Small Game Hunting and Trapping

 

SEASON DATES & RESTRICTIONS

 

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.
SMALL GAME Hunting Trapping
Squirrel Aug. 15 - Nov. 13 and Nov. 16, 2015 - Feb. 29, 2016 One-half hour before sunrise
Nov. 16, 2015 - Feb. 29, 2016
Rabbit Eastern Zone Nov. 1-13 and Nov. 16, 2015 - Jan. 31, 2016 One-half hour before sunrise
Nov. 16 , 2015 - Jan. 31, 2016
Western Zone Nov. 16, 2015 - Feb. 10, 2016

One-half hour before sunrise
Nov. 16, 2015 - Feb. 10, 2016

Quail Eastern Zone Nov. 1-13 and Nov. 16, 2015 - Jan. 31, 2016 No trapping
Western Zone Nov. 16, 2015 - Feb. 10, 2016
Grouse* Nov. 1-13 and Nov. 16, 2015 - Feb. 29, 2016
Falconry Sept. 1, 2015 - March 30, 2016
Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week Dec. 26, 2015 - Jan. 1, 2016
* In Grouse Zone only.

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.

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.
  • .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

 

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.

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, 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.