Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing
Trapping Prohibitions—It is illegal to:
- Trap before 6:00am on opening day of any trapping season.
- Possess or have under control a trap on land of another in any place where fur-bearing mammals might be found between April 16 of any year and 6:00 on the following November 1.
- Possess the green pelt of any fur-bearing mammal or any part of such pelt except during the open season for such mammal and for ten days thereafter.
- Possess or have under his control an unregistered trap on land of another.
- Possess or have under control the registered trap of another, unless he has entered into a trapping partnership through the Boston Office as provided in M.G.L. c131 § 80 and 321 CMR 3.02(5)(e)14.
- Trap on posted land of another without the written permission of the owner or tenant of such land.
- Trap in a public way, cart road, path or other way commonly used as a passageway for human beings or domestic animals.
- Tear open, disturb, or destroy a muskrat lodge, beaver lodge or beaver dam, except as provided in 321 CMR 2.08.
- Use poison or trap with a trap designed to take more than one mammal at a time.
- Trap on land with a Bailey or Hancock beaver trap or other suitcase type cage trap of similar design, except when set upon a beaver dam or beaver lodge, snag, stump, rock, or other above-water protrusion entirely or substantially surrounded by water, or, when the pan of such trap is not completely submerged.
- Trap with a Bailey or Hancock beaver trap or other suitcase type cage trap of similar design without having completed a training session and having been issued a certificate of completion as provided for in 321 CMR 3.02(5)(c)2., or to fail to carry such certificate on one’s person when using such traps.
- Fail to visit all traps staked out, set, used, tended, placed, or maintained, and remove all animals trapped at least once in each calendar day between the hours of 4:00am and 10:00pm.
- Destroy, mutilate, spring, or remove the trap of another.
- Take any fur-bearing mammal from the trap of another unless he has on his person a specific written authorization to do so, signed by the owner of such trap. The owner of traps may give such authorization to any person licensed to trap under M.G.L. c. 131 for a period not to exceed one week from the day the traps were last tended, provided that notice of the giving of such authorization including the name and trapping license number of the person so authorized shall be given to the regional Environmental Police Officer and to the Director within 24 hours of the giving of such authorization.
- Set, use, place, locate, tend, or maintain a trap not bearing on a metal tag the name, town of residence, and trap registration number of the person or persons using the same in a manner as to be legible at all times. Said registration number shall be permanently embedded in or marked on the traps with letters and figures not less than 1⁄8 inches high in such a manner as to be legible at all times.
- Trap fur-bearing mammals with any trap other than a cage or box type trap, or a common rat trap for weasels.
- Possess any road-killed furbearers during the closed season, or possess road-killed furbearers during the open season without a valid hunting or trapping license as appropriate to that species and season.
- Alter, tamper with, or reapply a furbearer tag or seal, or possess any altered or resealed tag, or possess any pelt bearing an altered or resealed tag or seal.
Incidental Catch — Emergency Permit
Catch of any species other than beaver or muskrat while trapping with a 10 day emergency permit must be turned over to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Problem Animal Control (PAC) agents are private individuals licensed by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to assist the public in situations involving sick animals or animals causing property damage. If you are experiencing wildlife damage and wish to contract with a PAC agent, a listing can be found on MassWildlife website mass.gov/
masswildlife. Individuals interested in becoming a PAC agent can obtain information on the permitting process from this same website, or call MassWildlife Field Headquarters at (508) 389-6300.
Rabies in wild mammals has been confirmed in all counties in Massachusetts except Dukes and Nantucket. Wear rubber gloves when skinning furbearers. If you believe you have been exposed to a rabid animal, scrub the area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical advice immediately. If possible, isolate and preserve the dead animal by refrigeration as soon as possible. Contact your local Board of Health.