2006-2007 Virginia Trapping Regulations

General Regulations

Residents under 16 years of age do not need a license to trap when accompanied by any person 18 years of age or older who possesses a valid state or county license to trap. Trappers using box traps for rabbits do not need a license, but permission of the landowner is necessary. County residents 65 years of age and over do not need a license to trap on private property in county of residence. National Forest lands will be open during the regular trapping seasons. Trappers must visit all traps once each day to remove all animals caught therein. Check local ordinances before trapping near highways.

Trapping on Department-owned or controlled lands and waters is allowed under the regulations of the Board unless prohibited by posted rules. The posted rules may require written authorization to trap on some areas or may specify other restrictions. It is lawful to set traps in water from December 1 through the last day of February, both dates inclusive, and at anytime within the incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York, except as otherwise specifically provided by department permit or by local ordinances.

Any person setting or in possession of a steel leghold or body gripping trap or snare shall have it marked by means of a nonferrous metal tag bearing his name and address. This requirement shall not apply to landowners on their own land, nor to a bonafide tenant or lessee within the bounds of land rented or leased by him, nor to anyone transporting any such trap from its place of purchase. The use of body gripping traps with a jaw spread in excess of 71.2 inches is prohibited except when such traps are covered by water.

It is unlawful to set above the ground any body gripping trap with a jaw spread in excess of 5 inches when using any bait, lure or scent. However, baited body gripping traps with a jaw spread between 5 and 6 inches may be used within an enclosure with openings no greater than 60 square inches and the trap trigger recessed at least 12 inches from all openings (see diagram below). Traps must be staked to prevent enclosures from turning over and may only be used on private lands with written permission of the landowner.

No deadfalls or snares, except that on land snares with loops less than 12 inches in diameter with the top of the snare loop not more than 12 inches above the ground may be used on private lands with written permission of the landowner.

It is unlawful to set above the ground any steel leghold trap with teeth set upon the jaws or with a jaw spread exceeding 6 inches. It is unlawful to willfully molest, damage, or remove any trap, or any lawfully caught bird or animal therefrom or in any way disturb traps or snares legally set by another person.

No trapping within 50 feet of a highway in Clarke, Fauquier, and Loudoun counties.

No trapping of furbearing animals within 300 yards of First Landing/Seashore State Park and the Virginia Marine Science Museum in the City of Virginia Beach.

Trapping Seasons

There is a continuous open season to trap beaver, muskrat, opossum and raccoon within the incorporated limits of any city or town in the Commonwealth, and in the counties of Arlington, Chesterfield, Fairfax, Henrico, James City, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Roanoke and York.

Beaver

Bobcat

Bag limit: The season bag limit shall be 12 bobcats in the aggregate, taken by hunting and trapping combined.

No bobcat pelts may be tanned, mounted, sold, traded, or shipped out of state until sealed by an agent of the Department. All bobcat pelts must be sealed by April 1.

Coyote

Fox

Fox trapping is prohibited in Clarke (except on G. Richard Thompson WMA), Fauquier (except on Chester F. Phelps WMA and G. Richard Thompson WMA), Loudoun, and Rappahannock counties.

Mink

Muskrat

Nutria

Opossum

Rabbit

May be taken with box traps from October 15-January 31 provided no traps shall be set on the lands of another without written permission of the landowner.

Raccoon

Skunk

Continuous open season for striped skunk. Continuous closed season for taking spotted skunk and the pelts of spotted skunk may not be sold.

Weasel

Otter

Bag Limit

The season bag limit shall be 2 otters in counties west of the Blue Ridge where otter trapping is permitted. There is no season bag limit in counties east of the Blue Ridge.

Mandatory Check-in Requirements

The entire skinned carcass of all otters trapped in counties west of the Blue Ridge where trapping is permitted must be presented to an agent of the Department within 3 days of capture. For more information on submitting otter carcasses contact your nearest regional office.

Tagging Requirement

No otter pelts may be sold, traded or shipped out of state until sealed by an agent of the Department. All otter pelts must be sealed by April 1.

*information on this page is from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

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