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Furbearer Hunting

To hunt furbearers, you must possess a Junior Hunting, Small Game, Small/Big Game, Conservation Legacy, Super Sportsman, Trapper Super Sportsman, Sportsman, Nonresident Small Game, or Nonresident Super Sportsman license. A trapping license does not allow you to hunt furbearers. Furbearers may be hunted with a bow or firearm as described below.

  • You may hunt red and gray fox, coyote, bobcat, raccoon, skunk, mink, weasel and opossum.
  • If you take a bobcat, it must be tagged and sealed.
  • You may use a call, including an electronic call.
  • Mink may only be hunted in the Southern Zone with a firearm not larger than .22 caliber during their open trapping season. Mink may not be hunted with a firearm in the Northern Zone.
  • Muskrat may only be hunted on Lake Champlain during the open trapping season with a firearm not larger than .22 caliber.
  • You may not hunt from any motor vehicle, including an ATV or snowmobile.
  • You may hunt furbearers using any handgun, shotgun, muzzleloading rifle, longbow or air gun.
  • You may hunt furbearers with a rifle as follows:
    • In areas where rifles are legal implements to take deer:
      • You may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle.
    • In areas where rifles are not legal implements to take deer (refer to Legal Implements map on Big Game Boundary Descriptions):
      • During any open deer season, you may not use any rifle larger than .22 caliber rimfire. (Centerfire rifles smaller than .22 caliber are permitted).
    • When all deer seasons are closed, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle.
    • You may never possess a rifle afield in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.
  • You may hunt furbearers only after sunrise on the opening day. They may be taken at any hour, day or night, for the rest of their hunting season.

Hunting Furbearers at Night

  • Spotlights, night vision, thermal and laser devices are permitted for furbearer hunting. They may be attached to the firearm. All laws pertaining to the use of a spotlight apply.
  • Hunters should consult with local government officials for any laws that may prohibit the discharge of firearms at night.

Furbearer Possession Tag

Furbearer Possession Tags may be printed or downloaded from the DEC website: Tags may also be obtained by calling (518) 402-8883 or writing to: Furbearer Possession Tag, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.


Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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