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)?
- 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?
- 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.
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.