Vermont’s regulated land and water trapping seasons open on October 28, 2023, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
Traps can be set on land for species such as fox, coyote and raccoon through December 2023, and in the water or under ice for species such as beaver, muskrat and otter through March 2024. These species have healthy populations in Vermont that can sustain regulated trapping for fur and food each year.
“If you plan to enjoy Vermont’s outdoors this fall and winter it is important to know when trapping season is open and to be aware that trappers may be using the same public lands or, with landowner permission, private lands,” said Wildlife Biologist and Furbearer Project Leader Brehan Furfey. “Vermont has had regulated trapping seasons for decades and Vermont hikers, hunters, skiers, trappers and others have a good track record of sharing the same landscape safely and respectfully.”
The season for many species occurs between the end of October and the end of December. For otter, muskrat and beaver the season lasts until the end of March. People are encouraged to check the department’s website for specific dates.
It is extremely rare for pets to be caught by law abiding trappers during Vermont’s regulated seasons. The department’s website has information on how to free pets from traps in the unlikely event they are caught. Anyone whose pet is caught in a trap should report the incident to a game warden after freeing their pet.
It is illegal to interfere with lawfully set traps in Vermont. Anyone who finds a trap that appears to be in violation of Vermont’s trapping regulations should contact a game warden.
Vermont’s trapping regulations are currently under review by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board. The department will announce any changes as they are implemented.