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2019 furbearer trapping/hunting seasons opening soon

The 2019-20 Wisconsin “dryland” furbearer seasons, which include the fisher trapping season and the coyote, fox and bobcat hunting/trapping seasons kick off on Saturday, Oct. 19.

The raccoon hunting/trapping season will also open on Oct. 19 for Wisconsin residents, while non-residents can hunt/trap raccoons beginning on Nov. 2. The mink/ muskrat trapping season opens on Oct. 26, followed by the beaver and otter trapping season opening on Nov. 2.

The Mississippi River Zone has its own season structure. Mink/muskrat opens on Nov. 11, and the beaver season opens the day after duck season closes.

Bobcat, fisher and otter require a special zone-specific permit to harvest. Bobcat permits are time specific as well. All three species must be reported within 24 hours of harvest at or by calling 1-844-426-3734. Harvesters must also register their bobcat, fisher or otter with a conservation warden by the seventh day after the month of harvest.

Trappers need to purchase a trapping license, and hunters will need a small game hunting license to pursue furbearers. You may buy licenses through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources GoWild system or at license agents for DNR Service Centers. New trappers must be Wisconsin trapper education certifi ed to purchase a trapping license, and new hunters must have hunter’s education certification to purchase a hunting license. Mentored licenses are available, see the regulations for more details.

Unique hunting and trapping regulations apply on many federal properties, and special trapping restrictions apply to both federal and state portions of the Horicon Marsh. Please contact the appropriate property manager for more information.

Small game and waterfowl hunters should be aware that trapping will be taking place on many wildlife areas open to hunting. Bird hunters and others with dogs should keep a close watch on their animals and know the methods for safe and easy release of pets from traps. A body-grip traps identification, use and pet removal brochure is available on the DNR website,, where hunters can also find season dates, 2019 trapping regulations and 2019 small game hunting regulations.