Albany – It took more than 60 years, but New York’s trappers
have finally succeeded in getting a change to state law that will
save them time and effort and likely lessen their run-ins with
those who oppose trapping.
Gov. David Paterson signed into law Aug. 3 legislation that will
no longer require trappers to put their name and address on every
one of their traps.
Instead, they will be able to put a state-assigned
identification number on each trap.
Using an ID number instead of biographical information will save
time for trappers who change their addresses, and also cut back on
harassment that some trappers have endured over the years.
They will only have to change their address with the state
Department of Environmental Conservation through the DECALS system,
instead of changing their address on every trap.
“We’ve been working on this for years,” said Wayne Jones, vice
president of the New York State Trappers Association. “This makes
things easier. If you move, you won’t have to change the
information on your traps.”
Some, including Dave Miller, legislative liaison for the
trappers association, said that putting trappers’ names and
addresses on their traps makes it easier for those opposed to
trapping to track them down.
“Our biggest concern was we’ve had some people tracked and
harassed, from information that came from trap tags,” Miller
Jones said the state trappers association’s historical
information shows that the idea of using an ID number instead of
name and address on each trap was first raised in 1947.
He said efforts to get a change to the appropriate section of
state Conservation Law picked up 10 to 12 years ago, but it was
unclear why it failed to make it into law.
“It got to the governor’s office twice but wasn’t signed because
of technicalities,” Miller said.
Jones said a general bent of downstate legislators against
hunting and trapping likely played a part in its past failures.
“With any trapping legislation, typically a lot of downstate
legislators don’t have the knowledge or background,” he said.
The bill was introduced in the state Senate by Sen. David
Valesky, D-Oneida, and in the Assembly by Assemblyman William
“This legislation simply seeks to assist the Department (of
Environmental Conservation) by being able to be proactive in
addressing the needs of our sportsmen and women while still
providing the utmost protection to the public,” Magee wrote in his
memorandum for the bill.
Valesky said in a news release that the identification number
assigned to each trapper will be accessible only by the police and
DEC. It will help protect trappers’ personal information, he
The law takes effect immediately, and will be in effect for this
fall’s furbearer trapping seasons.
Miller said it has been a good year for trappers in New York
thanks to positive trapping regulation changes made by the DEC this
year, including a lengthening of the Northern Zone season, and the
new trap tag law.