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Trapping Season Opens November 15

October 24, 2006

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife reminds trappers that the 2006-07 eastern coyote, gray fox, opossum, raccoon, red fox, skunk and weasel trapping season opens 6:00 AM on November 15. The mink, muskrat and nutria trapping season opens 6:00 AM on November 15 in the North Zone and 6:00 AM on December 1 in the South Zone. State Wildlife Management Areas designated as Pheasant and Quail Stamp Areas will be closed to all trapping until 6:00 AM on January 1, 2007.

Trappers should review current regulations, season exceptions and bag limits in the August issue of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest (page 64), license agents statewide and on the Divisionís website at

Modern, regulated trapping is used to manage habitat, monitor and control animal populations, protect and reintroduce endangered species, protect public and private property and conduct research, and is a technique used for sustainable, consumptive use of the wildlife resource.

Results of the 2005-06 New Jersey Trapper Harvest Survey indicated 445 active trappers expended 21,381 recreation-days and harvested 34,465 muskrat, 4,041 raccoons, 3,144 red fox, 232 gray fox, 234 opossum, 366 skunk, 1,656 mink, and 23 weasels. Trappers also reported harvesting 632 beaver (record), 51 river otter, 85 coyote (record) during the 2005-06 season. The total estimated value of fur harvest was $317,761 at the local level. For more information, contact Division biologist Andrew Burnett at 609-748-2058.


Populations of fur-bearing animals (beaver, coyote, gray fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red fox, river otter, skunk and weasel) remain at healthy levels throughout New Jersey.

Resource managers throughout the northeastern United States have noted a decline in recent muskrat harvests, compared to those of previous decades. Further study is needed to determine whether muskrat populations are declining and why, or if harvest declines are the result of reduced trapper effort (fewer active trappers, fewer traps used, fewer nights trapped). Factors such as changes in market demand that decrease pelt prices, and increasing expense costs such as gasoline, may affect trapper participation.

A handful of unconfirmed nutria sightings have been received from Salem County, NJ, opposite the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal. Nutria, an exotic species from South America, have not been documented in recent New Jersey harvests. Harvests have been reported in Maryland and some portions of Delaware.


Trapping for beaver and river otter is allowed by special permit only. Season dates are December 26, 2006 through February 9, 2007. State Wildlife Management Areas designated as Pheasant and Quail Stamp Areas will be closed to all trapping until 6:00 AM on January 1, 2007.

Leftover permits, if available, will be sold at all license agents and on the Divisionís Internet license sales site. For updates on availability visit Beaver/Otter Trapping Information page or call the Permit Hotline at 609-292-9192 during the week of November 20. All successful trappers (or their agents) must present their beaver/otter pelts at a designated check station for examination where pelt tags will be affixed, and otter carcasses collected for further analyses. The tentative date for check-in is Saturday, February 24, 2007. Additional information on check station locations will be provided to all permit holders.

Trappers are reminded that subscribers to the Hunting E-mail List receive immediate notification of news, including regulatory items. See the E-Mail Subscription page for information.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 24, 2006