Proposed Trapping Season Changes

The comment period for this proposal is now closed.

DEC is proposing changes to the current beaver, mink and muskrat trapping seasons. The proposed changes would expand beaver trapping opportunities in central and western New York and would align the start dates of mink and muskrat trapping seasons with beaver trapping seasons throughout the state.

Specifically, this proposed rulemaking would modify 6 NYCRR Parts 6.1 and 6.2 to:

  • Move the start date of the beaver season in western New York from November 25 to November 10, providing two additional weeks of trapping opportunity;
  • Extend the closing date of beaver trapping in central and western NY to April 7th, providing additional trapping opportunity after ice out and aligning the end date with the rest of the Southern Zone and with trapper season date preferences;
  • Shift the start date for mink and muskrat trapping in the Northern Zone from October 25 to November 1 to better align with trapper season date preferences and to align Northern Zone mink and muskrat trapping with the beaver season;
  • Shift the start date for mink and muskrat in central and western NY from November 25 to November 10. This will align the start date of the season throughout the Southern Zone and with the start of beaver trapping season.

Modifying the season dates for these species will allow DEC to improve management of species like beaver and to better address our goal of meeting the public desire for sustainable use of these resources. With the number of nuisance beaver complaints received by DEC increasing steadily each year, particularly in central and western New York, the proposed changes will allow DEC to minimize the damage and other problems caused by beavers. In addition, the proposed changes will better align trapping seasons with preferred season dates as indicated by a survey of licensed trappers.

To view the proposed rulemaking and/or provide comment, please visit DEC’s website. Go to left side column and select Fish and Wildlife Regulatory Revisions. Comments will be accepted until August 3rd.

NYSDEC staff would appreciate hearing the reason for a specific comment whether it be in favor or opposed to any of the proposed changes. As always, please be thoughtful and polite when providing comments.