trap squirrels without a valid permit from the Department of Natural Resources. Additionally, there are strict regulations on where and when traps may be set.

Fortunately there are alternatives to trapping that can help manage nuisance squirrels while still allowing them to remain wild animals in the environment. Here are four ways you can get rid of pesky squirrels without resorting to trapping:

- Discourage access: Make sure all food sources like bird feeders and pet food bowls are inaccessible by installing baffles or caging them off.

- Install fencing: A two foot tall fence around trees and gardens can make it difficult for squirrels to access what’s inside.

- Use repellents: Spraying hot pepper repellent on affected areas may deter squirrels from entering certain areas.

- Attract predators: Filling bird feeders with sunflower seeds will attract birds like hawks which will naturally remove squirrels from the area.

With these methods you can help keep the population under control without having to rely on trapping--and remain within the bounds of the law at the same time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Legal Restrictions On The Type Of Traps That Can Be Used To Catch Squirrels?

The use of traps to catch squirrels is legal in Illinois, but there are restrictions on the type of traps that can be used.

In general, only body-gripping traps such as foothold traps and chest-hold snares can be used to capture squirrels. Live cage or box traps are also allowed, but they must be checked every 24 hours and any captured animals must be released immediately.

It's important to check with local authorities before using any type of trap, as regulations vary by county.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Trap Squirrels In Illinois?

The best time to trap squirrels in Illinois is during the winter and early spring months. This is because squirrels are less active in cooler temperatures and are more likely to be out foraging for food.

The colder weather also reduces the risk of trapping a mother squirrel and her young, which can occur if traps are set in late summer or autumn. Additionally, trapping during this time of year will minimize the possibility of disturbing hibernating animals like bears.

Are There Any Laws That Govern The Release Of Trapped Squirrels?

The release of trapped squirrels in Illinois is governed by the Humane Care for Animals Act and the Conservation of Wildlife Act. According to these laws, all trapped animals must be released unharmed and at least as close as possible to where they were originally found.

It's also important to note that no animal should be released onto someone else's property without their permission.

Are There Any Laws That Prohibit Trapping Squirrels On Private Property?

Trapping squirrels on private property is subject to both state and local regulations.

For example, in Illinois, it is illegal to trap any animal without a valid permit issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Additionally, some cities may have ordinances that prohibit trapping within city limits or require permits for such activity. It is important to check with your local government before trapping any squirrels on private property.

Is It Possible To Relocate The Squirrels To A Different Area Once They Have Been Trapped?

Relocating a squirrel after it has been trapped is possible, but not always recommended. In fact, studies have shown that the success rate of relocated squirrels is as low as 17%.

That's why it's important to take into consideration the risks involved before attempting to relocate a squirrel. Relocation can disrupt the animal's habitat and lead to stress or injury, so it's important to research local guidelines and laws before attempting this process.


Yes, it is legal to trap squirrels in Illinois, but you must do it responsibly. You must ensure that the traps used are humane and that you release the squirrels back into their natural habitat.

Additionally, it is important to respect private property laws and not take advantage of someone else's land without permission. If you want to relocate the squirrels, be sure to check with your local wildlife agency first. Are there black squirrels in Chicago.

With all that said, trapping squirrels can be a fun activity if done properly and with respect for nature and its creatures! A1 Pest Master is the best in chicago squirrel trapper. Call them without hesitation at (312) 647-2630.

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