Maryland Furbearer Trapping Regulations
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Written permission is required to trap on another person's property, including publicly owned properties.
Traps must be checked once per calendar day except in tidal marshes and bodies of water influenced by daily tidal flow. Traps set in these areas must be checked once every 36 hours.
In tidal areas, landowners and their agents or lessees have exclusive rights to muskrats and other furbearers above the mean low water line.
Legal trapping devices include: box traps, snares, foothold (leghold) traps and body-gripping traps. Legal use of these devices is subject to compliance with the following restrictions and conditions:
Foothold (Leghold) Traps
(a) The use of toothed or serrated jawed traps is prohibited. All traps must possess smooth jaws.
(b) Traps set above the waterline must not exceed a maximum jaw spread of 5 ¾ inches. Traps set below the waterline and completely submerged cannot exceed a maximum jaw spread of 7 ¾ inches.
i. Jaw spread means the distance between the inside of both jaws, when measured across the trap jaws on a line perpendicular to a line drawn through the jaw pivot points when the trap is in the set position.
(c) In Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties, traps cannot be set to capture furbearers unless completely submerged in water subject to the following exceptions:
i. Traps can be set above the waterline on farmland by the owner(s) of the property, members of owner(s) immediate family that reside on the property and the landowner(s) agent, tenant or lessee.
ii. Traps can be set above the waterline in response to wildlife control concerns by authorized agents of the DNR, and according to guidelines established by DNR.
It is illegal to use, sell, possess, set, place or maintain a snare trap in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.
(a) Body-gripping traps with a diameter of greater than 8 inches cannot be set unless partially submerged in water.
(b) Body-gripping traps with a diameter of 8 inches or less can be set in tidal wetlands, flooded non-tidal wetlands, fresh water marshes, wooded swamps, bogs in areas where water covers the surface of the soil, or in areas where the soil is waterlogged to the surface.
Setting or maintaining any foothold (leghold), body-gripping or snare trap within 150 yards of a permanent human residence is prohibited with the following exceptions:
(a) On state, federal or private wetlands.
(b) On lands that qualify for agricultural assessment, timberlands and lands used for reforestation.
(c) In Harford and Howard Counties, landowners and lessees of privately-owned land may set or maintain the above described traps on their property as long as they are not within 150 yards of another person's permanent residence. This regulation does not apply to the use of body-gripping traps with a diameter of less than 6 inches and set completely submerged in water.
With certain exceptions, a person must now obtain or be authorized by a Furbearer Permit to hunt, chase, or trap any furbearer
(muskrat, beaver, raccoon, red and gray fox, opossum, mink, skunk, river
otter, fisher, long-tailed weasel, and coyote), including the unarmed
chasing of fox and raccoons. See Licenses, Stamps & Permits for details.
Effective August 1, 2007 any person who is trapping or attempting to trap furbearers (muskrat, beaver, raccoon, red and gray fox, opossum, mink, skunk, river otter, fisher, long-tailed weasel, and coyote)
under the authority of a Furbearer Permit must first obtain a certificate of
trapper education from the Department (or a designee of the Department),
except that the certificate is not required if the person held a Furbearer
Permit during the 2006-07 trapping season (prior to August 1, 2007).
However, all trappers are encouraged to participate in a trapper education
course. Trapper education courses will be held statewide beginning in 2007.
Any similar certificate issued by another state is acceptable as complying
with the educational requirements if the privileges are reciprocal for
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