Trapping Laws & Rules
Search the Trapping Laws & Rules
- Important Changes for 2019
- 2020-2021 Trapping Seasons
- 2019-2020 Beaver Trapping Closures
- Other Matters of Attention
- Trapping License Information
- Bear Trapping
- Biological Samples
- Definitions and Descriptions
- Trapping Regulations
- Killer-Type (Conibear) Trap Rules
- Identifying Rare Mammals
- Landowner Permission Requirements, Trapping on Private Property
- Lynx Protection Zone and Trap Restrictions
- Tagging Requirements and Fur Tagging Stations
- Wildlife Management Districts
Beaver Season Closures - See Beaver Trapping Closures
New Bear Trapping Rules - See Design & Deployment Standards
Mandatory Trapper Harvest Reports - 2019 Fall Trappers Harvest Report Online Survey
2020-2021 Trapping Season
|Early Fox & Coyote||Statewide||October 18, 2020 -
October 31, 2020
|Early Muskrat||WMDs 1-6 & 9-11||October 25, 2020 -
October 31, 2020
|WMDs 5, 6 & 8-11||TBD|
|WMDs 7, 12-29||TBD|
|Bear||Statewide||September 1, 2020 - October 31, 2020|
|General Trapping (bobcat, coyote, fox, mink, muskrat1, opossum, otter, raccoon, red squirrel, marten, skunk, weasel)||Statewide||November 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020|
|Fisher||WMDs 1-11 & 14||November 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020|
|WMDs 12, 13 & 15-29||November 15, 2020 - December 31, 2020|
1 See muskrat trapping for information on trapping muskrat after the general trapping season in areas where the beaver season is open.
New England Cottontail Rabbits
If you are trapping in southern Maine, MDIFW 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 MDIFW 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.
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. Fur tagging stations will register furbearers using a new online system. The Department uses fur tagging information to monitor the population trends of furbearers and to inform potential changes to rules and laws. If fur remains untagged, the accuracy of our furbearer management system is diminished.
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.
Attention Lifetime Trapping License Holders
The Department mails trapping information to all trappers each fall. Please contact the Department (207-287-8000) if your contact information has changed or you no longer plan to trap. License holders can contact the Department to receive the temporary marten and fisher tags.