Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Join the Griffin's Guide HUNTING newsletter

Get weekly news, tips and photos from the world of hunting.
[contact-form-7 id="35884" title="GG Email"]
No Thanks!
The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

Furbearers

Brought to you by:

DNR promotes sustainable and compatible uses of the furbearer resource. Hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits are established based on furbearer biology, distribution and abundance of each species, public interests and needs and the incidence of furbearer damage complaints. The following species are managed as “furbearers” in Maryland: beaver, bobcat, coyote, fisher, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, nutria, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otter, and skunk.

Licensing and Permit Requirements

A Regular Hunting License, Junior Hunting License, any senior hunting license or Nonresident Hunting License is required to hunt or trap furbearers except nutria.

A Maryland resident must possess a valid hunting license to hunt or trap on another person’s property, including public lands. Nonresident hunters must possess a valid Nonresident Hunting License. Nonresident trappers are required to have both a Nonresident Hunting License and a Nonresident Trapping License. Resident and nonresident license holders must also possess a Furbearer Permit. Nonresident Trapping Licenses can be obtained from any DNR Sport License Agent or a DNR Licensing and Registration Service Center.

With certain exceptions, a person must obtain or be authorized by a Furbearer Permit to hunt, chase, or trap any furbearer (beaver, coyote, fisher, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otter, and skunk), including the unarmed chasing of fox and raccoons. See Licenses, Stamps, & Permits for descriptions, prices, exceptions to, and availability of licenses, stamps, and permits.

Trapper Education Requirement

Any person who traps or attempts to trap furbearers (beaver, coyote, fisher, gray fox, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otter, and skunk) under the authority of a Furbearer Permit must first obtain a Certificate of Trapper Education from the DNR (or a designee of the Department), except that the certificate is not required if the person held a Furbearer Permit prior to August 1, 2007. However, all trappers are encouraged to participate in a trapper education course. Trapper education courses are being held statewide. Any similar certificate issued by another state is acceptable as complying with the educational requirements if the privileges are reciprocal for Maryland residents. Please contact the Maryland Natural Resources Police, Safety Education Section, 305 Marine Academy Drive, Suite 1, Stevensville, MD 21666, 410-643-8502; or visit the DNR website at http://dnr.maryland.gov for information about Trapper Education Courses.

General Furbearer Regulations

  • It is unlawful to hunt, trap or shoot at wildlife within 150 yards of an occupied building or camp without permission of the owner or occupant. For archery hunters this distance is 100 yards in Harford and Montgomery counties and 50 yards in Carroll and Frederick counties.
  • Harvesting the following species by any means other than trapping is prohibited: beaver, long-tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, and river otter. Nonresidents are not permitted to harvest beaver or river otter.
  • Destroying or disturbing furbearer dens is prohibited.
  • A permit is required to possess the meat or skinned carcass of a furbearer for more than 10 days after the season has closed. Permits can be obtained from the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP). See Addresses & Phone Numbers for NRP offices.
  • The pelt or unskinned carcasses of all fisher and river otter harvested in Maryland must be tagged within 15 days after the season has closed. Fisher and otter pelt tags may be obtained by contacting local offices of either the DNR Wildlife & Heritage Service or NRP. Trappers are required to submit the whole, skinned carcass of any otter harvested in Allegany and Garrett counties to DNR (call 301-334-4255, Mt. Nebo WMA).
  • The pelts or unskinned carcasses of furbearers harvested in Maryland, and then transported across the state line must have a “Fur Shipping Tag” accompanying them. These tags are available online at http://dnr.maryland.gov or by contacting local offices of either the DNR Wildlife & Heritage Service or NRP. See Addresses & Phone Numbers for offices.
  • On those lands owned or controlled by DNR in Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties only leaseholders or their appointees can hunt or trap furbearers and nutria between November 15 and March 15.
  • Fox Restrictions: Some counties have local restrictions governing fox hunting and trapping, and the possession of foxes and/or their pelts. For detailed information, contact local law enforcement authorities.

The following restrictions apply:

  • In Charles and Dorchester counties, a person may hunt, trap or possess the pelt of a fox any time of the year.
  • It is unlawful to kill a fox being pursued by dogs in Cecil, Harford, Kent, St. Mary’s and Wicomico counties.

Furbearer Hunting and Chasing Regulations

  • Firearm, bow and/or crossbow hunting of coyote, fisher, gray fox, nutria, opossum, raccoon, red fox, and skunk is permitted (see County Fox Restrictions in previous section for exceptions). Any individual that hunts these species must possess a valid Furbearer Permit. Shooting of all other furbearer species is prohibited. Refer to the following pages for information on the use of firearms, bows, and crossbows for hunting furbearers.
  • Unarmed fox chasing is not included in the statutory definition of hunting. However, it is subject to DNR regulations. Individuals participating in the unarmed chasing of fox must possess an Individual Furbearer Permit or be a part of an organized group that possess a Group Furbearer Permit. Additional permits may also be required to chase foxes on certain public lands. All activities on DNR owned and managed properties are subject to DNR public land regulations. With the exception of unarmed fox chasing, fox hunting with the aid of dogs is prohibited during the deer firearms season.
  • With the exception of nutria, hunting furbearers on Sunday is prohibited (also see Trapping Regulations in the following section).
  • Legal hunting hours for opossums and raccoons are from sunset to sunrise except Sundays. Raccoons that are destroying muskrats and/or their dens may be hunted any time of the year by owners of the affected marshlands or their employees.
  • The use of artificial light and/or dogs is permitted while hunting coyotes, foxes, opossums, or raccoons on foot. Coyotes, foxes, opossums, and raccoons can be hunted with the aid of electronic calling devices. Daytime and nighttime hunting for foxes is permitted during the legal harvest season for foxes except Sundays. Coyotes can be hunted at night during the period specified in the furbearer seasons and bag limits chart. At all other times of the year, coyotes may only be hunted during the legal daylight shooting hours.
  • On private and designated public lands in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, coyotes, fishers, foxes, opossums, raccoons and skunks may be hunted on all Sundays during the open season. Designated public lands open to Sunday hunting are: ONLY Billmeyer-Belle Grove WMA, Cunningham Swamp WMA, Dan’s Mountain WMA, Indian Springs WMA, Mount Nebo WMA, Prather’s Neck WMA, Sideling Hill WMA, and Warrior Mountain WMA.

Furbearer Trapping Regulations

Advisory: It is unlawful to tamper with and remove the catch from any legally set trap.

  • Written permission is required to trap on another person’s property, including publicly owned properties.
  • Setting or maintaining any foothold, body-gripping or snare trap within 150 yards of a permanent human residence is prohibited with the following exceptions:
    • On State, federal or private wetlands.
    • On lands that qualify for agricultural assessment, timberlands and lands used for reforestation.
    • Body-gripping traps with a diameter of less than 6 inches that are set completely submerged in water.
    • Except in Harford and Howard Counties, owners and lessees of privately-owned land.
    • In Harford and Howard Counties, landowners and lessees of privately-owned land may set or maintain the above described traps on their property as long as they are not within 150 yards of another person’s permanent residence.
  • All individuals trapping furbearers must possess a Furbearer Permit unless exempted from the requirement (see Permits and Other Licenses).
  • Traps must be checked once per calendar day except those traps that are set in water or tidal marshes which must be checked once per two days.
  • In tidal areas, landowners and their agents or lessees have exclusive rights to muskrats and other furbearers above the mean low water line.
  • Any furbearer taken during the legal trapping season FOR THAT SPECIES may be released on site, but may not be transported from the point of capture unless it has been killed. Animals caught during the closed season for a species must be released on site.
  • Legal trapping devices include: box traps, snares, foothold traps and body-gripping traps. Legal use of these devices is subject to compliance with the following restrictions and conditions:
    1. Foothold (Leghold) Traps
      • The use of toothed or serrated jawed traps is prohibited. All traps must possess smooth jaws.
      • Traps set above the waterline must not exceed a maximum jaw spread of 5¾ inches. Traps set below the waterline and completely submerged cannot exceed a maximum jaw spread of 7¾ inches.
        • Jaw spread means the distance between the inside of both jaws, when measured across the trap jaws on a line perpendicular to a line drawn through the jaw pivot points when the trap is in the set position.
      • In Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties traps cannot be set to capture furbearers unless completely submerged in water subject to the following exceptions:
        • Traps can be set above the waterline on farmland by the owner(s) of the property, members of owner(s) immediate family that reside on the property and the landowner(s) agent, tenant or lessee.
        • Traps can be set above the waterline in response to wildlife control concerns by authorized agents of the DNR, and according to guidelines established by DNR.
    2. Snare Traps
      • It is illegal to use, sell, possess, set, place or maintain a snare trap in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
    3. Body-Gripping Traps
      • Body-gripping traps with a diameter of greater than 8 inches can be set when partially or totally submerged in water.
      • Body-gripping traps with a diameter of 8 inches or less can be set above ground in tidal wetlands, flooded non-tidal wetlands, fresh water marshes, wooded swamps, bogs in areas where water covers the surface of the soil, or in areas where the soil is waterlogged to the surface. In all other areas these traps may be set when partially or totally submerged in water.

2014–2015 Furbearer Seasons & Limits

On private and designated public lands in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties, coyotes, fishers, foxes, opossums, raccoons and skunks may be hunted on all Sundays during the open season. See below for a list of designated public lands.

Species

Open Season

Location

Bag Limit

Possession Limit

Beaver

Closed to Nonresidents

Dec. 15–Mar. 16

All counties except Garrett and Allegany counties

No limit

No limit

Beaver

Closed to Nonresidents

Dec. 1–Mar. 16

Garrett & Allegany counties

No limit

No limit

Bobcat

CLOSED SEASON

CoyotE

Firearms & Archery

Coyotes may be hunted in all counties year-round during daylight hours (½ hr. before sunrise to ½ hr. after sunset) except Sunday.

No limit

No limit

Oct. 15–Mar. 16

Coyotes may be hunted in all counties day and night except Sundays.

No limit

No limit

CoyotE & Long-tailed weasel

Trapping

Nov. 15–Feb. 16

In that portion of the state east of the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River.

No limit

No limit

Nov. 1–Feb. 2

In that portion of the state west of the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River.

No limit

No limit

Fisher

Nov. 1–Feb. 2

All counties

2 per day

2 per season

Fox
(Red & Gray)

Trapping, Firearms, & Archery

Aug. 1–July 31

Charles & Dorchester counties

No limit

No limit

Nov. 15–Feb. 16

Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties

No limit

No limit

Nov. 1–Feb. 2

Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s and Washington counties

No limit

No limit

Muskrat & Mink

Nov. 15–Feb. 14

Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard & Washington counties

No limit

No limit

Jan. 1–Mar. 14

Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St.Mary’s, Talbot & Wicomico counties

No limit

No limit

Dec. 15–Mar. 14

Baltimore, Cecil, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset & Worcester counties

No limit

No limit

Nutria

Aug. 1–July 31

All counties

No limit

No limit

RIVER Otter

Closed to Nonresidents

Dec. 15–Mar. 16

All counties except Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery & Washington

10 per day

10 per season

Dec. 15–Mar. 16

Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery & Washington counties

2 per day

2 per season

RIVER Otter

Closed to Nonresidents

Dec. 1 –Mar. 16

Garrett and Allegany counties

1 per day*

1 per season*

Raccoon & Opossum

Chasing—no kill

Aug. 1–Oct. 14

Mar. 16–July 31

All counties

Raccoon & Opossum

Firearms, Archery, & Dog

Oct. 15–Mar. 14

All counties

No limit

No limit

Raccoon, Skunk & Opossum

Trapping

Nov. 15–Mar. 16

In that portion of the state east of the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River.

No limit

No limit

Nov. 1–Mar. 16

In that portion of the state west of the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River.

No limit

No limit

*Trappers are required to submit the whole, skinned carcass of any river otter harvested in Allegany or Garrett counties (Call 301-334-4255, Mt. Nebo WMA).

Designated public lands open to Sunday hunting in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties are: ONLY Billmeyer-Belle Grove WMA, Cunningham Swamp WMA, Dan’s Mountain WMA, Indian Springs WMA, Mount Nebo WMA, Prather’s Neck WMA, Sideling Hill WMA, and Warrior Mountain WMA.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Maryland Department of Natural Resources Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com