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Furbearer Hunting

To hunt furbearers, you must possess a Resident or Non-resident Hunting license. A trapping license does not allow you to hunt furbearers. Furbearers may be hunted with a bow, crossbow 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.
  • Except as noted above, you may hunt furbearers using any handgun, shotgun, muzzleloading rifle, bow, crossbow or air gun.

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Possession and Use of Rifles for Hunting Furbearers

  1. Is any deer season open in the location you wish to hunt (including archery, muzzleloading, regular, late and Focus Area)?
    1. If NO, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle for hunting furbearers.
    2. If YES, can deer be hunted with rifles in that location during the regular season?
    1. If YES, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle for hunting furbearers during any open deer season.
    2. If NO, you may only possess afield rimfire rifles .22-caliber or smaller, or centerfire rifles LESS THAN .22 caliber (.204, .17, etc.) during any open deer season. Once all deer seasons are closed, the restriction ends, except:
  2. You may NEVER possess a rifle afield in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.
  3. In the Northern Zone, it is illegal to carry a rifle larger than .22 caliber rimfire (or .22-caliber or larger centerfire rifles) at any time if accompanied by a dog, except when coyote hunting.

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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.

Regulations in red are new this year.

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