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DEC reminds trappers of requirements to help manage fisher, marten

Trapping and hunting seasons for fur-bearing animals have begun in northern New York, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation wants trappers to know about special permit requirements for fisher and marten.

Trappers provide data to DEC’s expert wildlife biologists, which the department says is especially important for fisher and marten management. Therefore, the DEC reminds trappers 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.

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

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.

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

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

To obtain a free fisher or fisher/marten permit, trappers should apply by email to wildlife@dec.ny.gov (put “Fisher/Marten Permit” in the subject line) or contact their regional wildlife office. In Region 5 that is at 232 Golf Course Rd, Warrensburg, NY 12885, 518-623-1240.