Trapping Regulations

General Provisions

  • The homes, nests or dens of furbearers must not be molested or destroyed.
  • No person shall accept payment for furbearers taken by another.
  • Wildlife held in traps, snares, or cable restraint devices may be killed or removed only by the user.
  • Bobcats and otters or their pelts must be delivered to an agent of the Conservation Department for registration or tagging before selling, transferring, tanning or mounting by April 10. Tagged bobcats, otters or their pelts may be possessed by the taker throughout the year and may be sold only to licensed taxidermists, tanners or fur dealers. It is illegal to purchase or sell untagged bobcats, otters or their pelts. Tagging tip: To make it easier to tag a pelt without damaging it, put a pencil or stick through the upper lip and eye socket before freezing the skin. The tag can be easily placed in those holes when the pelt is registered.
  • Restrictions on possession do not apply to tanned pelts, mounted specimens or manufactured products.
  • Skinned carcasses of legally taken furbearers may be sold throughout the year.

Special-Use Permit Required to Trap on Conservation Areas

Trapping with dog-proof style and other traps is allowed on many conservation areas. A Special Use Permit is required and these must be applied for at least 30 days before trapping begins. Contact the area manager at the regional office to see what opportunities are available in your area.


  • May be placed and set for furbearers at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 15 and must be removed by midnight of the last day of trapping season
  • Must have smooth or rubber jaws only, and may include foot-hold, Conibear, or other killing-type, foot-enclosing-type, cage-type, colony traps with openings no greater than 6 inches in height and 6 inches wide, snares set underwater only, and cable restraint devices.
  • Must be plainly labeled on durable material with the user’s full name and address or Conservation Number.
  • Wildlife must be removed or released from traps daily, except for colony and killing-type traps, which must be checked every 48 hours.
  • May not be set in paths made or used by people or domestic animals. Killing-type traps may not be set along public roadways, except underwater in permanent waters. Within communities having 10,000 or more inhabitants, only cage-type or foot-enclosing-type traps may be set within 150 feet of any residence or occupied building
  • May be used in conjunction with electronic calls

Conibear or Killing-type traps must comply with the following:

  • With a jaw spread greater than 5 inches, may be set underwater, but not in any dry land set
  • With a jaw spread not greater than 8 inches, may be set 6 feet or more above ground level in buildings

Snares must comply with the following:

  • Be set underwater
  • Have a loop 15 inches or less in diameter when set
  • Have a stop device that prevents the snare from closing to less than 2 1/2 inches in diameter
  • Be made with cable that is between 5/64 inch and 1/8 inch in diameter
  • Have a mechanical lock and anchor swivel