DEC to New York State furbearer hunters, trappers: Know your special permit requirements

Bobcat hunters and trappers are reminded that they are no longer required to obtain an additional special permit to pursue this species within select Wildlife Management Units in central and western New York, referred to as the "Harvest Expansion Area" (HEA).

With the furbearer trapping and hunting seasons set to begin in many parts of New York State, trappers should note special permit requirements for fisher and marten trapping seasons, as well as a change to the special permit requirement for bobcat hunting and trapping, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday, Oct. 24.

While coyote hunting season began Oct. 1 across much of the state, hunting seasons for other furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon, and fox begins Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Trappers are reminded of changes to trapping regulations for fisher that began in 2016, including the requirement of a special permit and expanded opportunities for fisher in select Wildlife Management Units in central and western New York. All fisher and marten trappers are required to obtain a special, free permit from their regional wildlife office, submit a trapping activity log, and submit the skull or jaw from harvested fishers and martens. This allows DEC biologists to collect important biological information on the animals, learn more about this popular game species, and ensure the harvest is sustainable.

Bobcat hunters and trappers are reminded that they are no longer required to obtain an additional special permit to pursue this species within select Wildlife Management Units in central and western New York, referred to as the “Harvest Expansion Area” (HEA). After three seasons of data collection, sufficient information on harvest pressure and take has been collected and the special permit is no longer needed. Hunters and trappers who pursue bobcats in the HEA are still required to have a hunting or trapping license and to have the animal pelt sealed.

To obtain a free fisher or fisher/marten permit, trappers should contact the regional wildlife office (see table below) or apply by e-mail. Only one fisher or fisher/marten permit is needed to trap these species anywhere in New York where the season is open. Trappers must provide the following information: name, DEC ID number (from license or back tag), mailing address, phone or e-mail, and species (fisher or fisher/marten). If requesting a permit by e-mail, include the county or WMU where you plan to trap fisher and/or marten.

— New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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