Archery season for deer and fall turkey begins September 6.  Read the 2014-15 Kentucky Hunting and Trapping Guide before hunting.​

The hunting season for dove and some other migratory birds begins September 1.  Read the 2014-15 Dove Hunting Guide before hunting.​

 Small Game Hunting and Trapping


NEW THIS YEAR

 

  • Squirrel trapping will begin one-half hour before sunrise.
  • Rabbit trapping will begin one-half hour before sunrise.

 

SEASON DATES & RESTRICTIONS

 

SMALL GAME Hunting Trapping
Squirrel Aug. 16 - Nov. 7 and Nov. 10, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015 One-half hour before sunrise
Nov. 10, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015
Rabbit Eastern Zone Nov. 1-7 and Nov. 10, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015 One-half hour before sunrise
Nov. 10 , 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015
Western Zone Nov. 10, 2014 - Feb. 10, 2015

One-half hour before sunrise
Nov. 10, 2014 - Feb. 10, 2015

Quail Eastern Zone Nov. 1-7 and Nov. 10, 2014 - Jan. 31, 2015 No trapping
Western Zone Nov. 10, 2014 - Feb. 10, 2015
Grouse* Nov. 1-7 and Nov. 10, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015
Falconry Sept. 1, 2014 - Mar. 30, 2015
Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week Dec. 27, 2014 - Jan. 2, 2015
* In Grouse Zone only. Grouse hunting is also allowed on Pennyrile State Forest, Tradewater WMA and Ft. Knox during the month of December, except during quota deer hunts.

SMALL GAME

The following animals are considered small game: squirrels, rabbits, northern bobwhite (quail) and grouse.

Only rabbits and squirrels may be trapped. Quail and grouse may not be trapped. Hunting bag limits apply. Trapping equipment and restrictions are the same as those listed in the furbearer section.

A trapping license is required for anyone 12 years of age and older.

Trappers must harvest squirrels and rabbits upon capture, unless they possess a captive wildlife permit from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

Seasons on WMAs and other public hunting lands not managed by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife may be different from statewide seasons.

LEGAL SMALL GAME EQUIPMENT and METHODS

Hunting small game with slingshots is prohibited.

Hunters may only use the following to take small game during the fall and winter seasons:

  • Rifles that shoot rimfire ammunition, or .22 caliber handguns.
  • Muzzle-loading or breechloading shotguns no larger than 10-gauge. Breech-loading shotguns must be plugged to hold a maximum of three shells (two in magazine and one in chamber).
  • Lead or non-toxic shot no larger than number 2.
  • Muzzleloading rifles.
  • Archery or crossbow equipment.
  • Pellets fired from .177, .20, .22 or .25 caliber air guns.
  • Dogs may be used to aid in the hunt.
  • Falconry.
Rabbit and Quail Zones Map
Grouse Zones Map

BAG LIMITS

  • Squirrel: Daily limit is 6; possession limit is 12.
  • Rabbit: Daily limit is 4; possession limit is 8.
  • Quail: Daily limit is 8; possession limit is 16.
  • Grouse: Daily limit is 4; possession limit is 8.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of rounds a magazine can hold when hunting small game with a rimfire .17 or .22?

A: No. There is no limit on a rimfire gun’s magazine capacity when hunting small game.

FREE YOUTH WEEK

Resident and nonresident youth hunters and trappers ages 15 and under may hunt and trap small game without a hunting or trapping license for seven consecutive days starting the Saturday after Christmas.

Hunter orange clothing must be worn by all hunters on Dec. 27-28, 2014 since youth hunters are also permitted to hunt deer with firearms at that time.

Youth hunters must comply with all equipment regulations and bag limits for small game when hunting or trapping. Hunter education is not required for license-exempt hunters. Adults accompanying youth hunters/trappers during the Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week do not need a license if they are not hunting/trapping.

FALCONRY SEASON

The limit for this hunting method is two (2) of any small game or furbearer species per falconer per day, except during the fall and winter hunting season when the limits are the same as for other methods. Falconers must possess a falconry permit, as well as a valid Kentucky hunting license, and obey all applicable state and federal laws.