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Best Management Practices for Trapping

The cover of the Best Management Practices for Trapping in the U.S.

The purpose of the Best Management Practices (BMP) process is to scientifically evaluate the traps and trapping systems used for capturing furbearers in the United States. Evaluations are based on animal welfare, efficiency, selectivity, practicality and safety.

This process was conducted jointly by state and federal natural resources agencies and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), and the results are available for wildlife management professionals, the trapping community, and the public:

Trappers may also be interested in the guidance provided in the article "Dog-Friendly Strategies for Trapping Public Land" (PDF) (1.3 MB). This article was reprinted with permission of the author and Fur Taker Magazine (Vol. 48, No. 5).

National Trap Use Survey

The "National Use of Traps by Trappers in the United States" Survey was conducted on behalf of State fish and wildlife agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). Randomly selected licensed trappers were contacted primarily by telephone, however some trappers were contacted by e-mail or post mail. The goal of the survey was to determine what species of furbearers trappers are most interested in harvesting and what trap types are most commonly used. In addition, the survey asked about trapper knowledge and use of Best Management Practices for Trapping (BMPs).

The results of this survey are available in the report Trap Use, Furbearers Trapped, and Trapper Characteristics in the United States in 2015 (PDF) (2.5 MB). Results will be used to guide the continuing development of BMPs and to evaluate changes in trap use among trappers over the past twenty years by comparing results to previous surveys conducted in 1992 and 2004.

To view the reports from the previous trap use surveys and other information on trapping produced by the AFWA, visit the link in the right-hand column.