New Jersey Trapping Licenses and Permits

Where to Purchase

Display Requirements for Trapping License

  • Must be visibly displayed on the back and unobscured by packs or harnesses.

Cable Restraint (Snaring) Requirements

  • A Snare Course Completion Card must be carried when using cable restraints.

License or Permit Types and Fees

Youth Trapping

  • Age: 12–15 — Fee: Free
  • Validity: Until Dec. 31 of the year the youth turns 16
  • Requirements: Minimum age 12, pass an approved Trapper Education course
  • Obtaining: Present course completion card at any license agent

Resident Trapping

  • Age: 16+ — Fee: $32.50
  • Validity: Valid through Dec. 31
  • Requirements: NJ residency for 6+ months or active military in NJ, first-timers show Trapper Education card or prior license
  • Obtaining: First-time at license agent; subsequent licenses online or at agents

NJ National Guard Resident Trapping

  • Fee: Free
  • Validity: Valid through Dec. 31
  • Requirements: Active NJNG member post-Initial Active Duty Training
  • Obtaining: Confirm active status at (609) 530-6866, then at license agents

Disabled Veteran Resident Trapping

  • Fee: Free
  • Validity: Valid through Dec. 31
  • Requirements: Service-connected disability proof, honorable discharge, NJ residency
  • Obtaining: Initially certified by mail, then at agents or online

Non-Resident Trapping

  • Age: 16+ — Fee: $200.50
  • Validity: Valid through Dec. 31
  • Requirements: Non-NJ residents or those in NJ less than 6 months, same as residents
  • Obtaining: First-time at license agent with Trapper Education card; subsequent online or at agents

Farmer License Exemption

  • Qualifications: Meet NJ Farmland Assessment Act criteria
  • Benefits: No license needed for farming property, but Trapper Education card required for snares
  • CID Number Required: Obtain online if new, otherwise available from past licenses

Special Permits

  • Special Beaver: $17 — Apply Oct. 1-31, lottery system, during open season
  • Beaver Damage Control: $17 — Issued at NJ Fish & Wildlife discretion, specified location use
  • Special Otter: $2 — Valid Dec. 26–Feb. 9, for designated zone
  • Rifle Permit: Youth: $6, Adult: $10.50 — For using rifles to dispatch trapped animals during July 1 – June 30

Lost/Duplicate License or Permit

  • Fee: $2 each
  • Replacement: Available at any agent or online

Additional Information

  • New trappers must pass an approved Trapper Education course for the Snare Card.
  • Youth under 14 using firearms need adult supervision.
  • No Rifle Permit required for air guns.

For detailed information on trapper education, visit Trapper Education Information, and for additional questions on disability certifications for veterans, see Disabled Veteran License Information.

New Jersey Trapping Seasons 2023-24

Opening Day Trap Set Protocol

  • No trap or stake may be set before 6 a.m. on any opening day.

Beaver Trapping

  • Season: Dec. 26, 2023–Feb. 9, 2024 (Zones 1–30)
  • Restrictions: Jan. 1–Feb. 9 on stocked WMAs
  • Bag Limit: 8 (Special Permit), 10 (Damage Permit)
  • Tagging and Check-In: Tag immediately; official check-in required on Feb. 24, 2024

Otter Trapping

  • Season: Dec. 26, 2023–Feb. 9, 2024 (Zones 1–30)
  • Restrictions: Jan. 1–Feb. 9 on stocked WMAs
  • Bag Limit: 1 per season
  • Tagging and Surrender: Tag immediately; must surrender carcass; official check-in on Feb. 24, 2024

Coyote, Gray Fox, Red Fox Trapping

  • Season: Nov. 15, 2023–Mar. 15, 2024
  • Restrictions: Jan. 1–Mar. 15 on stocked WMAs
  • Bag Limit: None
  • Reporting: Coyote by 8 p.m. same day; Gray Fox is requested

Mink, Muskrat, Nutria Trapping

  • North Zone Season: Nov. 15, 2023–Mar. 15, 2024
  • South Zone Season: Dec. 1, 2023–Mar. 15, 2024
  • Bag Limit: None

Opossum, Raccoon, Striped Skunk Trapping

  • Season: Nov. 15, 2023–Mar. 15, 2024
  • Restrictions: Jan. 1–Mar. 15 on stocked WMAs
  • Bag Limit: None

Weasels (Long-tailed, Short-tailed)

  • Season: Nov. 15, 2023–Mar. 15, 2024
  • Bag Limit: None

Closed Species

  • Bobcat, Fisher: No trapping permitted; report accidental captures.

Trapping in Stocked WMAs

  • No beaver or otter traps prior to 6 a.m. on January 1.
  • No cable restraints for coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon, or skunk on stocked WMAs until January 1.

Trap Check Requirements

  • Tidal Waters: Check traps once per day.
  • Other Locations: Check traps every 24 hours.

Harvest Reporting

  • Use the Automated Harvest Reporting System at (855) 448-6865 or NJFishandWildlife.com for beaver, otter, and coyote. Gray fox reporting is also requested.

New Jersey Trapping Laws and Regulations

New Jersey Trapping Laws and Regulations

New Jersey Trapping Regulations

License and Education Requirements

  • Show previous resident trapping license or a Trapper Education Course Completion Card to apply for a license.
  • Trapper Education courses can be enrolled in here.

Displaying Trapping License

  • License must be visible on outer clothing while trapping (not covered by pack/harness).

Permits and Firearms

  • Additional permits required for certain furbearers.
  • Rifle Permit needed for using a .22 caliber rifle (except for muskrat).

Trapping Restrictions on WMA

  • Specific wildlife management areas closed to beaver/otter trapping using cable restraints for coyote, fox, opossum, raccoon, skunk until January 1st.
  • Use of cage and encapsulating traps allowed beginning at 6 a.m. on November 15th.

Firearms for Dispatching Furbearers

  • Air guns using specific pellets do not require a Rifle Permit.
  • .22 caliber rimfire rifles using short cartridges require a Rifle Permit.

Harvest Reporting

  • Coyote harvests must be reported by 8 p.m. the same day; gray fox harvests reporting is requested.

Furbearer Sightings Reporting

Beaver and Otter Lottery and Permits

  • Application period: October 1–31.
  • Award notification starts by November 2, 2023.
  • Permits must be claimed by 11:59 p.m. on November 26, 2023.
  • Over-the-counter sales for unclaimed permits start at 10 a.m. on November 29, 2023.

Check-in and Surrender Details

  • Mandatory otter carcass surrender; check-in date and location information provided in the permit packet.
  • Harvest must be reported daily via the AHRS.
  • Proper preparation of pelts is encouraged.

To apply for beaver and otter permits, and for permit availability, visit the NJFishandWildlife License Sales Site.

Legal Trap Types in New Jersey

Identification Requirements

  • All trap sets must be identified with the trapper's name and address, trap ID number, or CIM (Conservation Identification) number.

Tag Visibility for Beaver and Otter

  • Tags need to be visible above water or ice.

Relaxing Lock Cable Restraints

  • Must stop tightening when the animal stops pulling.
  • Cam-locks and spring-assisted locks are not allowed.

Trap Specifications and Regulations

Body-Gripping Trap

  • Target: Mink, muskrat, nutria — Jaw Spread: Max 6 inches
    • Set completely below water or below mean high tide in tidal areas.
  • Target: Beaver, otter — Jaw Spread: Max 10 inches

Cable Restraint Trap

  • Requirement: Carry Snare Certification Card
  • Baiting: Cover natural baits within 30 feet of the set
For Beaver, Otter
  • Submerged Sets: No specific restrictions
For Coyote, Fox, Opossum, Raccoon, Skunk
  • Cable: 5/64" - 3/16" in diameter, equipped with a swivel, relaxing lock, deer stop
  • Loop: Max 12-inch diameter, loop height max 24 inches from walking surface
For Mink, Muskrat, Nutria
  • Cable: 1/32, 3/64, or 1/16" in diameter, equipped with a swivel
  • Loop: Max 4-inch diameter, loop height max 7 inches from walking surface
For Weasel
  • No specific requirements provided for cable restraint, but typically smaller dimensions

Cage Trap

  • Target: Various furbearers listed, including weasel
    • Appropriate size and bait for target species; note canines may avoid cage traps.

Encapsulating Trap (Dog-Proof)

  • Target: Opossum, raccoon
    • Trigger and mechanism within housing, single opening max 2" diagonally, pulling force activation, swivel-mounted anchor.

Steel-Jawed Leghold Trap

  • All coil-spring and longspring traps are prohibited.
  • Manufacturing, selling, possessing, importing, or transporting steel-jaw leghold traps is illegal, as is trapping any animal with them.

Additional Reminders

  • Check Furbearer Trapping Seasons table for Stocked WMAs restrictions.
  • Trapping is always prohibited within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
  • Visibility and secure anchoring are key for all trapping activities.

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Disclaimer:

The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.