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Trappers must complete a mandatory trapper education course to obtain a trapping license.

Trapping provides important benefits to New Yorkers including:

  • the control of nuisance damage;
  • economic benefits to trappers and people involved in the fur industry; and
  • recreation to trappers.
River Otter

The 14 species of furbearing animals in New York are abundant and their populations are secure. DEC regulates trapping seasons to ensure the continued security of New York's furbearer populations.

There are about 10,000 trappers in New York. This number varies depending on the year and fur market conditions. New York State is one of the nation's top producers of wild furs for the commercial fur trade. New York City remains a center for the production and marketing of fur garments.

Find your next adventure using DECinfo Locator - an interactive map featuring wildlife management areas, WMU boundaries, parking areas, trail heads, and other information to help plan an excursion on state-managed lands.

For more information on trapping, please read Trapping and Furbearer Management in North American Wildlife Conservation (PDF). It is a compilation of the knowledge, insights, and experiences of professional wildlife biologists who are responsible for the conservation of wildlife resources throughout the United States and Canada. It is published by the Northeast Section of The Wildlife Society.

Check-out the most recent New York Furbearer Update (PDF) for the latest news regarding the furbearer management program in New York!

Trapper Mentoring Program

If you are under 12 years old:

Under the Trapper Mentoring Program you may accompany and assist a licensed trapper who has at least 3 years of trapping experience. You must follow these guidelines:

  • The licensed trapper may be a parent or legal guardian, or someone 18 years or older and designated in writing on the Mentored Youth Hunter and Trapper Permission Form (PDF).
  • You may assist the licensed trapper in all aspects of trapping (except the discharging of a firearm) without possessing a trapping license.
  • If you wish to trap on your own once you're 12 years old, you will need to successfully complete New York's Trapper Education Program. You are permitted to take this course prior to your 12th birthday.

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