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Trapper Education

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: Hunter Education Program staff are not in the office every day. For prompt service, email us ( Please do not call and leave a voicemail if you have access to email; this will help prevent delays in service.

setting a trap
Student learns how to properly set a trap

The NYS Trapper Education Course is required to purchase a trapping license in New York. This course teaches the necessary safety techniques and responsibilities as a trapper when setting traps to catch wild game.

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

*Few Trapper Education courses are 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 NYS Trapper Education Course

You can register for 2021 in-person, instructor-led courses. However, due to COVID-19, the number of courses offered may be limited. Check back often as new courses may be added each week.

COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed in every in-person course, including health screening upon arrival, mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, smaller class size limits, and sanitizing hands and equipment.

All Trapper Education Courses require:

  1. The completion of homework prior to attending an in-person course. Proof of completed homework must be brought to the in-person course. The homework can take several hours to complete.
  2. Participation in an in-person course that is a minimum of 8 hours in length. These courses may be scheduled for one full day or split up into several shorter time frames over several days.

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

Choose one of the following two ways to obtain the study materials and complete the required homework. Whichever option you choose to complete the homework, you must bring the completed homework with you to the in-person course.

*Requires a printer and Adobe Reader Free Software
Hard Copy
*Requires travel or time to mail
Follow the link below to download a PDF of the Trapper Education Manual and the Trapper Education Homework Worksheet.
You must print the Trapper Education Homework Worksheet.

Trapper Education Manual (PDF)
Trapper Education Homework Worksheet (PDF)

You must bring the completed homework worksheet to your in-person course.

The Trapper Education Manual and the Trapper Education Homework Worksheet can be picked up at
most DEC Wildlife offices or may be available for pick up at other locations as specified in the instructions when you register for a course.

Due to COVID, most DEC offices are closed to the public. Call the office if you need to pick up course materials.
Find a DEC Wildlife Office near you.

You can also request a hard copy be mailed to you by calling

You must bring the completed homework worksheet to your in-person course.

You might also want to read the 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)

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

There are no age restrictions to take the Trapper Education Course. The student must be able to complete the required homework and the in-person course, and pass the written test with no more help then having the test questions read to them if needed.
(Note: Anyone over the age of 12 must purchase a trapping license to trap in New York. Those under the age of 12 may assist a licensed trapper without possessing a trapping license, as long as the person they are assisting is their parent, legal guardian, or person age 18 or older designated in writing with at least 3 years of trapping experience.)

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.