Trapping Laws & Rules

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Important Changes for 2017

New Beaver Seasons

Beaver season dates have been adjusted in many areas. See trapping seasons for more information.

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Trapping Season Dates 2017 - 2018

Season Area Season Dates
General Trapping (bobcat, coyote, fox, mink, muskrat*, opossum, otter, raccoon, red squirrel, marten, skunk, weasel) Statewide October 29, 2017 – December 31, 2017
Fisher WMD's 1-11 & 14 October 29, 2017 – December 31, 2017
WMD's 12, 13 & 15-29 November 15, 2017 – December 15, 2017
Early Fox & Coyote Statewide October 15, 2017 – October 28, 2017
Early Muskrat WMD's 1-6 & 9-11
October 22, 2017 – October 28, 2017
Beaver WMD's 1-4

October 15, 2017 - April 30, 2018

WMD's 5, 6 & 8-11

October 29, 2017 – April 30, 2018

WMD's 18, 19, 28

October 29, 2017 – April 15, 2018

WMD's 7, 12-17, 20-27 & 29 October 29, 2017 – March 31, 2018
Bear Statewide September 1, 2017 – October 31, 2017

* See muskrat trapping for information on trapping muskrat after the general trapping season in areas where the beaver season is open.

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Other Matters of Attention

New England Cottontail Rabbits

If you are trapping in southern Maine, IFW would like to know if you accidentally trap or see New England cottontail rabbits. Cottontail rabbits are smaller than snowshoe hare, have hind feet less than 4 inches in length, and do not turn white in the winter. Their coat remains brown all year round. Please let us know about any rabbits you see. This is Maine's only native rabbit and IFW is actively trying to restore its population. Identifying new areas where the rabbit occurs could greatly benefit restoration efforts. If you accidentally capture a cottontail rabbit, please contact a biologist in your region or Wally Jakubas at or (207) 941-4471.

Nuisance Beaver

A list of nuisance beaver sites may be available for your area. Please contact your regional wildlife office if you are interested in the location of recent nuisance beaver removal sites or the location of any current nuisance sites.

Temporary Marten and Fisher Tags

Please remember that a temporary tag must be signed, dated, and attached to captured marten or fisher at the time the animal is removed from the capture site. Fur tagging agents are to retain the temporary tag from each marten or fisher after they attach the permanent fur tag to the pelt.

Pelt Tagging Requirements

Trappers must have all their fall fur tagged within 10 days after the season ends. The Department will be collecting the fur tagging books 20 days after the close of the season of the fall trapping season (i.e., around January 20). The Department uses fur tagging information to monitor the population trends of furbearers. If fur remains untagged, the accuracy of our furbearer management systems is diminished. Collecting fur tagging books earlier in the year will allow sufficient time to determine furbearer population levels and to discuss these findings with trappers and regional biologists prior to formulating trapping regulations. Collared and Ear-tagged Animals

If you catch a collared or ear-tagged animal in one of your traps, that is NOT a lynx, you may take the animal for fur. However, you will need to return the collar and tags, and we would appreciate knowing where you caught the animal. Please call the nearest regional MDIFW office to report the location of the catch to a wildlife biologist and arrange to return the radio collar and tags.

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