Furbearer Possession Tags & Pelt Seals
A furbearer possession tag and subsequent pelt sealing is required for bobcat, otter, fisher and marten. Details on the possession tag and pelt seal process are outlined below.
Furbearer Possession Tag
The furbearer possession tag allows you (the taker) to legally possess the pelt, or unskinned animal, until pelt sealing is required.
Where to Get Tags
- For otter, bobcat, or fisher, you may download and print the Furbearer Possession Tag (PDF) (120 KB). (Note: You may record up to 10 animals of the same species (otter, bobcat or fisher) harvested on one tag).
- For marten, a special permit and possession tag is required for trapping marten. Contact DEC's Region 5 Wildlife Office at (518) 623-1240 for details. You will receive your tags for marten after getting the appropriate permit.
A supply of tags may also be obtained from DEC's Bureau of Wildlife Offices, by e-mailing us, by calling (518) 402-8883, or by writing to:
Furbearer Possession Tags
Albany, NY 12233-4754
Completing the Tag
- Must be completed immediately upon arrival at your mode of travel, camp, or home, whichever occurs first.
- Record your identification number from your trapping or hunting license.
- For bobcat, otter or fisher, you may record up to 10 animals of the same species harvested on one tag.
- The furbearer possession tag associated with your bobcat, otter, fisher or marten does not need to be directly attached to the animal, but must accompany each pelt or unskinned animal at all times, until it is sealed by DEC staff.
There are a few purposes for pelt sealing bobcat, otter, fisher and marten species:
- To allow the pelt to be exported from New York State, sold, or transferred.
- To record population and biological information that helps in management decisions. For more information, visit the Harvest Data webpage.
- To comply with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which aims to protect against over-exploitation of species similar in appearance to some of New York's furbearers.
When to Get the Pelt Sealed
The pelt or unskinned animal must have a plastic seal attached before:
- It may be exported from New York State;
- It is sold or transferred to another's possession;
- It is mounted or tanned; or
- 10 days have passed since the close of the season where the animal was harvested.
How to Get the Pelt Sealed
- You must have a DEC representative attach plastic seal(s) to the pelt(s) or unskinned carcass of otter, bobcat, fisher or marten. For marten, the entire carcass of the animal must be presented. Contact your local regional wildlife office to make arrangements to get your otter, bobcat, fisher, or marten sealed.
- The department seal must remain attached to the pelt, or unskinned carcass, until it is processed or prepared for use as an article of clothing or as an item for display.
Temporary Transfer of Pelts
You can give your pelts to another person (other than a taxidermist), so he or she can get the pelts sealed or have them skinned. You must give that person your trapping or hunting license, or a copy of your license and your completed possession tags, while they are in possession of your pelts.
For questions on the possession tag or pelt seal process, please contact the nearest DEC regional wildlife office.