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General Furbearer Regulations

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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 Division, 305 Marine Academy Drive, Suite 1, Stevensville, MD 21666, 410-643-8502; or visit the DNR website at 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.
  • 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 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 or by contacting local offices of either the DNR Wildlife & Heritage Service or NRP. See NRP 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.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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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 &, ‘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/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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