Furbearer Trapping

Hunting Regulations Icon Ohio Hunting



All first-time trappers, except apprentice license buyers, must successfully complete a hunter and a trapper education course offered through the ODNR Division of Wildlife before purchasing a hunting license and fur taker permit to trap furbearers.

how to measure jaw spread


Except for river otters, there are no restrictions on bag limits.

All traps and snares must be checked and all animals removed once every calendar day.

All foothold or foot-encapsulating traps set on land must have at least two swiveling points.

Foothold traps set on land must be covered.

Foothold traps that are submerged may not have an inside jaw spread greater than 8-1/4 inches.

Deadfalls are illegal.

Foothold traps set on land shall not have an inside jaw spread greater than 5-3/8 inches, except foothold traps greater than 5-3/8 inches but 6 inches or less may be utilized provided they have a minimum of three swiveling points and the gripping surface is 5/16 inch or greater.

Except for cage traps, no traps or snares may be set within 150 feet of another person’s occupied residence without advising the resident.

Body-gripping traps set on land, or in a tile, den, or burrow on land shall not have an inside diameter jaw spread greater than 5 inches in diameter.

Body-gripping traps with an inside diameter jaw spread greater than 5 inches, but less than or equal to 7 inches must be set in a natural body of water.

Body-gripping traps with an inside jaw spread greater than 7 inches must be completely submerged and may only be utilized during the beaver or river otter season.

All furbearers shall be killed immediately and reduced to the person’s possession, or released immediately at the capture site.

No person shall disturb a legally set trap or snare or remove a furbearing animal from a trap or snare of another person without permission.

All flesh baits must be totally covered.

Traps with teeth in the gripping surface are prohibited.


No more than three river otters may be taken by any trapper in Zone C, and no more than one river otter may be taken by any trapper from Zone B. The total season bag limit is three.


on public hunting areas

Beaver and river otter trapping is prohibited on state managed areas, including state wildlife areas, state parks, and state forests without a special beaver and/or river otter trapping permit from the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife allows controlled trapping of beaver and river otter on some managed areas. Beaver and river otter trapping permits on managed areas will be issued via an in-person lottery at noon on Oct. 14, 2017 (the second Saturday in October) at each wildlife district office. Visit wildohio.gov or call your nearest wildlife district office in early October to see which areas will be available for trapping.

Permits will allow for both river otter and beaver trapping in most areas; however, some permits may be limited to beaver trapping only. Snares may be utilized for beaver or river otter on managed areas, but must have a minimum loop diameter of 10 inches and the bottom of the snare must be covered by at least 1 inch of water at all times.


on AEP lands

Beaver trapping is permitted within American Electric Power’s recreation area, known as ReCreation Land, and Conesville Coal Lands with a special beaver trapping permit and the regular user’s permit. This special beaver trapping permit is issued from the AEP Land Management Office in McConnelsville.


and Tagging Requirements

The pelt of each river otter must be checked in with a wildlife officer or taken to a wildlife area headquarters (8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, or by appointment) or district office during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) within five business days of capture in order to receive a CITES tag. All state offices are closed on holidays.

Each trapper must personally present their own river otter, and may not present a river otter taken by another person. Trappers must also provide a copy of their fur taker permit at the time of checking, and provide information about the date and location in which the river otter was trapped.

Additional Information

Trappers who have reached the river otter season bag limit are encouraged to implement river otter avoidance techniques while beaver trapping.

If you catch an otter in excess of your season bag limit or in a closed zone and it is still alive, carefully release it without causing injury to yourself or the river otter. If the river otter is dead, leave it in the trap and contact the wildlife officer assigned to that county.



1. Set, use, and maintain snares for the purpose of taking furbearing animals. All snares must have a relaxing lock and a stop to prevent the opening of the snare from closing to less than 21/2 inches in diameter, or a relaxing lock system with a breaking point of not greater than 350 pounds.

2. Attach a drag to a foothold trap.

3. Trap coyotes without a fur taker permit. However, anyone hunting, trapping, or snaring coyotes must have a valid hunting license.



1. Pursue, hunt, trap, or snare furbearing animals between sunset and sunrise without use of a continuous white light visible for at least 1/4-mile. However, persons hunting fox, coyote, or raccoon with a call from a stationary position may use a continuous single beam of light of any color. When two or more people are hunting or trapping together for these animals only one light is required and can be carried by any member of the party.

2. Use or possess climbers or any other device, except climbing tree stands, that can be used for climbing trees while hunting, trapping, or pursuing furbearing animals.

3. Erect, post, or place any stake, flagging, or any other type of marker for the purpose of identifying a potential trap set location on any area designated as a public hunting area, unless authorized by the chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

4. Set, use, or maintain a trap or snare to take a wild animal, unless that trap or snare has attached to it a durable, waterproof tag bearing the name and mailing address or the unique ODNR Division of Wildlife Customer ID Number of the user in English that is legible at all times, or which has the name and mailing address or the unique ODNR Division of Wildlife Customer ID Number of the user stamped into the trap in English that is legible at all times.

5. Set, use, or maintain a trap or snare in or upon any path or road ordinarily used by domestic animals or humans.

6. Attach a snare to a drag. Snares must be staked or otherwise attached to an immovable object.

7. Set traps on state public hunting areas, including state parks and state forests, for beaver or river otter without a permit (See Beaver and Otter Trapping on Public Hunting Areas).

8. Set, use, or maintain a snare on public hunting areas, except for beaver and river otter (see Beaver Trapping and River Otter Trapping).

9. Use any snare constructed of any material other than multi-strand steel cable.

10. Set a snare with a loop diameter of more than 15 inches.

11. Have attached to a snare any spring-loaded or mechanical device to assist the snare in closing.

12. Set, use, or maintain any snare that does not comply with the requirements listed above.

13. Set, use, or maintain a foot-encapsulating trap that has an opening greater than 2 inches in diameter or 2 inches along one side.

Season Opening Date Closing Date BAG LIMIT
Fox, Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Weasel Nov. 10, 2017 Jan. 31, 2018 No limit
Mink, Muskrat Nov. 10, 2017 Feb. 28, 2018 No limit
Mink, Muskrat, Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Weasel: Erie, Ottawa, Sandusky, & Lucas counties east of Maumee River Nov. 10, 2017 March 15, 2018 No limit
Beaver Dec. 26, 2017 Feb. 28, 2018 No limit
River Otter: Select counties Dec. 26, 2017 Feb. 28, 2018

A fur taker permit is required to hunt or trap furbearing animals (except coyote) in Ohio.