Furbearer Trapping

To trap means to take, kill or capture wildlife with traps, deadfalls and other devices commonly used to take wildlife, including the shooting or killing of lawfully trapped animals. It also includes all related activities such as placing, setting, staking or checking traps or assisting another person with these activities. You do not need a hunting license to shoot a trapped animal.

Legal Traps

Snares may not be used for trapping.

Box or cage traps are legal for all species, but note you may not use a cage trap that is designed to take more than one muskrat at a setting.

For detailed information about foothold traps and body-gripping traps, including specifics about beaver and otter season, visit the DEC’s trapping page.

For information on how to correctly measure furbearer traps, plus regulations for Beaver Traps and for Body-Gripping Traps set on land, visit: http://www.eregulations.com/newyork/hunting/furbearer-traps/.

Checking Traps

In the Southern Zone, you must check traps once in each 24-hour period.

For information on Trapping Methods including the use of carcasses as bait, land and/or water trapping, trapping near beaver dams and lodges, visit: http://www.eregulations.com/newyork/hunting/furbearer-trapping/.


Pelt Sealing

Otter, bobcat, fisher and marten must have a plastic seal attached to the pelt or un-skinned animal before:

  • It is sold or ownership is transferred to another person, or
  • It is mounted or tanned, or
  • It leaves New York State, or
  • Ten days have passed since the close of the season where the fur was taken

The plastic pelt seals can be removed when the pelt is processed for taxidermy, tanning or manufacturing.

For information on how to get your pelts sealed, as well as information related to the Rights of Trappers, License Responsibilities, Trapping License Exceptions, Incidental and Accidental Captures of Trapped Animals, and Possession of Road-Killed Furbearers, visit the DEC's page on Furbearer Trapping.


Buying and Selling Fur

Species requiring a pelt seal cannot be bought or sold or given to another person unless they have the plastic pelt seal attached. All other species may be bought, sold, and transported without restriction.

Furbearers may be bought or sold either skinned or un-skinned.

People who buy fur do not need a fur buyer’s license in New York.

For a downloadable PDF with specific information on furbearer trapping, click here.


Trapping Seasons

Beaver Trapping Season
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/29044.html

Otter Trapping Season
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30513.html
If you take an otter, you must complete a furbearer possession tag and get the pelt or unskinned animal sealed.

Bobcat Trapping Season
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/29045.html
If you take a bobcat anywhere in New York State it must be tagged and sealed.

Fisher and Marten Trapping Seasons
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30442.html
A free special permit is required for trapping fisher and/or marten.

Mink and Muskrat Trapping Season
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30510.html

Raccoon, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Skunk, Coyote, Opossum, and Weasel Trapping Seasons
https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30507.html

Click on the following links for additional information on Trapping Seasons and detailed written descriptions of the Wildlife Management Units.


Additional Trapping Information

For information on Best Management Practices for Trapping, Tips to Avoid Non-Target Catch of Otter, Trapper Mentoring Program and Trapping Harvest Data, click here.