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Furbearer Hunting & Trapping

Hunting Regulations Icon Vermont Hunting

 

Furbearer Hunting Seasons

Species

Season

Bobcat

Jan. 10 – Feb. 7

Red & Gray Fox

Oct. 22, 2016 – Feb. 12, 2017 & Oct. 28, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018

Raccoon

Oct. 14 – Dec. 31

Muskrat

Mar. 20 – April 19

Coyote, Opossum, Skunk, Weasel

No Closed Season

Beaver, Otter, Mink, Fisher, Marten, Lynx, Wolf, Mountain Lion

No Open Season

Furbearer Trapping Seasons

Species

Season

Mink, Skunk, Red & Gray Fox, Raccoon, Coyote, Opossum, Weasel

Oct. 28 – Dec. 31

Otter

Oct. 22, 2016 – Feb. 28, 2017 &
Oct. 28, 2017 – Feb. 28, 2018

Muskrat

Oct. 22, 2016 – Mar. 31, 2017 &
Oct. 28, 2017 – Mar. 31, 2018

Fisher

Dec. 1 – 31

Bobcat

Dec. 1 – 16

Beaver

Oct. 22, 2016 – Mar. 31, 2017 &
Oct. 28, 2017 – Mar. 31, 2018

Marten, Lynx, Wolf, Mountain Lion

No Open Season

Furbearing Animals

The following are classified as furbearing animals: beaver, otter, marten, mink, raccoon, fisher, fox, skunk, muskrat, bobcat, coyote, weasel, opossum, lynx, and wolf.

Trapping License Requirements

An applicant for a trapping license must have either:

  • A previous or current trapping license from any state or Canadian province; or
  • A certificate showing satisfactory completion of a trapper education course, in any state or Canadian province; or
  • A signed affidavit attesting to having a prior trapping license.

Fur Buyer’s License

Anyone dealing in pelts must have a valid fur buyer’s license. The fur buyer’s license is available from Fish & Wildlife in Montpelier (phone 802-828-1190).

Restrictions

  • Trapping in Wildlife Management Unit-E requires setting traps under special restrictions designed to avoid Canada lynx. This regulation is available on the Fish & Wildlife website and from our offices.
  • A person who intends to set a trap for any animal on the property of another shall, prior to setting the trap, notify the owner of the property of his or her intention to set the trap and of the prospective location of the trap. The owner of the property may, at any time, refuse to grant permission to set a trap or revoke the permission if previously granted.
  • A person trapping fur-bearing animals shall visit his/her traps at least once every calendar day, except as provided below, and dispatch or release any animal caught therein.
  • A person who sets body gripping traps in the water or under the ice, or foothold or cage traps under the ice shall visit his/her traps at least once every three calendar days and remove any animal caught.
  • A person shall not set a trap on lands other than his/her own which does not have his/her name and address permanently and legibly stamped or engraved thereon, or on a tag of rustless material securely attached thereto.
  • All traps under ice will be marked with a tag visible above the ice.
  • A person shall not set a body gripping trap with a jaw spread over eight inches measured inside the jaws unless the trap is set five feet or more above the ground, or in the water.
  • A person shall not use toothed foothold traps or snares when trapping.
  • A person shall not set a trap between December 31 and the following fourth Saturday in October unless the trap is in the water, under the ice, or on a float in the water.
  • A person shall not possess a living fur-bearing animal, except as provided by rules of the board or part 4 of Title 10.
  • A person shall not possess a fur-bearing animal trapped outside of its legal season without the written authorization of the department, not to include animals taken pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4828.
  • A person shall not possess fur or skin of a fur-bearing animal unlawfully taken.
  • A person shall not take a fur-bearing animal by use of any poisonous mixture.
  • A person shall not take a fur-bearing animal from its den by cutting, digging, smoking, by the use of chemicals, or by the use of mechanical devices.

Beaver, Muskrat

  • When trapping muskrat between March 1 and March 31, body gripping traps are restricted to 5 inches or less.
  • A person shall not disturb or destroy a beaver or muskrat house or den or place a trap therein, thereon, or in the entrance thereof.
  • A person may set a trap within 10 feet of the nearest point, above the water, of a beaver house or dam only from the 4th Saturday in October through the last day of February, all dates inclusive.
  • Except for the setting of traps as provided above, a person shall not interfere in any manner with dams, dens, or houses of beaver except upon prior written approval from the Commissioner.
  • When trapping beaver between March 1 and March 31, body gripping traps shall:
    1. Have a parallel trigger and trigger stop. Acceptable trigger stops include twisted wire, cable ties, wire wrap, or welded bead. The trigger should be offset at least 8 inches from one side of the trap and be no longer than 6 1/2 inches. Trigger wires must be joined together.
    2. Include tension adjustable, square-notch trigger brackets. Four-way and/or V-notch triggers are illegal to use. Diagrams on the next page illustrate these requirements.

Bobcat, Otter, Fisher

  • From December 17 to December 31, both dates inclusive, in order to minimize incidental bobcat harvest during the remainder of the fisher season, a person shall not set a body-gripping trap with a jaw spread over 6 inches measured inside the jaws unless the trap is set 5 or more feet above the ground, or in the water.
  • The skins of bobcat, otter and fisher legally taken may be possessed, transported, bought and sold only when tagged and marked as hereinafter provided.
  • A person who takes bobcats, otter or fisher during these seasons shall notify authorized department staff within 48 hours of the close of the season. Pelts shall be presented to authorized department staff for tagging. Such tags shall remain affixed to the pelts until tanned. Carcasses shall be surrendered to authorized department staff at the time of tagging.
  • No bobcat, otter or fisher pelts or carcasses taken during these seasons shall be transported out of the state of Vermont prior to being tagged by authorized department staff.
  • A person who takes bobcat, fisher and otter pursuant to 10 V.S.A. § 4828 and who desires to keep the pelt shall notify authorized department staff within 84 hours of the taking. Pelts shall be presented to authorized department staff for tagging. Such tags shall remain affixed to the pelts until tanned. Carcasses shall be surrendered to authorized department staff at the time of tagging.

Raccoons

  • A person shooting raccoons during the raccoon hunting season shall use a 0.22 caliber rimfire firearm or a shotgun with #2 shot or smaller.
  • A light may be used to illuminate and shoot raccoon once treed by a dog, or dogs, during the raccoon hunting season. A light may also be used to illuminate a raccoon once treed by a dog, or dogs, during the training season.

Body-Gripping Trap Diagrams

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