Modern, regulated trapping is used to manage habitat, monitor and control animal populations, protect and reintroduce endangered species, protect public and private property and conduct research. It is a technique for sustainable, consumptive use of the wildlife resource. In New Jersey there are trapping seasons for beaver, otter, mink, muskrat, eastern coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon, skunk and weasel.
In New Jersey, a Trapper Education course must be passed and a trapping license obtained to trap in the state. To use a snare a person must first pass a Fish and Wildlife-approved trapper education course which includes use of snares and carry on their person appropriate documentation thereof. A person must be at least 12 years of age.
All traps set or used must bear a legible tag of durable material with the name and address or Conservation Identification Number (CID#) of the person setting, using and maintaining the traps. Trappers previously assigned a Fish and Wildlife-issued trap identification number may continue to use their assigned number in lieu of name and address or CID to mark each trap. However, please note that the Division has ceased this practice and will no longer be issuing trap identification numbers.
All traps must be checked and tended at least once every 24 hours, preferably in the morning. When trapping beaver or otter, the trap tag must be clearly visible above the level of water or ice. Any person (including a farmer) who traps a coyote must notify a Division law enforcement office within 24 hours. Licensed trappers at least 18 years of age and in possession of a valid rifle permit may carry a .22 caliber rifle, and use only .22 caliber short rimfire cartridges to kill legally trapped animals
A lottery is held for the awarding of beaver and otter permits. The application period is October 1-31 each year; unclaimed and leftover permits are then sold over-the-counter at licence agents and online.
For more information please consult the appropriate section(s) of the Fish and Wildlife Digest.