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Furbearer Hunting and Trapping

Furbearer regulations:

  • Bobcat and otter may be trapped statewide Dec. 1 – March 1.  No limits.
  • Raccoon, opossum, coyote, beaver, skunk and nutria may be trapped statewide year round.  No limits.
  • Minks, Everglades minks, weasels and round-tailed muskrats cannot be taken or possessed. 

 

License requirements:

A furbearer trapping license ($26.50) is required:

  • When taking or attempting to take furbearing animals using live traps or snares.
  • To sell the pelts or meat of furbearing animals to licensed fur dealers, whether taken by trap, snare or gun.

 

Methods of take:

Furbearers may be taken with guns (including air guns), live traps, snares (including power snares) and recorded game calls. Live traps and snares must be checked every 24 hours.  Hunting raccoons or opossums at night is allowed, but only .22-caliber rimfire firearms (other than .22-magnums) or single-shot .410-gauge shotguns (using shot not larger than size 6) may be used.

 

Prohibited:

The use of steel leg-hold traps, dog-proof raccoon traps and body-grip (conibear) traps is prohibited, except when permitted by the FWC.  It is illegal to transport wild-trapped live raccoons within, into or from the state, except by FWC permit or authorization.  Hunting raccoons or opossums by displaying or using lights from moving vehicles, vessels or animals is prohibited.

 

Feeding:

The intentional placement of feed or garbage in a manner that is likely to create or creates a public nuisance by attracting foxes, coyotes or raccoons is prohibited. 

 

Closed season on fox:

Trapping or shooting foxes is prohibited, but foxes may be chased with dogs year round.  Foxes or untanned fox pelts may not be possessed, except by permit from FWC.  A permit is not required to have a road-killed fox mounted by a taxidermist.

 

Commercial furbearer requirements:

One must possess a fur dealer’s license ($100.00) to buy or sell meat or fur from furbearing mammals for commercial purposes, or to solicit business by mail or advertising.

 

CITES tag requirements:

Bobcat and otter pelts taken for commercial purposes must be tagged with a CITES tag.  Licensed fur dealers and their agents must tag otter and bobcat pelts immediately upon receipt.  CITES tags are also required when transporting pelts of bobcat or otter across state lines.  The possession of pelts of bobcat and otter is prohibited during the period of April 1 to Nov. 30 unless pelts have been tagged.  Tags are distributed to trappers and dealers upon request.  To obtain CITES tags, call the FWC at 850-488-5878.  Fur dealers are held accountable for disposition of tags and are required to return unused tags by April 15.

 

Frequently Asked Furbearer Questions

Can I hunt raccoon and opossum at night? Only .22­-caliber rimfire firearms (other than .22-mag­nums) or single-shot .410-gauge shotguns (using shot not larger than size 6) may be used. Hunting raccoons or opossums by displaying or using lights from moving vehicles, vessels or animals is prohibited. It is illegal to transport wild-trapped live raccoons within, into or from the state, except by FWC permit or authorization.

Do I need a permit to hunt coyotes at night? A gun and light at night permit is not required to take coyotes with a gun and light on private lands with landowner permission.

Can I hunt or trap fox? Trapping or shooting foxes is prohibited, but foxes may be chased with dogs year round. Foxes or untanned fox pelts may not be possessed, except by permit from FWC. A permit is not required to have a road-killed fox mounted by a taxidermist.

May I sell meat and/or skins from furbearers?  Yes, but only if you possess a furbearer trapping license. Here is a list of licenses.

Where can I sell my furs?  Contact the Florida Trapper’s Association, North American Fur Auctions or Fur Harvesters Auction for information.

May nuisance trappers sell skins (including fox skins)? Yes, but only with possession of a furbearer trapping license. Additionally, if the animal was taken with a steel trap, you must present a copy of the steel trap permit to the fur buyer or dealer for their records. See our steel trap page for more details.

May I use dog-proof raccoon traps?  These traps are considered steel leg-hold traps and are prohibited for recreational trappers. Nuisance trappers can apply for a steel trap permit to use these traps.

Are power-activated snares legal?  Yes. A power-activated snare is defined as a snare on which the loop closure (speed or direction) is initiated or augmented by some type of powering device (e.g. a spring).

Are cage (swim-in) traps legal for otters?  Yes, as long as they are set so that the otters have access to air to prevent them from drowning.

Do I need a CITES tag?  CITES tags need to be attached to any bobcat and otter pelt that leave Florida and immediately upon purchase if they are sold. Hunters may possess 1 untanned bobcat and otter pelt without a CITES tag. Any additional pelts must have a CITES tag. There are no possession limits for trappers; however, possession of untanned pelts of either species is prohibited between April 1 and Nov. 30, unless pelt has a CITES tag. CITES tags can be obtained by calling 850-488-5878.

Is a hunting license also required in addition to the trapping license when trapping furbearers?  No, only the $26.50 trapping license is needed.