Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Furbearer Hunting, Trapping Seasons Underway

DEC logoFurbearer trapping and hunting seasons have begun in New York State. Trappers should note special permit requirements for fisher and marten trapping seasons. DEC encourages all trappers to report trapped fishers and martens, and to provide required samples.

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

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

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. Trappers should check the regulations guide or the DEC website for opening dates in their area.

Changes to fisher trapping regulations were made in 2016, including the requirement of a special permit. 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.

More information on Trapping Regulations, Trapping Seasons, Fisher and Marten Trapping Seasons, and Furbearer Hunting can be found on DEC’s website, and in the NYS Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide.

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7 Responses

  1. Ethan says:

    All I’m waiting for is an opportunity to SEE a Fisher – alive!
    And no, I don’t come “from the city”.

    • Boreas says:


      Good luck – I have only seen 3 and all were just glimpses. Word of advice – don’t waste your time fiddling with a camera until you are happy you have gotten a good look with your eyes first. This is usually good advice with any elusive animal.

  2. Dan says:

    I have seen many fisher in the Adirondacks over the years, most while deer or turkey hunting. I have a big one on my property that I saw twice last fall/winter and just saw while turkey hunting one morning in October. As it turns out, he/she was hunting them too! They’re a fascinating creature.

  3. John Warren says:

    I grew up in a more rural place than a lot of the Adirondacks and owned a sporting shop. I have been in the Adirondacks regularly for 50 years and lived here full time for the last 20 – I’ve never seen a live fisher either, and very few other furbearers that are trapped (except when I was a trapper as a kid).

    • Boreas says:


      The only martens I have seen were the tame ones in the HPW accustomed to campers. But another furbearer that keeps a very low profile is the bobcat. I have only seen half a dozen bobcats. The best view I had was one walking along a dirt road a few hundred yards away.

      Anyone interested in wildlife should try a game cam. I have a small brook behind my house that is a regular animal highway. I put out a game camera about 5 years ago and quickly got pix of the usual suspects. It is mounted about 50 feet from my garage along the brook. The first predators were fox, but after a few months a few shots of coyotes. It took several years but last year I “captured” poor images of a fisher. Although some have been spotted nearby, I am still waiting for a bobcat!

  4. Paul says:

    Been lucky enough to see some fishers over the years. They sort of look a little like an inch worm when they are running. It’s like the back feet sort of catch up with the front feet.

    May have seen once where a fisher killed a white tail fawn. The fawn was dead on the ice (partially eaten) and there were lots of fisher tracks and the evidence of a huge struggle in the snow. But maybe it was killed by something else and the fisher was just feeding on the carcass.

  5. geogymn says:

    I also have been lucky to have several close encounters with Fishers both in the park and points south.

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