Small Game, Predator and Trapping From shooting squirrels in your backyard to calling coyotes in Arizona. This forum now contains trapping information.

New to this... a couple questions

Old 11-17-2012, 09:56 AM
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Default New to this... a couple questions

I just joined the forums and am completely new to this. At this current time, I do not own any firearms. However, I have always been interested in hunting small game for food. I do not have any hunting license currently.

I am wondering if one needs a hunting license to hunt on one's own property? Also, (and this is a serious question...)can you use a BB gun or airsoft gun to hunt small game? I live in the state of North Carolina in Union County. Do you need a hunting license to use a BB gun/airsoft gun to shoot small game in one's own backyard?(squirrels, birds, rabbits)

Thanks for any help. I know I probably sound very ignorant about this subject...but that's because I am

Thanks again.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:37 AM
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A decent pellet rifle will take rabbits, birds and squirrels. bb guns are useless. Look for a 22. Cheap to feed, and will do all that you require in the small game department.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:13 AM
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Every state will vary slightly,
Info from others is helpful, but you should learn to find such info in your states regs / game laws to be sure.
Generally you do need a hunting license to take game even on your own property, whether that property is a home on 1/2 acre, or a 1000 acre ranch.
Whether its enforced on a homeowner taking a squirrel in his backyard is up to your neighbors/locality.
You can take small game with a pellet gun,
States like NJ do require permits even for pellet gun.
NJ is the only state that requires such that I know,
Pellet gun will not be as accurate as a .22 gun.
There are those that have accurate pellet guns, but off the shelf, they are generally not very accurate.
If you live in a city/town/suburb do have to check towns regulations if they allowing hunting/discharging of firearm within that town.
Best advise is to look into getting your hunters ed certification, lots of good info to be learned, only have to do it once and certified for life.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:04 PM
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Sounds like you got bit by the bug !

Find yourself someone else who hunts.............................

Good for you young man !!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:50 AM
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So while I agree with most of what has been posted, I thought I might throw in my two cents as the voice of reason here.

Yes, in most states, you have to have a hunting license to hunt AT ALL. Song birds are also protected in pretty much any state that I'm aware of. BB guns are not necessarily approved "legal methods of take" in many states, but are rather considered to be firearms, and regulated for hunting as such.

NOW, on the other hand....

If you're talking about just dinking around in your backyard and occasionally popping some BB's after a few squirrels, then you'll likely fall under the "no harm no foul" mentality. Sure, it may not meet the letter of the law EXACTLY, but I've seldom heard of anyone being accused of poaching squirrels.

Now, that said, keep in mind that most municipalities have rules against the discharge of BB guns within the city limits, as well as it's very common that there be civil code prohibiting hunting within city limits. The only time you'd get in trouble is 1) if you got caught, basically because the neighbors complained, or 2) if you damaged someone elses property, which results in getting caught. Additionally, even if there is NOT municipal code (or otherwise) that explicitly prohibits BB guns or hunting, there may be other "catch-all" codes or laws that could land you in hot water, wreckless endangerment, public nuissance, negligent behavior, wreckless discharge of a weapon, etc etc.

On the other hand, if you're out in the country and want to blast a few squirrels with your Daisy, knock yourself out. I HIGHLY recommend safety glasses for any time you use a BB gun, as bounce back is a very common occurence... You'll put your eye out kid!

And all that said, a BB gun is a lucky shot to kill a rabbit unless it's a fairly high powered model. Squirrels and birds are about the limit for what you can effectively hunt with a BB gun. Pellets will increase your capabilities, but they're still not very powerful weapons. Beyond that, personally, small birds are nasty, filthy little animals, and squirrels and rabbits don't offer much meat. Sure, it's incredibly sporting and great practice for larger game to stalk and be able to connect on small game, but as far as a real food source, it's a lot of work for very little reward. Scientifically, I'd bet that hunting, cleaning, and cooking a squirrel requires more energy than the calorie content of the meat you get off of one!

But again, I'm all for the "boys will be boys" mantra, regardless of age or sex when it comes to BB gun hunting of rabbits, pigeons, starlings, squirrels, pack rats, etc...
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: North Carolina
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Most people have covered this but I'm from NC also. In NC small game require a Hunting liscense and hunting license require you to take a hunters safety course to get it. A .22 or shotgun ( I feel) is a better way to take squirrels and rabbits but with today's high speed air rifles and BB gun are acceptable. Also it seems that ( like stated before) your trying to shoot them in your backyard which if in NC is illegal to discharge a firearm in city limits
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyler11b View Post
Most people have covered this but I'm from NC also. In NC small game require a Hunting liscense and hunting license require you to take a hunters safety course to get it. A .22 or shotgun ( I feel) is a better way to take squirrels and rabbits but with today's high speed air rifles and BB gun are acceptable. Also it seems that ( like stated before) your trying to shoot them in your backyard which if in NC is illegal to discharge a firearm in city limits
X 2 on the Hunter Safety Course.
Get the sportsman licences, if you can save up, and get the Lifetime sportsman licences.

Read the posts in here --->

and watch these --->

Good Luck.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:22 PM
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Default hunting license

on the matter of hunting lecenses, how old are you? I live in SC, and i am 14. In sc if your are 16 or older you need a hunting license. therefore i do not need a license until 2 more years. you should check your on regulations.

-Gage Johnson
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:19 AM
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Location: Colorado
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While we're on the topic of licenses, check your state's regulations. I've hunted in 4 different states, and in each state, one must buy a new license every year (unless they have a program for veterans to buy a lifetime license, etc.).

Each game animal you hunt will have certain dates you're allowed to hunt them in ("season"), and limits on how many you can harvest.

You may need multiple licenses, too. If you hunt deer, that's usually one license. But if you hunt rabbit, squirrel, and other small game it will be another. If you go after ducks and geese there are additional licenses or stamps for your licenses you must buy. You get the idea. Check your state's regulations, as each place is a little different. Most states print an annual paper manual explaining their state's hunting laws and give them away for free at places that sell licenses.

Lastly, some big game licenses (including deer) are done by a drawing system. In these states, one cannot simply walk in and buy a deer license the day before season starts. There is a drawing process for the licenses MONTHS in advance. Other places like Virginia let you buy a license any time you want. Check your state's regs and be prepared!

The bottom line, I suppose, is CHECK YOUR STATE'S REGS!
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