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New Jersey

Hunting

Trapping Regulations

Trapping Licenses and Permits1

  • Most licenses and permits may be purchased at license agents or online at NJ.WildlifeLicense.com.
  • Possession of a valid Trapping License is required to trap and must be openly displayed on back and cannot be covered by a pack or harness.
  • Must also carry Snare Course Completion Card1 whenever using any cable restraint.

License or Permit Type / Fee

Requirements

How to Obtain

Youth Trapping

Age 12–15: Free

Valid through Dec. 31 the year youth turns 16

  • Must be at least 12 years of age to obtain, regardless of residency
  • Pass an approved Trapper Education course (call (856) 629-0552 to register).
  • Present course completion card at any license agent.

Resident Trapping

Age 16+, including active military, regardless of residency: $32.50

Valid through Dec. 31

  • Must be NJ resident for at least 6 months or active military stationed in NJ.
  • Required in the year license holder turns 17, and annually thereafter.
  • A first-time license must be obtained from a license agent by showing a Trapper Education course completion card, or with a prior resident trapping license from any state.
  • All subsequent licenses can be purchased at any license agent or online (web address above table).

NJ National Guard Resident Trapping

Free

Valid through Dec. 31

  • Must active NJNG member who has completed Initial Active Duty Training.
  • Confirm you are active in the system (call (609) 530-6866).
  • Available at all license agents

Disabled Veteran Resident Trapping

Free

Valid through Dec. 31

  • Proof of service-connected disability (>10%) from VA.
  • Proof of honorable discharge (DD-214 or similar).
  • NJ Driver License or other proof of residency.
  • Trapper Education Course Completion Card
  • Eligible veterans must initially be certified by submitting application and required documentation via U.S. mail to NJ Div. Fish & Wildlife, MC 501-03, PO Box 420, Trenton NJ 08625-0420. For more info, see NJFishandWildlife.com/dvinfo.htm.
  • Once certified, veterans can obtain license at license agents or online (web address above table).

Non-Resident Trapping

Age 16+: $200.50

Valid through Dec. 31

  • Non-resident of NJ or NJ resident for less than 6 months
  • Required in the year holder turns 17, and annually thereafter
  • A first-time license must be obtained from a license agent by showing a Trapper Education Course Completion Card, or with a prior resident trapping license from any state.
  • All subsequent licenses can be purchased at any license agent or online (web address above table).

Farmer License Exemption

Farm – must meet qualifications under NJ Farmland Assessment Act of 1964. See www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/anr/pdf/farmlandassessmentoverview.pdf.

  • No license or rifle permit required for farm property on which you reside.
  • Must be immediate family member* and reside on the farm.
  • Must have a Conservation Identification (CID) number.
  • Must have Snare Course Completion Card to use cable restraints.
  • If you purchased any license since 2006, you should already have a CID number.
  • If not, click on the shopping cart icon at NJFishandWildlife.com and follow instructions to complete a profile. Choose the option to Print an Identification Card. A card will print with your 9-digit CID.

* Immediate family members include: spouse, mother, father, parent, child, grandchild, stepchild, stepparent, legal guardian, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandparent, great-grandparent, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law of farm owner or lessee who resides on the farm.

Special Beaver Trapping Permit:

$17

Beaver Damage Control Permit:

$17 (during open season only)

Special Otter Trapping Permit:

$2

Permit valid Dec. 26–Feb. 9

  • Must have a valid license or meet Farmer Exemption to use any Special or Damage Permit during the prescribed open season.
  • May be used only in Management Zone specified on permit.
  • Beaver Damage Control Permits may only be used at specified site.
  • Apply Oct. 1–31 at any license agent or online at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com. Permit issued through lottery.
  • To review, change or check application, go to www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com.
  • Check permit award status in your profile.
  • Unclaimed permits become available for over-the-counter sale. Trappers may purchase multiple Special Beaver Permit, but may only have one Special Otter Permit.

Rifle Permit

  • Youth2: $6
  • Adult: $10.50

Required to use .22 cal. and .22 cal. short ammo to dispatch trapped animals, except muskrat3.

Permit valid from July 1 to June 30

  • Successful completion of a Firearm Hunter Education Course which includes use of rifle.
  • Possession of written landowner permission to use firearm for dispatch within any safety zone.

Duplicate or Lost License / Permit

$2 each

  • May be purchased or replaced at any license agent or online (web address above table).

Trapping Seasons 2021–22

No trap or trap stake may be set prior to 6 a.m. on any opening day.

Species

Season

Bag Limit(s) and Additional Informatiion

Beaver*

Permit required.

Up to 5 traps per day per zone, regardless of number of permits you have for the same zone.

Dec. 26, 2021–Feb. 9, 2022 in zones 1–30 (see map),

except:

Jan. 1–Feb. 9 on stocked WMAs*

8 per Special Permit

10 per Damage Permit

All captures must tagged immediately

Harvest must be reported using the Automated Harvest Report System.

All beaver pelts must be brought to an official check station on Sat., February 26 (see your instruction packet).

Otter*

Permit required (see age 66)

Up to 3 otter traps per day

Dec. 26, 2021–Feb. 9, 2022 in zones 1–30 (see map),

except:

Jan. 1–Feb. 9 on stocked WMAs*

1 per Season

Otter carcass must be surrendered to Fish and Wildlife.

All captures must tagged immediately upon taking possession.

Harvests must be reported using the Automated Harvest Report System.

Otter pelt and carcass must be brought to an official check station on Sat., February 26 (see your instruction packet).

Coyote*, Gray fox*, Red fox*

Nov. 15, 2021–Mar. 15, 2022 Statewide,

except:

Jan. 1–Mar. 15 on stocked WMAs*

No daily or seasonal limit

Coyote harvest must be reported by 8 p.m. via the Automated Harvest Report System.

Reporting of Gray Fox is also requested

Mink, Muskrat, Nutria

North Zone

Nov. 15, 2021–Mar. 15, 2022

South Zone

Dec. 1, 2021–Mar. 15, 2022

No daily or seasonal limit

See map below, right for Mink, Muskrat, and Nutria zones

Opossum*, Raccoon*, Striped skunk*

Nov. 15, 2021–Mar. 15, 2022 Statewide,

except:

Jan. 1–Mar. 15 on stocked WMAs*

No daily or seasonal limit

Weasels

Long-tailed, short-tailed

Nov. 15, 2021–Mar. 15, 2022 Statewide

No daily or seasonal limit

Bobcat, Fisher

Closed statewide

No take is allowed

If you find a bobcat or fisher in your trap, do not disturb the set; immediately call (877) 927-6337 to report capture, and await Fish and Wildlife's Response Team.

Trapping Regulations

See General Hunting Regulations.

Anyone applying for a trapping license must show a previous resident trapping license from this or any state or a Trapper Education Course Completion Card. Trapper Education courses are offered once in the spring and four times in September and October. To enroll in a Trapper Education Course, go to NJFishandWildlife.com or call (856) 629-0552 to register.

The trapping license (including farmers) must be visibly displayed on outer clothing (not covered by a pack or harness) while trapping. In addition to a Trapping License, additional permits may be required depending on the furbearer to be trapped. A Rifle Permit is required when using a .22 caliber rifle to dispatch trapped animals other than muskrat.

See 2021–22 Trapping Seasons table for seasons and bag limits.

The following wildlife management areas are closed to all beaver and otter trapping as well as for using cable restraints for coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon and skunk until 6 a.m. on Jan. 1: Assunpink, Berkshire Valley, Bevans (Millville), Black River, Clinton, Colliers Mills, Flatbrook-Roy, Glassboro, Greenwood Forest (incl. Howardsville tract), Heislerville, MacNamara (Tuckahoe), Mad Horse, Manahawkin, Manasquan River, Medford, Nantuxent, Peaslee, Pequest, Port Republic, Stafford Forge, Walpack, Whittingham and Winslow. Cage traps and encapsulating traps may be used on these WMAs beginning at 6 a.m. on Nov. 15.

Trapping Devices

See Legal Trap Types table below for trap specifications and restrictions.

Firearms

Licensed trappers may use a firearm to dispatch any captured furbearer except muskrat. Youth trappers under age 14 using any firearm to dispatch, must be accompanied by, and under the direct supervision of, a properly licensed adult, 21 or older. Trappers must carry written permission from the landowner or lessee to possess a loaded firearm within any 450-foot safety zone.

Permitted firearms include:

  • Air gun (.177 to .22 caliber) having a minimum muzzle velocity of 600 fps and using wadcutter, domed or pointed or hollow point pellets only. (Spherical BBs not allowed.) Use of an air gun does not require the possession of a Rifle Permit.
  • Rimfire (.22 caliber) rifle using .22 short cartridge only. Possession of a valid Rifle Permit is required when using any rimfire rifle.

Harvest Reporting

All coyote harvests must be reported by 8 p.m. via the Automated Harvest Report System (AHRS), either online at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com or by phone at (855) 448-6865. The location data collected is similar to that used in reporting a deer harvest (DMZ, county, township). New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife requests trappers to report all harvests of gray fox via the AHRS as with for coyote (see above). Red fox cannot be reported at this time.

Beaver and Otter Lottery, Permits

Application period: Oct. 1–31; may only apply for one beaver and/or one otter permit. Trappers who will only accept a permit for one zone should not fill in second or third choices. Successful beaver applicants are given the first opportunity for otter permits in their respective zone. Permit award notification begins Nov. 2, 2021. Permits MUST be claimed by 11:59 pm on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. Unclaimed permits will be sold over the counter, first-come, first-served. Application fees for unclaimed permits are not refunded. Over-the-counter permit sales begin 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 at all license agents and online at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com. For permit availability, see website above.

Beaver and otter permit holders will receive a packet regarding mandatory otter carcass surrender, check-in station date and locations, and Fish and Wildlife staff contacts if you wish to check your catch before the actual registration date. Please remember to:

  • Report your harvest daily via the AHRS (online at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com or by phone at 1(855) 448-6865).
  • Make every attempt to properly flesh and stretch all pelts.
  • Bring your otter carcass. If you caught an otter while beaver trapping but didn’t have an otter permit, the entire animal must be surrendered, pelt on.

Legal Trap Types

  • All trap sets must be tagged either with trapper's name and address, trap ID number or trapper's CID.
  • Tags on beaver and otter sets must be clearly visible above the water or ice.
  • Relaxing lock for cable restraints are those that stop tightening when the animal stops pulling against the restraint. Cam-locks and spring-assisted locks are prohibited.

Trap Type

Target Species

Specifications

Notes

Body-gripping Trap

Mink, muskrat, nutria

Max. jaw spread of 6"

  • Jaw spread measured across trigger of set trap to inner edges of jaws.
  • Must be completely set below water, or at below mean high tide in tidal areas.

Beaver*, otter*

Max. jaw spread of 10"

Cable Restraint Trap

Trappers must also carry their Snare Certification Card when trapping with any cable restraint.

All natural baits consisting of fish, bird or mammal carcasses or flesh used while using cable restraints must be covered or concealed from view when placed within 30' of the set.

Beaver*, otter*

  • No specifications when set submerged underwater.
  • If not submerged, same specifications as for coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon and skunk (see below)

Coyote*, fox*, opossum*, raccoon*, skunk*

  • Made of aircraft cable or crucible wire between 5/64" and 3/16" in diameter.
  • Must be equipped with a swivel, a relaxing lock (see above), and a deer stop 6" from the end of the loop.
  • Average loop diameter may not exceed 12" in diameter.
  • Distance from the walking surface to the top of the loop may not exceed 24".

Mink, muskrat, nutria

  • Must be set within 50' of mean high water line.
  • Made of aircraft cable or crucible wire measuring 1/32, 3/64 or 1/16" in diameter.
  • Must be equipped with a swivel.
  • Average loop diameter may not exceed 4" in diameter.
  • Distance from the walking surface to the top of the loop may not exceed 7".

Weasel

Cage Trap

Beaver*, coyote, fox, mink, muskrat, nutria, opossum, otter*, raccoon, skunk, weasel

  • Use the appropriate size trap and bait for your target species.
  • Canines are reluctant to enter cage traps.

Encapsulating Trap (aka, dog-proof or species-specific trap)

Opossum, raccoon

  • The trigger and restraining mechanism must be enclosed in a housing.
  • Access to the trigger is through a single opening only.
  • The opening shall not exceed 2" in diameter, measured diagonally.
  • The trigger can only be activated by a pulling force.
  • The trap must have a swivel-mounted anchoring system.

Steel-jawed Leghold Trap

Coil-spring and longspring traps are prohibited in N.J. No person shall manufacture, sell, offer for sale, possess, import or transport any animal trap of the steel-jaw leghold type; nor shall any person use, take or attempt to take any animal by means of a steel-jaw leghold trap.