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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
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Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Furbearers Trapping

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Trapping Regulations

You must have a valid Indiana trapping license to set traps.

Traps may not be set prior to 8 a.m. on opening day of trapping season. Traps must be checked and animals removed at least one time every 24 hours. Traps may be set at any distance from openings to tile drains or entrances to beaver or muskrat lodges. Tree climbing equipment may not be used as an aid in removing wild animals from trees. The use of motor-driven watercraft is permitted for purposes of setting or checking trap lines.

Furbearing game animals in Indiana include beaver, coyote, gray fox, red fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, and striped skunk. All trapping seasons are from 8 a.m. of the first day of the season to noon of the last day of the season. There are no daily bag or possession limits.

Furbearers (except for raccoons, foxes and coyotes that can be retained alive) that are trapped must either be released into the wild in the county in which they were captured within 24 hours of capturing the animals, or they must be euthanized immediately after removal from the trap or immediately upon transporting from the trap site.

Possession of Hides/Carcasses

It is illegal to possess the untanned hides or unprocessed carcasses of furbearers, except for coyotes, after May 15 of the year the hunting or trapping season ended or after June 15 if you submit a signed form to the DNR by May 15 of the number of untanned hides and unprocessed carcasses still in your possession by species.

The sale of legally harvested furbearing mammals or untanned hides of furbearing mammals can be made to licensed fur buyers only.

Go to for a list of Indiana licensed fur buyers, or call the Division of Fish and Wildlife at (317) 232-4200.

Possession of Live Furbearers

Only raccoons, red foxes, gray foxes, and coyotes can be retained alive during the trapping season for that species. Furbearers kept alive during the season must be euthanized at the completion of the season or you will need to apply for a game breeder license or wild animal possession permit within five days after the close of the season to continue to keep them alive.

Raccoons, foxes or coyotes that are removed from a trap and kept alive must be confined in a cage or other enclosure that: (a) makes escape of the mammal unlikely and prevents the entrance of a free-roaming mammal of the same species; (b) is structurally sound; (c) is of sufficient strength for the species involved; (d) is maintained in good repair and smoothly secured to prevent escape or injury to the mammal in the enclosure; (e) is constructed to allow sufficient space for individual posture, to turn about freely, and make normal social movements; (f) is secured when unattended with protective devices at entrances and exits to prevent escapes if kept outdoors and if needed to prevent injuries to human or the mammal’s health and; (g) has ambient ventilation by means of windows, doors, vents, fans, or air conditioning to protect the health of the mammal and to minimize drafts, odors and condensation.

Night quarters, transportation cages, and nesting boxes may not be used as primary housing. Surface water must be adequately drained from a cage or enclosure where the mammal is housed. Adequate lighting must be provided by artificial or natural means and cycled for appropriate photoperiod, if necessary for the mammal in possession. The cages or enclosures must also have adequate shelter from the elements and provide adequate shade for the animals.

You must remove and dispose of food wastes, feces, urine and bedding from the enclosure. You must also remove from the enclosure and appropriately dispose of trash, garbage, debris, and carcasses as soon as they are observed.

You must also provide daily: 1) fresh, clean drinking water in clean containers and 2) food that is unspoiled, uncontaminated, appropriate to the dietary needs of the mammal, and of sufficient quantity for the mammal involved.

Furbearers that are possessed alive and their cages or other enclosures must be made available for inspection by an Indiana Conservation Officer upon request.

Trapper Education

The DNR offers trapper education courses that describe basic methods for trapping furbearers, handling the catch and the responsibilities of the trapper. The DNR, in cooperation with trapper associations, offers these courses throughout the state. The course takes approximately six hours to complete. For information on classes in your area, call your local DNR Law Enforcement district office (see Contact Lists).

For more intensive training, the Furtakers of America, in cooperation with the DNR and Purdue University, offers the Professional Trapper’s Short Course each fall in northeast Indiana.

The week-long course covers the biology and management of furbearers, nuisance wildlife control, diseases associated with wildlife, trapping regulations, and public perceptions of trapping. The focus is on the mastery of field techniques. Approximately eight hours are spent afield each day.

Two continuing education credits are offered through Purdue University for completion of the course. For more information, contact Gene Beeber, 7701 Chet Lane, Louisville, KY, 40214.

Avoid Trapping Otter

River otters were reintroduced to Indiana in the mid to late-1990s.

Distribution of river otters has expanded every year since, and they can be found throughout the state.

River otters are a protected species. Care should be taken to avoid trapping otters while pursuing other furbearer species.

For more information on river otter avoidance techniques, request the publication Avoiding Otter While Trapping Beaver and Raccoon. Write or call the DNR Customer Service Center, 402 W. Washington St., W160, Indianapolis, IN 46204, (317) 232-4200. The publication also can be found at

Reporting Incidentals

If incidental catch of a river otter, bobcat or badger occurs, contact your local Conservation Officer or call (812) 837-9536 as soon as possible for instructions on how to release an animal, or if dead, how to transport it to the Department.

Trapping Seasons


Trapping Seasons

Coyote, Striped Skunk

Oct. 15, 2013 – March 15, 2014

Red and Gray Fox

Oct. 15, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2014


Nov. 15, 2013 – March 15, 2014

Mink, Muskrat, Weasel (long-tailed weasel only)

Nov. 15, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2014

Raccoon, Opossum

Nov. 8, 2013 – Jan. 31, 2014

Body Gripping Traps

A person must not take a wild animal with a Conibear, Dahlgren, Bigelow or other body-gripping trap on land if the widest inside jaw-spread measured at the horizontal center of the trap’s jaws (Figure 1) and the widest horizontal inside jaw-spread measured at the vertical center of the trap’s jaws (Figure 2) is:

  1. Larger than 7.5 inches if square or
  2. Larger than 8 inches if round

Otherwise, the trap must be completely covered by water.



It is only legal to use a snare to trap a wild animal on land you own or with the written permission of the landowner. The maximum legal circumference for snare loops is 15 inches, unless at least half of the snare loop is covered by water or if the snare employs a relaxing snare lock. A relaxing snare lock allows the snare loop to loosen slightly to reduce the possibility of strangulation. Regulations on snare size and lock are designed to prevent accidental loss of domestic animals.

Box Traps

Furbearers may be captured in box traps used on land or underwater.

Foothold Traps

It is illegal to use a foothold trap with saw-toothed or spiked jaws. It is illegal to take a wild animal with a foothold trap if the widest inside jaw-spread measured perpendicular to the trap’s base plate and the inside width between the trap’s hinge posts (both measurements) is greater than 5¾ inches and less than or equal to 6½ inches, unless the jaws of the trap have at least a 1/8-inch offset, the gap of the offset is filled with securely attached rubber pads, or the trap is completely covered by water.

Securely attached rubber pads are those attached with bolts or rivets. The trap’s hinge posts must be maintained at a 90-degree angle to the trap’s base plate. It is illegal to take a wild animal with a foothold trap on land if the widest inside jaw-spread measured perpendicular to the trap’s base plate and the inside width between the trap’s hinge posts is greater than 6½ inches.

It is illegal to set or place a stake, chain, drag or another portion of a trap that is designed to take a wild animal, except during a season established for trapping that wild animal.


Measuring your foothold trap

  1. Measure the widest inside jaw spread perpendicular to the traps baseplate as in Figure 3 and circle the measurement (or closest measurement) in Column 1.
  2. Measure the inside width between the traps hinge posts as in Figure 4 and circle the measurement (or closest measurement) in Column 2.
  3. If both measurements fall in Box 1, then the trap can have standard jaws (offset jaws are not required).
  4. If either measurement falls in Box 2, then the jaws of the trap must have at least a ¹∕8 inch offset or the gap of the offset can be filled with securely attached rubber pads. Securely attached means with bolts or rivets, not tape.
  5. If either measurements fall in Box 3, then the trap must be completely covered by water.





5″ or less

5″ or less








> 5¾” *

> 5¾”







> 6½”

> 6½”





7¼” or more

7¼” or more

* The Symbol “>” means “greater than.” (i.e.: “> 5¾” means “greater than 5¾”)

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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