New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that many furbearer trapping and hunting seasons have begun in New York State. Trappers should note special permit requirements for fisher and marten trapping seasons.

“Trapping provides important benefits to New Yorkers each year, including management of wildlife species and nuisance control,” Commissioner Seggos said. “In addition, trapping is among the abundant and excellent hunting activities available throughout the state that contribute significantly to New York’s economy.”

New York’s trappers play an important role in wildlife conservation and management efforts by providing important data to DEC’s expert wildlife biologists, especially for fisher and marten management. DEC encourages all trappers to report harvested fishers and martens and to provide required samples to help the state improve wildlife management efforts.

Fishers and martens are medium-sized members of the weasel family, which also includes weasels, ermine, mink, and river otters. While fishers have been expanding their range throughout New York in recent decades, the state’s martens are restricted to the Adirondacks.

Coyote hunting season began Oct. 1 across much of the state and hunting seasons for other furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon, and fox began on Oct. 25. Season dates and zone boundaries for all furbearers can be found on DEC’s website and in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

Trapping season dates vary by species and geography, with raccoon, fox, and bobcat opening on Oct. 25, and beaver opening on Nov. 1 in northern New York, Nov. 10 in eastern New York, and Nov. 25 in western New York. Trappers should check the regulations guide or the DEC website for opening dates in their area.

Trappers are reminded of changes to fisher trapping regulations that began in 2016, including the requirement of a special permit, and expanded opportunities for fisher in select wildlife management units in central and western New York. All fisher and marten trappers must obtain a special, free permit from their regional wildlife office, submit a trapping activity log, and submit the skull or jaw from harvested fishers and martens.

To obtain a free fisher or fisher/marten permit, trappers should contact their regional wildlife office (see table below) or apply by e-mail. Only one fisher or fisher/marten permit is needed to trap these species anywhere in New York where the season is open. Trappers must provide the following information:

  • Name
  • DEC ID # (from license or back tag)
  • Mailing address
  • Phone or e-mail
  • Species (fisher or fisher/marten)
  • If requesting a permit by e-mail, include the county or WMU where you plan to trap fisher and/or marten.

To apply by e-mail: wildlife@dec.ny.gov; type “Fisher/Marten Permit” in the subject line.