|Trapping permits will be issued for the Oak Orchard, Tonawanda and John White Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) beginning Oct. 1, for the 2015-16 license year, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced today. Permit applications can be obtained weekdays from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, by appearing in person at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Office on Casey Road between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or by writing to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife, 1101 Casey Road, Box B, Basom, New York 14013.
Trappers who obtain a permit will be required to report their harvest and trapping efforts in each area. The Western New York trapping season for fox, raccoon, coyote and other upland furbearing animals opens Oct. 25, 2015, and closes Feb. 15, 2016. On the John White WMA the start of upland trapping will be delayed until Nov. 1. This year's trapping season for mink, muskrat and beaver in this area of New York including Tonawanda, Oak Orchard and John White WMAs will run from Nov. 25, 2015 until Feb. 15, 2016.
The start of muskrat and mink trapping at the three WMAs starts later than the Western New York trapping season and will run from Dec. 5, 2015 to Feb. 15, 2016. Wetland muskrat and mink trapping may be limited to dike areas only with no marsh trapping in wetland impoundments. This action is intended to allow the muskrat population to recover after the very hard winter of 2014-15 and an apparent reduction in muskrat numbers in the area. A decision will be made by October 1 and information will be provided when trapping permits are issued.
The maximum number of traps a trapper can set for muskrat and mink on the three WMAs is 25. To accomplish this, the DEC issues 25 numbered tags to each trapper who obtains a permit. A tag must be attached to each trap the trapper is using on the areas. Any trap that does not have one of these tags attached is considered an illegal trap. Individual trappers can only operate traps that contain tags with their assigned numbers. Traps set for upland trapping and beaver will not require numbered tags and will not be considered in the trap limit. The trap limit provides a more equitable distribution of the harvest and prevents trappers from monopolizing the better trapping areas.