Mckinney’s Consolidated Laws of New York Annotated. Environmental Conservation Law. Chapter 43-B. Of the Consolidated Laws. Article 11. Fish and Wildlife. Title 11. Trapping.
Primary Citation: McKinney’s E. C. L. § 11-1101 to 11-1109
Alternate Citation: NY ENVIR CONSER § 11-1101 to 11-1109
Summary: This set of New York laws sets forth the state’s trapping laws. Among the laws includes a ban on traps of the leg-gripping type having teeth in the jaws; traps that operate such that wildlife is suspended when caught; and noose-type snares. No person shall set or use a body gripping type trap with a dimension of more than 7 1/2 inches except as provided by state rules for for trapping beaver or otter during the open season. Traps must bear the name and residence address or the assigned identification number of the operator at all times. Traps must be visited once every 24 hours except in the Northern Zone where it’s once every 48 hours.
1. Except as provided in title 5 or in sections 11-1901 or 11-1903, no wild bird shall be trapped, netted or snared, or if so taken, possessed.
2. Traps shall not be set for the taking of any protected wildlife except (a) in an open season as provided in section 11-1103 for taking the species for which the trap is set; or (b) in accordance with a license or permit issued by the department pursuant to title 5; or (c) as provided in title 5 or title 19 with respect to rabies control and predatory, destructive or menacing wildlife; or (d) on a registered muskrat marsh as provided in section 11-1109. Protected wildlife taken or captured in a trap shall not be killed or possessed while captive unless it is a species of wildlife for which the trap was or might lawfully have been set at the time of capture.
3. In waters of the Southern Zone, as so defined, from December 5 through January 31, no person shall set, place or maintain a trap of any kind except (a) spring hold trap sets for the purpose of taking fox, or (b) water sets during any open season established for the taking of muskrat, otter and beaver, or (c) traps set on a registered muskrat marsh pursuant to permit, issued as provided in section 11-1109.
4. On the opening day of an open season for trapping, no person shall stake, set or place any trap or deadfall for the purpose of taking the species of game for which such open season is established or fixed, in the area for which such open season is established or fixed, before 7:00 A.M.
5. Except as provided in subdivision 1 or 2 of section 11-0523 with respect to destructive and menacing wildlife, no person shall (a) set or use a trap of the leg-gripping type having teeth in the jaws; (b) set a trap so that wildlife when caught is suspended; (c) use, locate or set a snare or a device consisting of a noose of any material whereby an animal may be taken.
6. a. No person shall set or use a trap of the leg-gripping type (a) having a spread of jaws exceeding 7 1/4 ″ measured at right angles to the axis upon which the jaws operate and excluding the gripping surface of each jaw, when used under water during the open season for trapping beaver or otter, or (b) in any other case, except as provided in title 5 or in section 11-1109, having a spread of jaws exceeding 5- 3/4 ″ as so measured.
b. No person shall set or use a body gripping type trap with a dimension of more than 7 1/2 inches except:
(a) when used in water during the open season for trapping beaver and otter; or
(b) as further permitted by the department by regulation.
The dimension of the body gripping trap shall be ascertained when the trap is set in the extreme cocked position and shall be the maximum distance between pairs of contacting body gripping surfaces except for rectangular devices which shall be the maximum perpendicular distance between pairs of contacting body gripping surfaces.
c. Traps of the leg-gripping type having a spread of jaws exceeding 4” measured as described in paragraph a of this subdivision, when set on land (excluding traps originally set in water)(a) shall be covered at the time the trap is set or visited; if the trap becomes uncovered after it is set the covering shall be replaced at the time the trap is visited; coverings shall include but not be limited to soil, sand, leaves, needles, other plant materials, and other substances as permitted by department regulation; such substances shall completely cover the jaws of the trap, and (b) shall be equipped with a pan tensioning device which shall include but not be limited to a bolt and nut, notches grooved in the pan and dog or lever, sheer pins, a spring under the pan or strip of band steel, or other devices or modifications as permitted by regulation of the department.
7. Except as provided in section 11-1109, (a) no person shall take muskrat by the use of a box, wire or cage trap, except that they may be taken in such a trap of a construction incapable of taking any species of wildlife until wildlife previously taken therein has been released; (b) except as otherwise permitted by department regulation, no person shall set, stake or use a trap within a distance of five feet from a muskrat den or house or any structure constructed by a muskrat in which it can take shelter; (c) smoke, chemicals, gas or poison shall not be used on or near any trap used to take beaver, otter, fisher, bobcat, coyote, fox, mink, raccoon, muskrat or skunk.
8. Except as permitted by the department, no person shall set, stake or use a trap within a distance of fifteen feet from a beaver dam, den or house.
9. No person shall take, possess or remove from any legally set trap any lawfully trapped wildlife or shall wilfully disturb, destroy, take or possess, any legally set trap, without the permission of the owner of such trap.
10. Traps shall not be set or placed on a public highway.
11. Beaver, fisher and otter shall be taken only as permitted by the department.
12. No person shall trap wildlife within one hundred feet of a dwelling, school building, school playground or church without the written consent of the owner or lessee of the property where the trap is set.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1975, c. 47, § 1; L.1976, c. 15, §§ 11, 12; L.1976, c. 271, § 1; L.1976, c. 407, §§ 9 to 11; L.1979, c. 426, § 1; L.1981, c. 8, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, §§ 70, 71; L.1991, c. 586, § 1; L.1991, c. 605, §§ 1, 2.)
1. The department may by regulation permit trapping of beaver, fisher, otter, bobcat, coyote, fox, raccoon, opossum, weasel, skunk, muskrat, pine marten and mink, or any of them, in specified areas, and may regulate the taking, possession and disposition of such animals. The periods in which trapping of such animals is so permitted are open seasons for the trapping of the species for which the period is fixed, in the area or areas for which it is so fixed.
2. When an investigation made by the department in the month of March of any year reveals that during the current open season for muskrats in any county or part thereof in the Southern Zone, reasonable opportunities were not afforded to trappers to harvest the muskrat crop of such season because of abnormal trapping conditions, the department shall have power to extend by regulation the open season in such county or part thereof for a period not to exceed twenty days.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1975, c. 288, § 10; L.1976, c. 15, § 13; L.1976, c. 407, § 12; L.1977, c. 115, §§ 2, 3; L.1977, c. 400, § 1; L.1979, c. 343, §§ 1, 2; L.1981, c. 114, § 5; L.1983, c. 702, § 2; L.1990, c. 911, § 72.)
1. Traps set for taking wildlife shall bear the name and residence address or the assigned identification number of the operator legibly at all times, provided, that state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies shall have access to the name, address and telephone number of such operator who was assigned such identification number. They shall be visited once in each twenty-four hours, except in the Northern Zone where they shall be visited once in each forty-eight hours or a shorter interval of no less than twenty-four hours as the department may, by regulation, require, and all wildlife held captive shall immediately be removed from the traps.
2. Wildlife lawfully taken alive in traps may be killed in any manner, except that where the taking is pursuant to a permit or special license, it may not be killed in violation of any term of such permit or license.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2. Amended L.1980, c. 198, § 1; L.1990, c. 911, § 73; L.2010, c. 279, § 1, eff. July 30, 2010.)
Wildlife taken by trapping may be possessed, transported, bought and sold as provided in section 11-0917, and shall not be possessed, transported, bought or sold except as so provided.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)
1. Applicability. A registered muskrat marsh is an enclosed marsh which was registered with the department prior to September 1 of the year previous to the year in which a privilege granted or a rule provided by this section is invoked or applied.
2. Registration. Application for registration of a muskrat marsh shall be made upon forms supplied for such purpose by the department. If the department is satisfied that the marsh covered by the application is being managed in accordance with sound management practices, it shall issue a certificate of registration which shall entitle registrant to apply for the permission provided for in this section. The department shall be entitled to receive ten dollars as a registration fee.
3. Control of muskrats on registered marshes. The owner or lessee of a registered marsh may apply to the department for permission to trap within specified dates during the closed season in order to allow the removal of surplus muskrats, not required for breeding stock.
4. Investigation; permit. The department shall cause an investigation to be made of the allegations of all trapping applications filed with it by registered applicants, and may, in its discretion, issue a permit to such applicant, allowing him, and persons whom he may designate in writing, to trap muskrats within specified dates during the closed season, except that no such permit shall be issued for the trapping of muskrats during the period from May 1 through October 31. The name and address of every person designated in writing to trap shall, prior to the time designee begins to trap, be forwarded by the registrant to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, New York, by registered mail.
5. Regulations. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Law to the contrary, the department may make regulations governing the manner of trapping muskrats on registered marshes; provided, however, that no such regulations shall be made which are more restrictive than provisions of this chapter expressly regulating the manner of taking muskrats.
6. Reports. Registrants shall, not later than May 1 of each year, furnish the department with a report covering the number of muskrats trapped.
7. License. No person other than the owner or lessee thereof shall engage in trapping on a registered marsh unless he holds a trapping license.
(L.1972, c. 664, § 2.)