Wisconsin Trapping Changes For 2021

There are a few changes and reminders for the upcoming season that Wisconsin trappers should keep in mind before planning their time afield. Additional tagging and registration details can be found in the 2021 Wisconsin Trapping Regulations.

Changes and reminders for the 2021-22 trapping season:

No fisher pelt tags: There is no longer a fisher pelt tag requirement. Trappers will now receive a digital harvest authorization.

No in-person registration for fisher and river otter: Trappers are no longer required to meet in-person to have their fisher or river otter pelt certified. Moving forward, registration for these two species will be done entirely through GameReg and must be completed by 5 p.m. the day after the animal is recovered.

CITES tags for river otter will come by mail: Following registration, federally-required Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) tags for otter will be sent to the trapper’s home address. The trapper must immediately attach the CITES tag to the pelt to certify the otter was harvested legally. For fisher, pelts are required to be sealed with a metal registration tag.

No change in bobcat tagging requirements: Hunters and trappers who successfully draw a bobcat permit will still be sent a physical permit. Successful bobcat hunters and trappers must meet in person with a warden or other approved DNR staff within seven days after the month of harvest to have the pelt tagged.

Carcass and sample collection: This season, the DNR will collect carcasses and lower jaws of bobcats harvested only during Time Period 1. The collection of bobcat carcasses and lower jaws provides data on age structure and reproduction that are used to inform annual harvest quotas.

New format for fisher and river otter sample collection: A random sample of fisher and river otter trappers will be selected ahead of the season to provide samples. These individuals will receive instructions on how to mail in a section of lower jaw to the DNR furbearer program. Samples provide the DNR with valuable age data used to guide future management decisions.

Trappers interested in trapping Horicon Marsh must submit a bid by Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.

Eligibility to trap on the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area (SWA) is administered through a single closed bidding process. For the 2021-22 trapping season, 21 wetland trapping units will be available for bids.

Trappers interested in submitting a bid for the coming season should do so no later than 6 p.m. on Oct. 6 using the 2021 bid form. Visit the DNR website for full instructions on how to submit a bid.

The trapping season will follow Horicon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area (SWA) trapping regulations. Find details for the Horicon NWR and Horicon SWA seasons on each agency’s website.