Mostly Trapping

Trapping Seasons Underway in New Hampshire
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Trapping Seasons Underway in New Hampshire
Sharing the outdoors is a enduring tradition in New Hampshire. A part of that tradition includes a skilled group of outdoor enthusiasts who participate in trapping, a highly regulated activity that provides important ecological benefits to the state.

Trapping seasons in New Hampshire run from October through March statewide, with the majority of trapping activity on land taking place during the months of November and December.

Trapping is a highly regulated activity and may take place on public or private lands. Individuals interested in trapping must attend mandatory Trapper Education classes, purchase a license, file written landowner permission with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, adhere to science-based regulations and harvest limits, use modern traps designed to target specific species and check them daily, and report their catch along with their effort. An active force of highly trained Conservation Officers and other agency personnel monitor trappers to ensure that current laws are followed.

This long-standing part of New Hampshire’s cultural heritage remains relevant and necessary today. Trappers are a unique group among New Hampshire’s outdoor enthusiasts, having an unparalleled eye for interpreting natural surroundings and understanding wildlife behavior. Though relatively few in number, 454 licenses were sold in New Hampshire in 2017, skilled trappers provide an extremely valuable service by helping to manage abundant wildlife populations and collecting biological samples at no cost. They also contribute to public safety by maintaining beaver populations to manageable levels, and preventing the flooding of public roadways in rural and urban areas. Trapping helps to keep furbearer populations at healthy levels and to prevent over-population which can significantly increase the risk of disease transference, including rabies and canine distemper. With specialized skills, training, and a deep connection to the natural world, trappers are a vital resource for a state that aspires to strike a balance between wildlife conservation and wildlife-human conflict management.

“State law prohibits traps from being set or arranged in a public way, cart road, or path commonly used as a passageway by human beings or domestic animals,” said Patrick Tate, a Wildlife Biologist and the Furbearer Project Leader at Fish and Game. “New Hampshire has a long tradition of sharing the outdoors. During the hunting and trapping seasons, it’s sensible for anyone walking a dog, or using wooded areas for other non-hunting activities, to stay on established trails, keep dogs on a leash, and wear an article of blaze orange clothing,” he said.

Learn more about trapping or find a Trapper Education Course in New Hampshire at this link.

Furbearer management is funded by Wildlife Restoration Grants administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program: Partnering to fund conservation and connect people with nature. To learn more, click here.