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Trapper Education

setting a trap
Student learns how to properly set a trap

This course is required for learning the necessary safety techniques and responsibilities as a trapper when setting traps to catch wild game.

All Trapper Education Courses require the completion of homework prior to attending the course.

Proof of completed homework must be brought to the session led by an instructor. The homework may take several hours to complete.

*New Trapper Education classes are added continuously throughout the year. Most of the classes are taught between March and September.

*Trapper Education classes are not usually offered between November 1st - February 28th.

*Do not wait until just before the trapping season to take a class. Classes fill quickly, so it is important to sign up early.

Register for a Trapper Education Course

Register for a Trapper Education Course (link leaves DEC's website). You must attend the entire in-person instruction portion of the course on the date(s) and at the location indicated on the course schedule listing.

Homework and Study Materials

Print and complete the Trapper Education Homework Worksheet (PDF, 303 KB). Refer to the Trapper Education Manual (PDF, 5 MB) to complete the homework. If you prefer a hard copy, the manual and worksheet can usually be picked up at most DEC Wildlife offices or may be available for pick up at other locations as specified in the course instructions. (Cost: Free).

Best Management Practices for Trapping - free series of handbooks for humane trapping tools and techniques on capturing furbearer species. A brief overview of best management practices for trapping is available in a 2-page Best Management Practices Humane Trapping Standards handout (PDF) (477 KB)

General Course Details and Requirements

Course Topics Covered

  • Trapping safety and techniques
  • Techniques to avoid catching non-targeted species
  • Prepare pelts to produce marketable furs
  • Laws and regulations of trapping

Age Restrictions/Requirements

None. (Note: When purchasing a trapping licenses, non-residents must be at least 16-years old. There is no age restriction for New York State residents).

Course Length

Minimum of 8 hours.

Trapper Education Certificate

Students must complete the required homework, attend all sessions of the course, demonstrate proper attitude and safety, and pass a final exam of 40 questions. After successful completion of the course, students will receive a Trapper Education Certificate of Qualification, which is required for purchasing a first-time trapping license in New York State.

Get more details on certificates: including how to replace a lost certificate and out of state certificate requirements.