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New York



Furbearer Traps

How to Measure a Trap

How to measure a body-gripping trap:

Measure the inside distance between the outer frames of the trap. The addition of one or more bars to the inside of the frame does not change the way these traps are measured. The measurement is still the MAXIMUM distance as shown in the top picture.

How to measure a foothold trap:

Measure the inside distance between the jaws excluding the gripping surface as shown. If the jaws have inside laminations, the measurement is the inside distance between the laminations. If the trap has double jaws, measure the inside distance between the outer jaws.

Trigger Regulations for Beaver Trappers

This regulation applies if you:

  • Trap in a WMU in the Southern Zone during a closed otter season; and
  • Use a body-gripping trap larger than 8½ inches (these are “330” size traps).
    1. Body-gripping trap with off-set parallel trigger:
    2. Example of non-legal vs. legal trigger brackets:

Non-legal: V-notch, four-way trigger

Legal: square-notch, two-way trigger

  1. Examples of acceptable parallel triggers:
    Diagram showing examples of acceptable parallel triggers.
  2. Tension-adjustable triggers and trigger stops are no longer required.


  1. You can bait these traps in any manner. However, the trap must have all of the features noted above.
  2. There is no exception for traps set under ice; traps set under ice, whether baited or not, must have all of the design features noted above.
  3. There is no tension requirement. However, DEC research showed that 8 to 12 oz. of tension works best for protecting otter and catching beaver.

Regulations for Body-Gripping Traps Set on Land

Body-gripping traps set on land shall not be within 100 feet of a public trail except on Wildlife Management Areas.

A body-gripping trap measuring less than 5½ inches may be set in any manner with or without the use of bait. Body-gripping traps measuring 5½ inches to 6 inches, set without the use of bait, must be set so that no part of the trap is 8 inches or more above the ground. Body-gripping traps measuring more than 6 inches to 7 1/2 inches may never be set in this manner.

NOTE: During a closed season for fisher and/or marten in the Northern Zone, body-gripping traps set on land may not be set with bait or lure.