MDC reminds the public of extended furbearer season

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds the public of expanded opportunities for furbearers. In March of last year, the Missouri Conservation Commission approved an extension in certain furbearer hunting and trapping seasons.

Furbearers are mammal species that have traditionally been trapped or hunted for their fur, such as coyotes, raccoons, and skunks. Many furbearers are also considered small game species, for which there are small game hunting seasons. These extensions were made as many furbearer populations have seen consistent growth, allowing for additional harvest opportunity.

The changes made in March of last year are as follows:

  • Extending the hunting season and trapping season for bobcat, raccoon, opossum, and striped skunk from Nov. 15 to the last day of February and extending the trapping season for coyote from Nov. 15 to the last day of February.
  • Extending the trapping season for mink, muskrat, and river otter from Nov. 15 to the last day of February.
  • Establishing an early hunting and trapping season for raccoon, opossum, and striped skunk to run Aug. 1 – Oct. 15.
  • Extending the trapping season on private land for coyote, raccoon, opossum, and striped skunk to March 1 – April 14.

An artificial light may be used to spot, locate, attempt to take, and hunt raccoons or other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs while in possession or control of a firearm, bow, or other implement whereby any game animal could be killed or taken during the prescribed furbearer hunting season. In addition, from Feb. 1 through March 31, artificial light, night vision, infrared, and thermal imagery equipment can be used to take coyotes. The use of night vision, infrared, or thermal imagery equipment or pursue or take of wildlife from or with a motor-driven air, land, or water conveyance, or from or across a public roadway is specifically prohibited. 

Please note that Missouri residents are required to have a small game permit to hunt and trapping permit to trap furbearer species for all seasons and nonresidents are required to have a furbearer hunting game and trapping permit for all seasons. For any questions or concerns contact your local conservation agent or your nearest MDC Regional Office.