Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Enter Your Email Address:


Brought to you by:

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

Trapping licenses are only available from the Fish & Wildlife office. An applicant for a trapping license must present 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
  • Sign an 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 (phone 802-241-3695).


Furbearer Hunting


Jan. 10 – Feb. 7

Red & Gray Fox

Oct. 22, 2011 – Feb. 12, 2012 &
Oct. 27, 2012 – Feb. 10, 2013


Oct. 13 – Dec. 31


March 20 – April 19


No Closed Season

Marten, Lynx, Wolf,
Eastern Mountain Lion

No Open Season

Furbearer Trapping

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

Oct. 27 – Dec. 31


Oct. 22, 2011 – Feb. 29, 2012 &
Oct. 27, 2012 – Feb. 28, 2013


Oct. 22, 2011 – March 31, 2012 &
Oct. 27, 2012 – March 31, 2013


Dec. 1 – 31


Dec. 1 – 16


Nov. 15 – March 31

Marten, Lynx, Wolf,
Eastern Mountain Lion

No Open Season

Permitted Activities & Restrictions

  • 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 who traps for furbearing or other animals shall visit his/her traps at least once daily, except as provided in paragraph 5, and dispatch or release any animal caught therein.
  • 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.
  • A person may take beaver, otter, and mink during the open season by means of traps only.
  • All traps under ice will be marked with a tag visible above the ice.
  • A person who sets body traps in the water or foot traps or body traps under the ice during the open season for beaver shall visit his/her traps at least once in every three days and remove any animal caught therein.
  • No person shall set a trap within 10 feet of the nearest point, above the water, of a beaver house or dam.
  • A person shall not set a body gripping trap with a jaw spread over 8 inches measured inside the jaws unless the trap is set 5 feet or more above the ground, or in the water.
  • 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 feet or more above the ground, or in the water.
  • Use of toothed traps shall be illegal under any circumstances.
  • 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 wild animal, except by special permit.
  • A person shall not have in his/her possession in the raw state a fur or skin of a furbearing animal unlawfully taken.
  • A person who takes bobcats during the shooting season shall present the pelts and carcasses to a State Game Warden for tagging within ten days of the close of the season.
  • A person who takes bobcats, otter, or fisher during the trapping season shall notify a State Game Warden within 48 hours of the close of the season. Pelts and carcasses shall be presented for tagging and marked in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner. Such tags shall remain affixed to each skin until tanned and made into commercial fur.
  • All bobcat, otter, and fisher carcasses shall be surrendered to the State Game Warden.
  • 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 a State Game Warden.
  • The skins of bobcat, otter, and fisher legally taken may be possessed, transported, bought and sold only when tagged and marked.
  • Bobcat, fisher, and otter taken in defense of property will be tagged by a State Game Warden. At the time of tagging, carcasses will be turned over to State Game Warden.
  • The Commissioner shall close the seasons for taking bobcat if and when the total take exceeds 100 animals.

Method of Taking

  • A person may not take a furbearing animal by use of any poison.
  • A person shall not disturb or destroy a muskrat house or place a trap therein, thereon or at the entrance thereof, or in the entrance or inside a muskrat burrow.
  • A person shall not take raccoons, foxes, or coyotes from holes or dens by cutting, digging, smoking, trapping, snaring, or by the use of chemicals, or any mechanical device.
  • A person shall not take skunks from holes or dens by cutting, digging, smoking, or by the use of chemicals.
  • A person shall not interfere in any manner with dams, dens, or houses of beaver except upon special permit in writing from the Commissioner.
  • A person shall not take raccoon by shooting except with a .22 caliber rimfire or #2 shot or smaller.
  • Skunks may be taken with the aid of a light of not more than 9 volts. A light of not more than 9 volts may be used while locating in and taking from a tree any raccoon treed by a dog.
  • When trapping muskrat between March 1 and March 31, body gripping traps are restricted to 5″ or less.
  • When trapping beaver between March 1 and March 31, the trap triggers shall:
  1. for body gripping traps have a tension adjustable/parallel trigger and trigger stop. The trigger should be offset at least 8″ from one side of the trap and no longer than 6½“. Trigger wires must be joined together.
  2. include tension adjustable square-notch trigger brackets. Acceptable trigger stops include twisted wire, cable ties, wire wrap, or welded bead. Four-way and/or V-notch triggers are illegal to use.
  3. Diagrams below illustrate these requirements.




Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Fish and Wildlife Department for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: