Where To Shoot A Raccoon With A Pellet Gun?

Raccoons can sometimes become a nuisance, especially when they invade your property or pose a threat to your pets. The best way is to simply eliminate the hairy critters. However, when it comes to killing, you must select the proper weapon, in this case, a pellet gun. But, where to shoot a raccoon with a pellet gun? 

The use of pellet guns to combat raccoon problems presents ethical and practical concerns. In situations where immediate action is necessary and permitted by law, using a pellet gun requires careful precision. 

Not every pellet gun will work on raccoons. More essential, you must know where to shoot raccoons to ensure a kill. Raccoons are tough little buggers, and shot placement is crucial when it comes to taking them down. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key considerations and provide detailed information on the optimal target areas when dealing with raccoons.

Understanding Raccoon Anatomy

Before discussing specific target areas, it’s important to have a basic understanding of raccoon anatomy. Raccoons are medium-sized mammals with stout bodies and distinctive facial masks. 

They have a compact and strong construction, weighing between 10 and 30 pounds. Raccoons have great manual dexterity, allowing them to manipulate objects and even open containers.

They possess robust forelimbs and sharp claws, enabling them to climb and grasp objects proficiently. Their vital organs are relatively well-protected, so aiming for precise shots is essential to achieve desired results. 

Can A Pellet Gun Kill Racoons?

Let’s talk about whether the pellet gun you’re using is up to the task. Even with proper shot placement, different pellet rifles produce varying results. So, what caliber pistol is required to dispatch a raccoon?

Pellet guns exist in a variety of styles and calibers; some are just not powerful enough to kill a raccoon. However, there are plenty of pellet guns that are capable of killing raccoons. On hairy animals, a.22 caliber or higher is recommended.

As a result, you should never use anything smaller than a.22 caliber on raccoons. On raccoons, a.177 caliber will simply not work (clean kill).

Where To Shoot A Raccoon With A Pellet Gun? 

Now that we know what kind of pellet gun to use on raccoons, the next step is to determine where to aim your pellet gun shot. 


Raccoons are hardy animals that can be difficult to kill. The key to success with these creatures is proper shot placement. The most effective and humane way to deal with a raccoon using a pellet gun is by aiming for a headshot. This target area provides the greatest chance of an instant kill, minimizing any unnecessary suffering for the animal.

When targeting the head, aim for the area just behind the eye socket or between the eyes. Additionally, you can target the area between the ears and eyes. It is crucial to ensure a clean shot to avoid injuring the animal without rendering it unconscious. It may be necessary to shoot it more than once in some circumstances. 

The Eyes And Ears

The raccoon’s brain can also be accessed via the ears and eyes. As a result, a shot through the eyes will almost certainly result in a fatality. The eye is formed of delicate tissue, which is easily penetrated. The same is true for the ears.

where to shoot a raccoon with a pellet gun

Heart and Lung Area

If a headshot is not possible due to movement or other factors, the heart and lung area is another viable target. This region is located in the chest cavity, slightly below and behind the front legs.

Aim for the center of the chest, focusing on the area between the front legs. Shots in this area have a higher chance of causing severe damage to vital organs. This leads to a quick and humane kill.


Targeting the spine can also be an effective method for neutralizing a raccoon. Aiming for the upper spinal column, just behind the head, can result in instant paralysis and unconsciousness. 

However, shooting the lower back can cause severe injury without immediate incapacitation, leading to unnecessary suffering. It is crucial to exercise caution when aiming for the spine and to prioritize humane outcomes. 

Read this post: Where To Shoot A Raccoon With A Pellet Gun?

Safety Considerations

When using a pellet gun to shoot raccoons, several safety considerations must be taken into account:

  • Legal Restrictions: Ensure that you are complying with local laws and regulations regarding the use of pellet guns for pest control. Some jurisdictions may require permits or have specific guidelines for humane treatment.
  • Aim for Precision: Always strive for accuracy and precision when targeting raccoons with a pellet gun. This will minimize the risk of hitting non-vital areas and causing unnecessary pain or injury.
  • Consider Distance: Maintain a safe distance while shooting, ensuring that the pellet gun has sufficient power and velocity to deliver an effective shot. Shooting from a closer range increases the likelihood of precise hits.
  • Dispose of Remains Properly: If you manage to successfully shoot a raccoon, it is vital to dispose of the remains responsibly. Follow local regulations for disposal or contact local authorities for guidance.

Where To Find Raccoons?

To properly get rid of the raccoons who are invading your garbage or feed, you must first know where they are. Raccoons generally come out at night to scavenge for food. They especially enjoy coming out when it’s completely dark.

As a result, raccoons are less active during a full moon. They are less active throughout the day and might be seen hunched down in their own burrows. During the day, they can be found within a hollow tree trunk or behind woody heaps.

Another nice spot to look for raccoons is around creeks or rivers. They prefer to hide in tall grass, under logs, or under other covers.

Because raccoons are most active at night, it is preferable to hunt them when it is completely dark. Use the raccoon calls to find a raccoon more successfully. This will lead them to emerge from concealment and assist you in your hunt. 


Knowing where to shoot a raccoon with a pellet gun is crucial for both effectiveness and humane treatment. By understanding raccoon anatomy and identifying optimal target areas such as the head, heart and lung area, or spine, you can ensure a quick and humane kill. Remember to prioritize safety, comply with local regulations, and dispose of remains responsibly. With these considerations in mind, you can effectively deter raccoons and protect your property.

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