DEC Announces Furbearer Trapping and Hunting Seasons
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today reminded outdoor enthusiasts that many furbearer trapping seasons begin Tuesday, Oct. 25. Approximately 10,000 New Yorkers participate in this trapping tradition, going afield for more than a dozen species of furbearing animals and often partnering with DEC biologists to provide valuable scientific information.
“Trapping is an important component of New York’s outdoor heritage,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Our furbearer populations are abundant, and furbearer hunting and trapping provide many benefits, including reducing property damage from nuisance wildlife and providing a sustainable source of food, fur, and income to harvesters and others in the industry.”
Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Seasons
With 16 species of furbearers living in New York, furbearer hunting and trapping opportunities are abundant. Coyote hunting season began Oct. 1 across much of the state and hunting seasons for other furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon, and fox begin Oct. 25. Season dates and zone boundaries for all furbearers can be found on DEC’s website and in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.
Trapping season dates vary by species and geography, with raccoon, fox, and bobcat opening on Oct. 25, and beaver, mink, and muskrat opening on Nov. 1 in northern New York, and Nov. 10 across the Southern Zone. Trappers should check the regulations guide or the DEC website for opening dates in their area.
Before venturing afield, trappers are advised to note changes to special permit requirements for marten trapping seasons.
All harvested marten, fisher, otter, and bobcat need to be sealed/have a tag affixed by a DEC representative within 10 days after the close of the season in the wildlife management unit where the animal was taken. When having the pelt sealed, harvesters must turn in a completed Furbearer Possession Tag. Furbearer Possession Tags can be downloaded (PDF) from the DEC website. Harvesters should contact their regional wildlife office to make pelt sealing arrangements prior to visiting.
A free, special permit is required for trappers wishing to pursue marten. To obtain a permit, trappers should contact the DEC Region 5 Wildlife Office in Warrensburg at 518-623-1240. Please note that a permit is no longer required to trap fisher in New York.
Wolves and Coyotes
Last month, DEC confirmed an animal mistaken for a coyote and taken by a hunter in Cherry Valley, Otsego County, during the 2021 coyote hunting season was a wolf. New York law protects wolves from hunting or trapping. Furbearer hunters and trappers should take care in identifying any large canids they encounter. For information about differentiating a coyote from a wolf, go to DEC’s website. The Otsego County coyote hunter continues to cooperate with DEC and recently provided the wolf skull for additional analyses. DEC continues to evaluate the unique circumstances involved with this case.