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Trapping on Public Lands

All states have federal- or state-owned public lands that are available for trapping. Public lands may have regulations that control trapping on these properties and may require special permits. Check with your state's wildlife agency and get maps before you go.

Public Lands That May Be Open For Trapping

  • Bureau of Land Management properties
  • Bureau of Reclamation properties
  • National forests
  • National parks
  • National Wildlife Refuge properties
  • State parks and forests
  • State-owned wildlife management areas

Trapping on Private Land

To trap on private land, you must get permission. Landowners often are willing to grant permission to trap furbearers that are damaging crops, burrowing into pond dams, or doing other damage. Trapping can be of great value to landowners.

Follow these guidelines when requesting permission to trap on private land.

  • Do not visit landowners during their busy seasons. Early summer is a good time to ask permission. In the spring, farmers are busy planting. In the fall, they are busy with the harvest.
  • Dress neatly and be polite.
  • Ask about neighbors who might want someone to trap on their property.
  • Be sure to get the landowner's permission in writing, if needed. Ask local authorities whether you need written permission.
  • Contact landowners again just before the season opens.
  • Ask whether hunters or other people will be using the property as well.
  • Tell landowners the days and times you will be on their property.
  • Make sure landowners know your telephone number and the type of vehicle you will be driving.