Is becoming a trapper right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do trappers do?
Career Satisfaction
Are trappers happy with their careers?
What are trappers like?

Still unsure if becoming a trapper is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a trapper or another similar career!

Described by our users as being “shockingly accurate”, you might discover careers you haven’t thought of before.

How to become a Trapper

Becoming a trapper involves a combination of learning essential trapping skills, understanding wildlife behavior, and complying with local regulations. Here are the steps to become a trapper:

  • Research State Trapping Regulations: Start by familiarizing yourself with the trapping laws and regulations in the state where you plan to trap. Each state has specific rules regarding trapping seasons, species, methods, and licensing requirements. Some states also have specific education or training requirements for trappers.
  • Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits: Obtain any required licenses or permits to legally trap in your state. This may include a trapping license, fur harvester license, or other specific permits for targeting certain species. Check with your state's wildlife agency or Department of Natural Resources for the necessary paperwork and fees.
  • Take Trapper Education Courses (if required): Some states may require prospective trappers to complete trapper education courses. These courses cover essential trapping techniques, humane trapping practices, wildlife conservation, and regulations. Even if not required, taking a trapper education course is beneficial for learning best practices and understanding ethical trapping methods.
  • Acquire Trapping Skills: Develop trapping skills by learning from experienced trappers or attending workshops and seminars. Trapping techniques vary depending on the targeted species, so gaining practical knowledge is crucial.
  • Select Appropriate Trapping Equipment: Invest in high-quality and humane trapping equipment suitable for the animals you plan to target. Traps, snares, and other tools should comply with local regulations and be designed to minimize harm to the animals.
  • Study Wildlife Behavior: Understanding the behavior, habitats, and movements of the animals you intend to trap is essential for successful and responsible trapping. Knowledge of animal tracks, signs, and habits will help you identify suitable trapping locations.
  • Practice Ethical Trapping: Trappers must prioritize ethical trapping practices and respect wildlife. Avoid targeting protected or endangered species and follow guidelines for humane trapping and dispatching methods.
  • Join Trapping Associations: Consider joining local or national trapping associations and networks to connect with experienced trappers, access valuable resources, and stay updated on the latest trapping techniques and regulations.
  • Obtain Landowner Permission: If trapping on private property, seek permission from landowners to trap on their land. Respect private property boundaries and follow any additional requirements set by landowners.
  • Record Keeping: Keep accurate records of your trapping activities, including trap locations, catches, and other relevant data. Some states require trappers to submit harvest reports as part of their licensing requirements.

Licences, Permits, and Certifications
In the United States, trappers are often required to obtain various licenses, permits, and certifications to legally engage in trapping activities. The specific requirements can vary depending on the state and the type of trapping being conducted. Here are some common licenses, permits, and certifications for trappers:

  • Trapping License: Most states require trappers to obtain a trapping license to legally trap animals. This license is specific to trapping activities and may have different levels or endorsements based on the species or methods used.
  • Fur Harvester License: In states where fur trapping is prevalent, trappers may need a separate fur harvester license to legally harvest fur-bearing animals, such as beavers, muskrats, foxes, and raccoons.
  • Species-Specific Permits: Some states require trappers to obtain species-specific permits for trapping certain animals, especially for species with conservation concerns or those considered as nuisance wildlife.
  • Trapper Education Certificate: Several states have mandatory trapper education courses, and obtaining a trapper education certificate is required to apply for a trapping license. These courses cover trapping techniques, ethics, regulations, and safety.
  • Trapper Identification Number (TIN): Some states assign a unique Trapper Identification Number to individuals who are licensed trappers. This number is used for record-keeping and reporting trapping activities.
  • National Trapper Certification: The National Trapper Certification program, offered by the National Trappers Association (NTA), provides certification for trappers who pass the NTA's examination. While not a legal requirement, it demonstrates expertise and adherence to trapping ethics.
  • Federal Permits: Trappers involved in certain activities, such as trapping migratory birds or endangered species, may need federal permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • State-Specific Requirements: Some states may have additional permits or certifications for specific trapping methods or for trapping on public lands.