Can You Kill Raccoons in Missouri? What You Need to Know

The question of whether it is permissible to kill raccoons in Missouri is one that comes with legal and ethical considerations.

While raccoons can pose challenges as they interact with human habitats, there are regulations in place to govern their management.

This article delves into the legal framework, risks, and alternative methods for addressing raccoon-related issues in the state of Missouri.

Understanding these aspects is vital for both responsible raccoon control and the preservation of the environment and public health.

Is It Possible to Kill Raccoons in Missouri

In Missouri, it is legally permissible to hunt raccoons, but it is essential to adhere to specific regulations to ensure ethical and lawful practices.

When pursuing raccoons, conventional firearms, typically rimfire weapons, may be used, and hunters are allowed to employ artificial lights if they are engaging raccoons that have been treed with the assistance of dogs.

Alternatively, trapping can be an effective method for addressing raccoon-related issues, but it requires sturdy traps to securely contain these animals.

Raccoons are designated as protected furbearers in Missouri, and hunting and trapping seasons have been established for their management.

Nonetheless, there are circumstances under which landowners are granted the authority to control raccoons.

To ensure full compliance with the law, it is imperative to consult with local authorities concerning firearms usage and to meticulously adhere to all pertinent regulations when engaging in raccoon hunting or trapping activities within the state of Missouri.

For additional information you can refer to our guide on ‘How to get rid of Raccoons.’

Regulations for Killing Raccoons in Missouri

In Missouri, specific regulations govern the humane and responsible management of raccoons. These regulations encompass various aspects of raccoon control:

  1. Seasonal Hunting and Trapping: Raccoons fall under the classification of furbearers and game mammals. They may be legally harvested during designated hunting and trapping seasons.

  2. Trap Standards: When employing Conibear or killing-type traps, it is imperative to adhere to specific guidelines. These traps must have a jaw spread greater than 5 inches and should not be set on dry land.

  3. Landowner Exceptions: While raccoons are protected furbearers, landowners are afforded certain circumstances under which they can manage raccoon populations as needed.

  4. Avoid Relocation: Relocating raccoons is discouraged, and when raccoons cause damage, they should be handled appropriately.

  5. Local Regulations: To ensure full compliance with the law, it is essential to consult with local authorities regarding the use of firearms and to meticulously follow all applicable regulations when engaging in raccoon hunting or trapping activities within Missouri.

While it is legal to control raccoons in Missouri, it is of utmost importance to adhere to these regulations and seek guidance from local authorities before taking any action.

These measures help ensure both the humane treatment of raccoons and the responsible management of their populations.

Hunting Season for Raccoons in Missouri

As per information provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the hunting season for raccoons in Missouri spans from August 1 to October 15.

For those interested in trapping raccoons on private land, there is an extended season available from March 1 to April 14.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the hunting and trapping seasons for raccoons, as well as other furbearing species like bobcats, opossums, and striped skunks, have been extended from November 15 to the final day of February.

Specifically, the second segment of the raccoon hunting and trapping season in Missouri takes place from November 15 through the end of February.

To ensure that you have the most up-to-date information, it is advisable to reach out to local authorities, as there may be changes or updates to the raccoon hunting season in Missouri.

Staying informed about these regulations helps ensure responsible and lawful raccoon hunting and trapping practices.

Best Practices for Disposing of a Dead Raccoon in Missouri

To ensure proper and responsible disposal of a deceased raccoon in Missouri, it’s crucial to adhere to the following best practices in accordance with state regulations:

  • Timely Disposal: Current law mandates that the remains of an animal that has passed away must be appropriately disposed of within 24 hours of becoming aware of its demise.

  • Approved Disposal Methods: The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recognizes several acceptable methods for disposal, including rendering, composting, sanitary landfill, incineration, and on-site burial.

  • Restrictions on Burial: Class I operations are prohibited from utilizing burial as a permanent method for managing animal mortality.

  • Strict Guidelines for On-Site Burial: If you intend to bury a deceased animal on your property, be aware that Missouri imposes strict guidelines. The animal must be interred within 24 hours of its passing, and specific regulations depend on factors such as the animal’s weight and quantity.

  • Varied Regulations: Missouri’s regulations regarding deceased animals vary based on the weight and quantity of the animals in question.

  • Compliance is Essential: To ensure the prevention of disease transmission and protection of the environment, it is imperative to strictly adhere to the regulations established by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources when disposing of a deceased raccoon.

    Proper disposal methods are crucial in safeguarding public health and environmental integrity.

By following these guidelines, individuals can contribute to responsible and lawful disposal practices for deceased raccoons in Missouri, promoting both public health and environmental preservation.

Risks of Killing Raccoons in Missouri

There are significant risks associated with the act of killing raccoons in Missouri:

  1. Disease Transmission: Raccoons can carry a range of diseases, including rabies, raccoon roundworm, distemper, mange, and canine and feline parvovirus. Of particular concern is raccoon rabies, an extremely virulent disease that spreads rapidly.

  2. Property Damage and Nuisance: Raccoons can be highly destructive and disruptive. They are known to rummage through garbage cans, establish dens in chimneys (often blocking them with nesting material), damage roofs by tearing off shingles or fascia boards to access attics or wall spaces, and harm gardens and fruit trees.

  3. Protected Species: Raccoons are classified as protected furbearing species in Missouri, with specific hunting and trapping seasons established for their management. It is crucial to strictly adhere to these regulations and consult with local authorities before considering lethal measures.

  4. Alternative Solutions: Killing raccoons may not be the most effective or humane solution for population control. It is essential to identify the underlying issues that lead to raccoon-related problems and take appropriate preventive measures to mitigate them.

Given these considerations, it is advisable to weigh the risks associated with raccoon extermination carefully.

Exploring alternative methods and seeking non-lethal solutions to address raccoon-related concerns is recommended, both for the well-being of the animals and the protection of public health and property.

Alternatives to Killing Raccoons in Missouri

Several effective alternatives to consider rather than resorting to lethal measures for raccoon control in Missouri are:

  • Prevention: Preventing raccoons from accessing food sources is a key strategy. This involves securing trash cans, removing pet food and water sources, and sealing potential entry points to homes and buildings.

  • Habitat Modification: Altering the habitat to make it less appealing to raccoons can be highly effective. This includes actions like clearing brush piles, trimming tree branches, and eliminating potential den sites.

  • Repellents: Utilizing repellents can deter raccoons from specific areas. Options include motion-activated sprinklers, ultrasonic devices, and natural repellents like predator urine.

  • Trapping and Relocation: Live trapping and relocation offer a humane way to remove raccoons. However, it’s essential to check local regulations, as relocation may not be permitted in all areas.

  • Professional Wildlife Removal: Enlisting the services of a professional wildlife removal expert can be a highly effective approach. These specialists employ humane trapping and relocation techniques to safely remove raccoons.

Prioritizing these alternative methods before considering lethal measures is essential for responsible raccoon population control in Missouri.

By choosing humane and non-lethal approaches, we can both address the issue effectively and ensure the well-being of these animals.