SEASON DATES & RESTRICTIONS
SMALL GAME HUNTING SEASONS
- Squirrel - Open from the third Saturday in May through the third Friday in June; and from the third Saturday in August through the last day of February, except the season is closed during the first two days of modern gun deer season.
- Rabbit (Eastern Zone) - Open from November 1 until January 31, except the season is closed during the first two days of modern gun deer season.
- Rabbit (Western Zone) - Open from the third day of modern gun deer season through Feb. 10
- Quail (Eastern Zone) - Open from November 1 until January 31, except the season is closed during the first two days of modern gun deer season.
- Quail (Western Zone) - Open from the third day of modern gun deer season through Feb. 10
- Grouse - Open from Nov. 1 through the last day of February in the Grouse Zone, except the season is closed during the first two days of modern gun deer season.
- Falconry - September 1 through March 30
- Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week - Open for seven consecutive days starting on the Saturday after Christmas
SMALL GAME TRAPPING SEASONS
- Squirrel - Open one-half hour before sunrise on the third day of the modern gun deer season through the last day of February.
- Rabbit (Eastern Zone) - Open one-half hour before sunrise on the third day of the modern gun deer season through Jan. 31.
- Rabbit (Western Zone) - Open one-half hour before sunrise on the third day of the modern gun deer season through Feb. 10.
Complete Hunting and Trapping Season Dates - Searchable Application
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.
- 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.
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:
- A rimfire gun or rimfire handgun
- .410 gauge handgun
- Muzzle-loading or breech-loading 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.
- Muzzle-loading 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.
A change in the samll game hunting regulations is pending legislative approval. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is proposing to allow slingshots to be used with manufactured ammunition for small game. Please call 1-800-858-1549 for the latest information.
Q: Do I have to telecheck my small game?
A: No. However, you can help Kentucky Fish and Wildlife by filling out the hunter cooperator surveys for 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. 26-27, 2015 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.
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, which costs $75 and is valid for three years, as well as a valid Kentucky hunting license, unless license exempt, and obey all applicable state and federal laws.