Shooting Possum

Shooting Possums – Can I Shoot a Possum in My Backyard

We can relate to how annoying it is to wake up to your garbage can tripped over or the crops in your garden half-eaten; in some cases, they kill your chickens (if you have any). 

Just like skunks and squirrels, possums can also be a problem to the well-being of your yard.

So, if you have a gun of any sort, the question on your mind is can I shoot a possum in my backyard, or if is it even legal to shoot a possum. We will give you the answer to your questions; keep reading to find out.

What Does It Mean When a Possum Is in Your House?

It means bad news. Like skunks, squirrels, and rats, possums make a mess of your backyard and destroys your properties. 

Just like raccoons, they dig into your trash can in search of leftover food and then overturn your trash can and litter the whole environment with dirt in the process.

And they are also carriers of diseases like tuberculosis and coccidiosis, which are harmful to pets and your health. Their feeding pattern varies. 

During late summers, they eat vegetables, and during spring and early summers, they feed on ticks, eggs, birds, and fish.

They may sneak into your farm area during early summers, kill your chickens, and eat available eggs. 

During extremely cold weather, possums reside in your attic or within any crack in your patio. If there is a nearby source of food, then it has an advantage.

Is It Illegal to Kill Possums?

Shooting Possums

Yes, it is illegal to kill possums in your backyard, because of restrictions on the use of firearms in most areas or cities to ensure public safety.

It is also noteworthy that, possums contribute to maintaining a healthy ecosystem by controlling ticks. In addition to eating cockroaches, rats, and mice, they also consume dead animals of all kinds (called carrion). 

Many states consider wildlife the property of their citizens so they are protected under federal law that prevents them from being endangered considering that possums are one of the animals with the shortest lifespan (2 – 4 years).

However, you can take action by calling animal control or a wildlife expert if these possums are causing damages to your crops and properties. But in most states hunting down, possums are illegal.

Can You Shoot a Possum in Your House?

No, you cannot. Shooting a possum requires experience using a gun and a permit or license to hunt; not having a permit might land you into crisis with the government officials. 

And just as we have previously discussed, possums are protected by federal law because of their ecological contribution.

Although in some places you are allowed to shoot possums. You should check in with your state rules and regulations to determine if you are free to hunt down possums.

What Is the Best Way to Kill a Possum?

If you are allowed to hunt down possums for very good reasons, you should consider using traps.

How are these traps used, you ask? Study the possum’s tracks and locate its hiding spot. These traps come in different shapes and sizes, but we recommend that you buy a large trap; that way, you can catch both big and small possums. 

Set up your traps in an area where a possum is likely to visit. In a farm, around your trash can areas and random holes around. When a possum is finally caught, hand it over to animal control or release it in a forest far away from residential areas.

There are also other alternatives to traps like poisons and hitting. Using poison is not the best way as there is the risk of poisoning another species of animals that aren’t causing any damage, and there is also the risk of your child or pet encountering the poison.

You can also use a striking to like a baseball bat to hit the possum. That method seems cruel, but if you want to carry on with it, you will need excellent speed and precision, as the possums can run away. 

You should know that possums play dead when exposed to threats; they leave their eyes open and their tongues out. 

They can stay in this position for 5 minutes to 4 hours. It is not a planned reaction, rather it is an instinctive reaction, and like skunks, they release an unpleasant smell that drives predators away.

While handling possums, be careful not to carry them by their tailor by their neck, as serious damage can be done to their spine in the process.

Read Also: Can A Fox Jump a Fence?

Can You Hunt Possums

Yes, you can hunt possums in some locations where hunting is permitted. You can find opossums in the Eastern part of the United States, but their population is slowly growing towards the north as the climate condition changes.

We advise that you have a hunting permit or license before hunting in selected locations.

Where To Shoot a Possum to Kill It

When shooting a possum, other are two key places to aim. The head and the chest region. Aiming for these areas ensures a rapid and painless death. 

As you aim for either the head or the chest, after pulling the trigger, the bullet hits the target area and renders the animal unconscious before acting on the organs.

It is advisable to aim for the chest region, though, as it offers a wide target space. As a possum moves its head, your aim may go off course, giving the possum a bad injury.

Shooting aims to cause instant death without much pain, which will be achieved more when aiming for the chest region.

Conclusion

If you consider eliminating a possum by shooting, you should consider other methods as possums are protected by federal law in some states. You can consider using traps or poison, although poison is not the best option.

You also have to be aware of the behavior of possums as it helps. You can keep possums away from your hard by keeping your environment clean.

You can also call wildlife experts or animal control to handle the situation professionally. If you must, always remember that you should have a license or permit before shooting a possum.

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We trust this article helped you determine if you can shoot a possum in your backyard. You may also want to check out How High Can a Raccoon Jump.

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2 thoughts on “Shooting Possums – Can I Shoot a Possum in My Backyard”

  1. I’m confused. This is what your article says:

    “Yes, it is legal to kill possums in your backyard. Because of their contribution to the ecosystem, possums are protected under federal that prevents them from being killed.”

    It says “yes, it is legal to kill possums in your backyard”, but then it goes on to say that possums are protected under federal (law?) that prevents them from being killed. So which is it?

    1. Hi Jessica,

      So sorry about this, that was a mistake and it has been corrected, thanks for pointing it out.

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