Can You Shoot Squirrels in Houston?
If you're within the city limits, you can't shoot any animal at all. That goes for squirrels, raccoons, and any other critter you might find in your house or yard, even if you're using a .22 or other small caliber firearm.
Yet squirrels are a game animal. They are ubiquitous prey animals, which makes them a very sustainable food source. The environment tends to benefit when these sorts of animals are hunted responsibly. They once did so much damage to crops that at various times in our history bounties have been placed upon the heads of these animals, the better to keep them out of the fields.
There are multiple ways to cook them up and eat them. Once, squirrel recipes were a staple of community cookbooks. The Joy of Cooking contained squirrel recipes until 1996.
Outside of the city limits you will need a hunting permit to shoot squirrels, and you will need to observe hunting season. In Harris County, you may shoot squirrels in safe hunting locations in October through February, as well as in the month of May. Note: you should always check the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website to get exact hunting season dates. You'll also be able to use that website to find out where you may hunt within the county.
If you wish to hunt squirrels year round, there are certain parts of the state where you may do this.
In either case, you must make sure you are hunting the right species. Gray squirrels and red squirrels are fair game; other varieties are not.
Harris County also maintains a daily bag limit of 10 squirrels and a possession limit of 20 squirrels.
If you're not interested in eating squirrel then it's probably best to keep your gun in the gun safe. You certainly will not be able to control a squirrel problem with a weapon of any kind. There are just too many of them.
At best, you can make your house less attractive to them, trap them to get them out of your home, and block their entry points. The yard? That's probably a lost cause, though you can greatly reduce their presence simply by avoiding bird feeders and bird baths. If you want both, then you can expect squirrels to come in right alongside the birds. Hopefully you enjoy both!
They aren't dangerous in the yard, only in the home. If they're in the home, call us. Otherwise? They're nothing to worry about…even if you've secretly seasoned a few of them in your home kitchen from time to time.
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