Choose your state

AlabamaAlabama Hunting & Fishing

AlaskaAlaska Drivers ManualAlaska Motorcycle ManualAlaska Commercial DriversAlaska Waterfowl HuntingAlaska Hunting

ArizonaArizona HuntingArizona Waterfowl Hunting

ArkansasArkansas HuntingArkansas Waterfowl Hunting

CaliforniaCalifornia Big Game HuntingCalifornia Freshwater FishingCalifornia Fishing SupplementCalifornia Waterfowl & Upland Game & Public LandsCalifornia Saltwater FishingCalifornia Mammal Hunting

ColoradoColorado HuntingColorado Waterfowl Hunting

ConnecticutConnecticut HuntingConnecticut Fishing

DelawareDelaware HuntingDelaware Fishing

FloridaFlorida HuntingFlorida Saltwater FishingFlorida Freshwater Fishing

GeorgiaGeorgia FIshing40-Hour Parent/Teen Driving GuideGeorgia Alcohol & Drug Awareness ProgramGeorgia HuntingGeorgia Commercial DriversGeorgia Drivers ManualGeorgia Motorcycle Manual

HawaiiHawaii Hunting

IdahoIdaho HuntingIdaho Deer HuntingIdaho Waterfowl Hunting

IllinoisIllinois HuntingIllinois Waterfowl Hunting

IndianaIndiana HuntingIndiana Fishing

IowaIowa HuntingIowa Waterfowl Hunting

KansasKansas HuntingKansas Waterfowl Hunting

KentuckyKentucky HuntingKentucky Waterfowl Hunting

LouisianaLouisiana HuntingLouisiana Fishing

MaineMaine HuntingMaine FishingMaine ATV & Snowmobile

MarylandMaryland FishingMaryland Hunting

MassachusettsMassachusetts Hunting & FishingMassachusetts Saltwater Fishing

MichiganMichigan FishingMichigan HuntingMichigan Waterfowl Hunting

MinnesotaMinnesota HuntingMinnesota Waterfowl Hunting

MississippiMississippi Hunting & Fishing

MissouriMissouri HuntingMissouri Waterfowl Hunting

MontanaMontana HuntingMontana Deer HuntingMontana Waterfowl Hunting

NebraskaNebraska HuntingNebraska Deer HuntingNebraska Waterfowl Hunting

NevadaNevada FishingNevada Small Game HuntingNevada Big Game HuntingNevada Hunting Applications

New HampshireNew Hampshire Saltwater FishingNew Hampshire HuntingNew Hampshire ATV & SnowmobileNew Hampshire Freshwater Fishing

New JerseyNew Jersey HuntingNew Jersey Freshwater FishingNew Jersey Saltwater Fishing

New MexicoNew Mexico HuntingNew Mexico Hunting Rules & Info – 2016-2017New Mexico Waterfowl Hunting

New YorkNew York HuntingNew York Fishing

North CarolinaNorth Carolina HuntingNorth Carolina Waterfowl Hunting

North DakotaNorth Dakota HuntingNorth Dakota Deer HuntingNorth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

OhioOhio HuntingOhio Fishing

OklahomaOklahoma FishingOklahoma Hunting

OregonOregon Big Game HuntingOregon FishingOregon Game Bird HuntingOregon FishingOregon Big Game Hunting

PennsylvaniaPennsylvania HuntingPennsylvania Waterfowl Hunting

Rhode IslandRhode Island Saltwater Fishing Regulations GuideRhode Island HuntingRhode Island Freshwater Fishing

South CarolinaSouth Carolina Hunting & Fishing

South DakotaSouth Dakota HuntingSouth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

TennesseeTennessee HuntingTennessee Waterfowl Hunting

TexasTexas HuntingTexas Waterfowl Hunting

UtahUtah HuntingUtah Deer HuntingUtah Waterfowl Hunting

VermontVermont FishingVermont Hunting

VirginiaVirginia FishingVirginia Migratory Game Bird HuntingVirginia Hunting

WashingtonWashington HuntingWashington Deer HuntingWashington Waterfowl Hunting

West VirginiaWest Virginia HuntingWest Virginia Waterfowl Hunting

WisconsinWisconsin HuntingWisconsin Deer HuntingWisconsin Waterfowl Hunting

WyomingWyoming HuntingWyoming Deer HuntingWyoming Waterfowl Hunting

Logo

General Trapping Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing

Open season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Bobcat1,2, Coyote1, Fox1, Weasel

Nov. 1 – Nov. 30

Fisher1

Nov. 1 – Nov. 22

Mink1, River Otter1

Nov. 1 – Dec. 15

Beaver1

Jan. 1 – April 15
Nov. 1 – April 15, 2019

Muskrat, Opossum,
Raccoon, Skunk

Jan. 1 – Feb. 28
Nov. 1 – Feb. 28, 2019

BOBCAT

Bobcat may only be taken by trapping or salvaged in Wildlife Management Zones 1–8. All bobcats taken or salvaged must be checked within 4 working days of the end of the season at an official check station. Bobcats cannot be reported online.

OTTER

All otters taken or salvaged must be checked within 4 working days of the end of the season at an official check station. Otters cannot be reported online.

Mandatory trapper education

Trapper Education is mandatory for first-time trappers and Problem Animal Control (PAC) agents in order to apply for a trap registration certificate. A trap registration certificate is required to trap on land owned by others and traps in possession and use must have the assigned registration number embedded into the trap and must have a metal tag attached bearing trapper’s name, town, and registration number. Government issued Trapper Education certificates from any U.S. state are accepted to apply. Included in the Massachusetts Trapper Education course is the mandatory training required to use Bailey or Hancock traps. Both a Trapper Education Certificate and a Bailey-Hancock Certificate are issued to students who successfully complete this course.

Lawful Trap types

Only cage or box type traps may be used for the taking of fur-bearing mammals. Common rat traps may only be used for the taking of weasels.  Bailey and Hancock traps may only be used for the taking of beaver and only by trappers who have been issued the Bailey-Hancock certificate of completion. The Bailey-Hancock certificate must be in possession when using such traps. There is a detailed procedure for obtaining a special permit to use bodygrip traps (e.g., Conibear™ traps) to address certain types of wildlife damage. Contact your local MassWildlife District office for details.

PROHIBITED TRAPS: Steel-jaw foothold traps, padded jaw traps, body-gripping (Conibear) traps (see below), snares, deadfalls, and any traps other than those specified are prohibited. Such traps may not be set, tended, used, or possessed in the field.

Staking is not a recognized practice and conveys no special trapping privileges.

stolen traps: A trapper must report the loss or theft of a trap in writing to the Office of Law Enforcement within 48 hours of the loss or theft, or remain responsible for its use. The report should include the number and type of traps, the date, time, place and circumstances of the loss or theft. Such reports must be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury. Stolen traps should be reported to:

Coastal Law Enforcement:
Mass. Environmental Police
Office of Law Enforcement
Attn: Trap Loss
Bldg. #45, 349 Lincoln St.
Hingham, MA 02043

Inland Law Enforcement:
Mass. Environmental Police
Office of Law Enforcement
Attn: Trap Loss
183 Milk Street
Westborough, MA 01581

SALE OF PELTS

Exporting raw furs: When shipping raw fur pelts by any carrier, the contents of the package and the shipper’s hunting or trapping license number must be listed on the outside of the package.

The destruction or removal of any identifying tag or label that is attached to a container in which skins are shipped is unlawful.

All river otter and bobcat require CITES tags to be lawfully exported for sale. Go to a MassWildlife District office, Sunderland Fish Hatchery, or Bitzer Fish Hatchery for these tags.

Raw Pelts of coyote, wild fox, wild mink, gray wolf, bobcat, lynx, fisher, marten, river otter, or beaver may not be sold in Massachusetts unless tagged by the state or province of origin.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND REPORTING VIOLATIONS

If you are aware of illegal trapping activities, or suspect a violation of any wildlife law, Environmental Police Officers can be reached at (800) 632-8075 (toll free) or (617) 626-1665.

Violations and Penalties: Trapping licenses can be revoked for one year in addition to other penalties and fines as well as restitutions of up to $1000 and/or six months in jail. Traps and other equipment can be seized and forfeited to the Commonwealth. In addition, Problem Animal Control Licenses and/or Furbuyer licenses can be revoked, plus fines and penalties assessed, and additionally, fur products can be seized and forfeited to the Commonwealth.

Trap Registration

All traps used on the land of another must have a valid trap registration number embedded or cut into the trap. The assigned number, including letter and figures, must be at least 1⁄8 inches high and legible at all times. The trap must also have attached a metal tag bearing the owner’s name, town and registration number. The registration number is yours for life, but must be renewed every two years. To trap on another’s land, a trapper must maintain a current certification of that registration number. Registration numbers are available from the MassWildlife Boston office. The initial fee for trap registration is $5.00. Renewal fee is $5.00. Make check payable to Comm. of MA—DFW.

Pelt checking/reporting

Coyote, fox, fisher, beaver, bobcat, river otter, and mink must be checked within 4 working days of the end of their respective seasons. Furbearers/pelts must be checked at an official check station or may be checked online (except bobcat and otter). For detailed information on Online Game Check, visit the Game Check Station page on mass.gov/dfw/checkstation; visit the MassFishHunt System online at mass.gov/massfishhunt to report your harvest online. Once you are issued a harvest confirmation number, write it on a tag of your own making and attach it to the pelt/carcass. Confirmation numbers must remain attached to all pelts/carcasses for which they were specifically issued until the pelt/carcass is prepared for mounting by a taxidermist or the pelt is sold or tanned. Bobcat and river otter cannot be reported online. Take all bobcat and river otter to an official check station within 4 working days of the end of the season. You will be issued a plastic CITES seal for bobcat and river otter.

FURBEARER CHECK STATIONS

Check stations are open Monday–Friday (excluding holidays). Call check stations prior to bringing pelts in for sealing. Most deer check stations also check coyotes; visit our website at mass.gov/dfw/checkstation or call MassWildlife Field Headquarters for further information.

  • Western District:
    Dalton (413) 684-1646
  • Connecticut Valley District:
    Belchertown (413) 323-7632
  • Central District:
    West Boylston (508) 835-3607
  • Northeast District:
    Ayer (978) 772-2145
  • Southeast District:
    Buzzards Bay (508) 759-3406
  • Sunderland Hatchery:
    Sunderland (413) 665-4680
  • Bitzer Fish Hatchery:
    Montague (413) 367-2477
  • Field Headquarters:
    Westborough (508) 389-6300