Trappers and hunters who assist with furbearer management activities are eligible to receive a special patch! You can receive a patch if you turn in an incidentally trapped animal; turn in a road-killed fisher, marten, bobcat, otter, or weasel; report a violation that results in a conviction; provide data or assist with a research project; or promote furbearer hunting or trapping. Carcasses are used for biological data, training, education, and outreach. Contact your regional wildlife office for more information.
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, weasel and opossum anywhere in the State with an open season.
- 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.
Possession and Use of Rifles for Hunting Furbearers
- Is any deer season open in the location you wish to hunt (including archery, muzzleloading, regular, late and Focus Area)? (pg. 25)
- If NO, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle for hunting furbearers.
- If YES, can deer be hunted with rifles in that location during the regular season? (pg. 24)
- If YES, you may use any caliber rimfire or centerfire rifle for hunting furbearers during any open deer season.
- 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:
- You may NEVER possess a rifle afield in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.
- 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.
- 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.
Weasel, Opossum, Skunk, Raccoon and Fox Hunting
Long Island: Nov. 1–Feb. 25
All other areas of New York:
Oct. 25–Feb. 15
There are no bag limits for these
species. Hunting Hours: After sunrise on opening day; and at any hour, day or night, for the rest of the hunting season.
Statewide except Long Island
and New York City: Oct. 1–Mar. 27
There are no bag limits for coyotes. They may be hunted during the day or night.