Will a BB/Pellet Gun Kill A Raccoon? 🦝 (Is it Legal?)

A BB gun is a powerful weapon and is often used for hunting small wild animals. When used correctly a BB gun can humanely and instantly kill a raccoon.

A BB gun is a powerful weapon and is often used for hunting small wild animals. When used correctly a BB gun can humanely and instantly kill a raccoon.

Will a BB Gun Kill A Raccoon?
Will a BB Gun Kill A Raccoon?

Is It Illegal To Kill A Raccoon On Your Property?


Killing a raccoon on your property is a type of animal control when living in a popular raccoon area – or when they have a nuisance raccoon raiding garbage and causing damage. Raccoons are a protected species in most of the home range in North America though – and so you will need a license to hunt and kill them. In many states, they also have a specific hunting season too – which must be adhered to.

So, in theory, if you have the paperwork in place and it is the right time of year – you can kill raccoons on your property or out in the forest. There may be a certain bag limit depending on your area, but some areas don’t have a limit and don’t have a specific season either. It may also be illegal to shoot raccoons in built-up areas, near other people’s property, or without their permission – even if you have a license.

Many wildlife control agents can use trapping instead for relocation or elimination of individual raccoons especially where they pose a health and safety risk to families. Individual licenses can also be sought for single troublesome raccoons to be killed if needed.

Will A BB Gun Kill A Raccoon In Your Yard?

Raccoon in the yard

Using a BB gun, or another high-powered air rifle, to hunt raccoons is a method used by many people. Highly accurate at close range, these weapons allow the raccoons to be dispatched instantly and therefore humanely by the hunters. Something that is required by law in most countries.

Using such a weapon in your own yard still falls under the state laws in your home county – so you still need to keep to the season and bag limits, or other limits stated where you live.

Shooting in your own yard has its advantages over hunting elsewhere as it is easier to have all your supplies to hand. Also to have picked out some great ambush positions from which to shoot. Whether you actually put out bait for them or set up along a popular trail – hunting from home is an easier and more practical solution to raccoon numbers in your area. Be aware of your distance to neighboring properties though.

Also, if you were looking to skin or eat your raccoons, being close to home will certainly have its advantages for speed and efficiency of processing. As long as you were able to dispose of the body as per local directives (some states have specific laws for this too) then you are good to go.

Can You Shoot Raccoons At Night?

There is no legal difference between shooting a raccoon during the day or at night in most licensing requirements (obviously taking the actual β€˜day’ into account for bag counts and start/end of season).

The only issue you may have is that you will need to see them using artificial light or night vision equipment. Raccoons are nocturnal too – so they will be more active at this time – on top of their game. So hunting at night puts you slightly at a disadvantage when they have a slight advantage.

Shooting during the daytime allows humans to be at their peak – and raccoons to potentially be caught napping – and in larger groups. Female raccoons often share denning sites and so can potentially be located more easily.

Remember to check the law where you are.

Why Are Raccoons A Protected Species?

Raccoons are a protected species along most of their range and they are actually split into around 22 sub-species which all vary slightly in color, size, and behavior. Those in the warmer south are generally smaller and paler, whereas those in the north of the range are often larger and darker in color.

Because of these factors – all of the subspecies are in fact highly localized – some only living in tiny pockets of states or on islands. The species as a whole (Procyon lotor) is protected during certain seasons and in certain numbers and locations – depending on their local status – because of its value to humans in one way or another.

All protected species have some regulations in place locally that determine how, when, or if they can be killed, trapped, or relocated.

Relocation can be just as strict as killing in terms of rules in place – and often a trapped animal can’t legally be re-released (it has to be euthanized). It is always advised to seek professional advice if you are looking at changing your raccoon control methods – as releasing raccoons is a ticketed offense in some places where shooting them isn’t.

You can also read out other articles on Raccoons