DEC Announces Opening of Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Seasons

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DEC Announces Opening of Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Seasons

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that many furbearer trapping seasons begin on Monday, Oct. 25. Before venturing afield, trappers are advised to note changes to special permit requirements for fisher trapping seasons.

"Trapping and hunting provide important benefits to New Yorkers by helping to reduce human-wildlife conflicts and damage to crops and property," Commissioner Seggos said. "This year, as trappers and hunters head afield to pursue New York's abundant furbearer populations, I encourage trappers to familiarize themselves with the new requirements and to always hunt safely and responsibly."  

More information on trapping regulations, trapping seasons, fisher and marten trapping seasons, and furbearer hunting can be found on DEC's website, and in the New York State Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Seasons

With 16 species of furbearers living in New York, furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities are abundant. Coyote hunting season began Oct. 1 across much of the state and hunting seasons for other furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon, and fox begin on Oct. 25. Season dates and zone boundaries for all furbearers can be found on DEC's website and in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

Trapping season dates vary by species and geography, with raccoon, fox, and bobcat opening on Oct. 25, and beaver, mink, and muskrat opening on Nov. 1 in northern New York, and Nov. 10 across the Southern Zone. Trappers should check the regulations guide or the DEC website for opening dates in their area.

All harvested marten, fisher, otter, and bobcat need to be sealed by a DEC representative within 10 days after the close of the season in the wildlife management unit where the animal was taken. Harvesters should contact their regional wildlife office to make pelt sealing arrangements prior to visiting.

Fisher and Marten Permit Updates

Earlier this year, DEC proposed regulations removing the requirement for the free special fisher trapping permit. DEC has gathered sufficient data on fisher harvest during previous seasons and determined the special permit is no longer necessary. Unfortunately, amended regulations cannot be adopted prior to the start of the 2021 trapping season. To simplify the process for trappers this season, DEC created a self-issued fisher trapping permit for trappers.

DEC sent fisher permits to all those who applied for a Fisher Trapping Permit in 2020. Trappers who did not receive a permit can download the permit from the DEC website. Trappers are not required to submit the lower jaw, head, or carcass of any fisher taken during the 2021 trapping season. In addition, trappers do not have to complete or submit a Fisher Trapping Activity Log this season. Trappers are still required to have a trapping license and must have all harvested fisher sealed by DEC staff.

Please note that a separate permit is required for trappers wishing to pursue marten. This permit does include an activity log. Trappers can contact the DEC Region 5 Wildlife Office in Warrensburg at 518-623-1240 to obtain a marten trapping permit.

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Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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