About the Study Guide

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Trapping furbearing animals was once a full-time occupation. Today, regulated trapping is an important tool for managing our nation's natural resources.

  • Trapping helps protect personal property by preventing or decreasing:
    • Flooding caused by beaver dams
    • Damage to homes, trees, gardens, and agricultural crops
    • Killing of livestock or pets
  • Trapping protects certain endangered or threatened species from predatory furbearers.
Trap box

When used properly, trapping can be an alternative method to hunting for harvesting furbearers and an effective tool for wildlife management. Trappers should learn about the type of traps appropriate for the animal they’re seeking and follow the trapper’s code of ethics:

  • Obtain the landowner's permission.
  • Avoid setting traps in areas where domestic animals may be caught.
  • Set traps to capture the target animal in the most humane way possible.
  • Check traps at least once every 24 hours, preferably in the early morning.
  • Record trap locations accurately.
  • Identify all traps with waterproof name and address tags.
  • Use as much of the animal as possible. Dispose of animal carcasses properly.
  • Make an effort to trap only the surplus animals from each habitat.
  • Assist farmers and other landowners who are having damage problems with wildlife.
  • Dispatch trapped furbearers in a humane manner.
  • Obtain all required licenses, tags, and permits. Since trapping laws vary by state, check the state’s regulations before you go trapping.