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Furbearer Trapping

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Licensing Requirements

Any person (regardless of age), except resident landowners while upon their own land or children under 16 years of age when accompanied by a licensee 18 years of age or over, must have a license to trap fur-bearing animals. This license can only be purchased at Fish and Game headquarters in Concord. Trapping Licenses expire on June 30 of each year.

No person shall be issued a license to trap unless he or she presents proof that he or she has completed a trapper education course or has previously held a license to trap.

  • Trapping License—Resident Minor: NH resident youths (under age 16) may purchase this license with proof of Trapper Education or a previous Trapping License. This license allows youth trappers to trap without adult accompaniment.
  • Nonresident Trapping Licenses: In order to be eligible for a NH Trapping License, the applicant’s state or province must allow nonresidents to trap within their jurisdictions.

Persons engaged in the practice of trapping nuisance animals are required to possess a Wildlife Control Operator’s License, available from Fish and Game headquarters in Concord.

General Regulations

  • Snares may be used for taking beaver and otter. Snares shall only be set in water or under ice.
  • All traps/snares must have the name of the person setting them, either stamped or engraved in a legible and permanent manner on the trap or on a durable tag securely affixed to the trap or snare or chain holding the trap.
  • Only New Hampshire residents may trap beaver and otter during the NH open seasons.
  • Otter sealing is required within 10 days of the close of the otter season.
  • Fisher sealing is required within 10 days of the close of the fisher season.
  • There is no open season on bobcat, lynx or pine marten.
  • No person may set, arrange or tend any trap/snare upon any land or from the shores of any waters of which he is not the owner or occupant unless he has signed, written permission, and until a copy is filed with the conservation officer in whose district said person is going to trap, together with a description of the land on which trapping is to be done. The only exceptions are traps/snares placed in public bodies of water as defined in RSA 271:20 and on the following named rivers: Androscoggin, Ammonoosuc, Ashuelot, Bearcamp, Contoocook, Connecticut, Cocheco, Exeter, Lamprey, Mascoma, Merrimack, Merrymeeting, Isinglass, Pemigewasset, Pine, Saco, Soucook, Suncook and Winnipesaukee and their navigable tributaries. Navigable tributaries are those waters from the tributary’s mouth to a point upstream where a person can row a boat or paddle a canoe when the water in the stream is in its ordinary condition.
  • No person may set or arrange any trap in a public way, cart road or path commonly used as a passageway by human beings or domestic animals.
  • Any trapper causing injury or damage to domestic animals, with the exception of dogs at large, shall be liable to the owner. An injury to a licensed dog at large shall be reported to the town or city listed on the dog’s tag, and to the owner of the dog, if known.
  • No person may set or arrange any trap/snare in or under any bridge, ditch or drainage system, whether artificial or natural, within the limits of the right-of-way of any public highway except by special permission of the executive director.
  • A trapper must visit traps set at least once each calendar day. A person trapping beaver through the ice must visit his traps at least once each 72 hours.
  • Trappers may use artificial lights to facilitate checking traps. Checking traps by the use of lights from a motor vehicle is prohibited.
  • While checking traps at night, no person shall have in possession a rifle, revolver or pistol larger than a .22 caliber long rifle, or a shotgun with shells larger than number 4 birdshot.
  • Annual Trapper’s Report due April 30: All persons licensed to trap furbearing animals, whether they trapped or not, are required to submit an Annual Trapper’s Report by April 30 of each year.
  • Fur Dealers must submit a completed “Fur Dealers’ Record Book” (Furs Purchased—Form F&G 152, Furs Sold—Form F&G 152A) to NH Fish and Game on or before July 30 of each year. All licensees must carry on their persons a Form F&G 152 when buying the skins of furbearing animals. All forms are available from Fish and Game’s Concord headquarters.

It is Unlawful To:

  • Disturb or interfere with the dams or houses of beaver without obtaining a special permit from the executive director or his designee, except as provided in RSA 210:9.
  • Set or arrange any trap prior to the first day of the open season for trapping a species.
  • Disturb the trap of another person or take a furbearing animal from the trap of another person, unless specifically authorized in writing by the owner of the trap.
  • Set any “conibear” trap or similar trap of a size equal to or larger than number 220, except when the trap is:
    1. Five feet or more above the ground or surface of the snow (with the exception of a snowstorm during the previous 24 hours); or
    2. In water for trapping beaver or otter.
  • Place a trap within 15 feet of a muskrat house, or injure or destroy the house, den or burrow used by any game or furbearing animal.

Trapping on State-managed Lands

Permits to trap on state-managed lands are issued by lottery every two years, in even years only, and are valid for two years. There will be a lottery in September 2010.

Permit forms, applications, property maps and lists of available lands may be obtained from the Wildlife Division in Concord (603-271-2461), or downloaded from

Important dates for those who wish to trap on state land:

  • After July 15, 2010: Applications and lists of state lands open for trapping can be obtained from Fish and Game.
  • Second Monday of September (9/13/2010): Applications for state land lottery trapping permits are due at Fish and Game.
  • First Friday after application deadline (9/17/2010): The lottery for state land trapping permits occurs by this date.

Remaining areas are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

2010–2011 Trapping Seasons


Inclusive Dates

Wildlife Management Units

Season Limit

Beaver, Muskrat, Mink, Otter

Oct. 15, 2010–Apr. 10, 2011


Otter: 10

Other: No

Nov. 1, 2010–Apr. 10, 2011



Dec. 1–Dec. 31



C1, D2, E, F, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L M


Red fox, Gray fox, Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Weasel

Oct. 15–Dec. 31

A, B, C1, C2, D1, D2, E, F


Nov. 1, 2010–Jan. 15, 2011

G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L, M


Oct. 15, 2010–March 31, 2011



Nov. 1, 2010–March 31, 2011


Bobcat, Lynx,
Pine marten


* The statewide bag limit is 10 fisher per trapper (combined with hunting), with no more than 5 fisher from the combined area of C1, D2, E, F, G, H1, H2, I1, I2, J1, J2, K, L and M.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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