General Trapping Regulations

A trapping license is required of anyone 16 years of age or older who traps furbearers (bobcat, mink, muskrat, opossum, otter, raccoon, and weasel), or nuisance animals (beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, and skunks) in the State of Mississippi.

Learn more about license types, fees, and season dates, and where you can purchase a license.

No person shall trap on the lands of another unless he has the permission of the landowner.

License Requirements and Exemptions
  • Except landowners trapping on land deeded in their name are not required to be licensed. This license shall also be required of each assistant or helper 16 years of age or older employed or used by a trapper.
  • Trappers are required to have an identification number, which is issued by and registered with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks (MDWFP), attached to all traps by a metal tag or permanently inscribed, etched, or stamped on the trap.
  • The identification number shall be the MDWFP Customer Number located on
    each trapper's hunting or trapping license. Except persons having been issued a "Trapper ID Number" prior to July 1, 2012, may use either their MDWFP Customer ID Number or their previous Trapper ID Number. Any trap found without a registered identification number will be in violation and subject to removal by a conservation officer.
    • A person exempt from purchasing a trapping license must tag or permanently inscribe any trap with his name, phone number, and address.
  • The conservation officer may take up any traps not properly marked.
  • Every trapper shall visit his traps at least every thirty-six (36) hours.
  • Except as otherwise provided, no person shall place or set a trap on or within one hundred (100) feet of any street or public road. Public roads shall not be construed to mean public waterways.
  • A licensed trapper or resident under sixteen (16) years of age shall be allowed to trap fur-bearing animals during trapping season, and sell or consign the raw fur, green pelts and dried pelts of fur-bearing and nuisance animals during the trapping season and for thirty (30) days after the close of the season. Only a licensed trapper or resident under sixteen (16) years of age may sell or consign the raw fur, green pelts and dried pelts of fur-bearing nuisance animals.
Transporting, Buying, and Selling Fur and Pelts
  • A trapper may not transport the raw fur or green pelts of fur-bearing animals within the state from eleven (11) days after the close of trapping season until the opening day of the following trapping season, unless each raw fur or green pelt is tagged or documented with the name, address, and trapping identification number of the person who harvested the raw fur or green pelt and the date and place of harvest. An official possession tag that has been issued by another state shall be considered legally documented.
  • A licensed trapper may possess and maintain in storage the raw fur, green pelts, and dried pelts of furbearing and nuisance animals at any time.
  • The meat of legally acquired raccoons, opossums, and muskrats may also be bought and sold during trapping season, and for thirty (30) days after the close of the season.
Trapping for Municipalities and Counties, or on Public Lands
  • A municipality or county, or any person who has contracted with a municipality or county for the purpose authorized in this subsection, may place or set only snare traps within one hundred (100) feet of any road or street located within such municipality or county. Before the action authorized by this section is taken, the governing authority of the municipality or the board of supervisors of the county shall make a finding that such placement of snare traps is reasonable and necessary to protect the public safety by removing furbearing and nuisance animals that threaten the safety of public roads and bridges. Snares shall be submerged at least fifty percent (50%).
    • Landowners and their designated agents may place or set snare traps, conibear-type or body-gripping traps, live cage traps, and foothold traps on property owned by the landowner within one hundred (100) feet of any road or street, but not within the maintained public road or street right-of-way.
    • Snare traps, conibear-type, or body-gripping traps shall be submerged in water at least fifty percent (50%), and foothold traps shall be completely submerged in water.
  • No person shall use, on any public lands, a conibear-type or body-gripping trap with an inside jaw spread exceeding seven (7) inches, unless it is partially submerged in water. The designated legal authority of any public lands and its agents shall be exempt from the requirement of this subsection for the purpose of nuisance control.
Using Bait, Lures, and Scents
  • It is illegal to trap with the aid of bait, recordings of bird or animal calls, or electrically amplified imitations of calls of any kind.
  • Liquid scents may be used.
  • Lure or bait is allowed for trapping furbearers, beaver, nutria, coyote, skunk, and fox, provided that no more than two and one-half (2.5) cubic inches of such lure may be placed or located within twenty (20) feet of any trap. (The lure amount of 2.5 cubic inches is approximately the volume equivalent of a regulation-sized golf ball). All lure within twenty (20) feet of any trap must be covered and not visible from above.
    • However, there are no lure restrictions when used inside live-cage type traps that do not exceed forty-two (42) inches in length, fifteen (15) inches in width, and twenty (20) inches in height.
  • It is unlawful to trap any animal, except beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, skunk, and wild hogs, in any period other than the trapping season on furbearing animals.
  • Beaver, coyote, fox, nutria, skunks, and wild hogs are classified as "nuisance animals" and may be taken year-round on private lands, and on open public lands that have statewide seasons without special regulations as allowed according to Title 40 Part 2, Chapter 7, Rule 7.1 (Nuisance Animals Regulations Rule). 

Special Requirements

See Furbearer & Trapping for historical trapper harvest and license data.

Annual Trapper Harvest Survey
  • Each trapper is required to complete and return a Trapper Harvest Survey to the MDWFP annually. The survey will be provided by the MDWFP after the trapping season has concluded and must be satisfactorily completed and returned. Any trapper failing to return a completed harvest survey may be denied a trapping license the following year. Trappers are urged to keep accurate records of their harvests during the season.
Tagging of Otter and Bobcat
  • Federal regulations which require tagging to account for harvest of bobcat and river otter are in effect. The Commission requires the tagging of otter and bobcat to account for harvest of these species, which are subject to federal export regulations (CITES Tags). Bobcat and river otter harvested in Mississippi must be CITES tagged prior to shipping or transporting out of Mississippi.
    • Effective November 2012: It is no longer required to present the carcass or pelt to the MDWFP in order to purchase CITES tags.
    • Effective November 1, 2016: CITES tags will no longer be available via mail-in requests. 
  • CITES tags are only available via over-the-counter purchases. Tags are only sold in lots of five (5) for $1.29 per each lot.
  • Quantities available at each location may be limited; therefore, it is recommended to call in advance.
  • All unused issued CITES tags must be returned to the MDWFP within forty-five (45) days after close of the trapping season for which they were issued.
  • Possession of unused CITES tags between forty-five (45) days after close of trapping season and the day prior to opening trapping season is prohibited.
  • CITES tags are not transferable.
  • CITES tags are sold at the following MDWFP locations:
    • North Region Office - Enid, MS
    • Central Region Office - Canton, MS
    • South Region Office - Magnolia, MS
    • Buccaneer State Park - Waveland, MS
    • Clarkco State Park - Quitman, MS
    • Hugh White State Park - Grenada, MS
    • J.P. Coleman State Park - Iuka, MS
    • John Kyle State Park - Sardis, MS
    • Legion State Park - Louisville, MS
    • Leroy Percy State Park - Hollandale, MS
    • Natchez State Park - Natchez, MS
    • Paul B. Johnson State Park - Hattiesburg, MS

Fur Dealing Regulations

See Furbearer & Trapping for fur sale and auction information, dates, and resources.

General Regulations
  • Any person, whether a resident or a non-resident of this state, who is a fur dealer, or who regularly buys furbearing animals from trappers or hunters, shall be required to obtain a fur dealing license. Licenses may only be purchased at the Jackson Office, any Regional Office, State Lake, or State Park. Such license shall be valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance unless suspended or revoked earlier, and it is renewable upon payment of the fee.
  • Dealers or persons who regularly buy furbearing animals from trappers or hunters are authorized to possess inventories of dried or stretched furs and skins at any time.  However, dealers or other fur buyers are authorized to buy, transport,
    sell, or offer for sale inventories of fur for only ninety (90) days beyond the close of the trapping season set by the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. The Commission may, at its discretion, extend the 90-day period.
  • Persons acquiring fur for the sole purpose of tanning, dressing, manufacturing, or otherwise preparing finished fur products are authorized to buy, sell, possess, and transport inventories of fur and finished fur products at any time for these related purposes.
  • Trappers must have permission to trap on any land other than their own.
Special Requirements
  • All licensed fur dealers must keep permanent records of the number and kind of each raw fur, skin, or pelt sold and the name and address of persons to whom all raw furs, skins, or pelts are sold or consigned.
  • Dealers shall be required to maintain accurate records, and fur houses shall be open to conservation officers upon request for inspection without warrant. These records shall be subject to examination and inspection by an agent of the MDWFP upon request.
  • A completed and returned fur dealer survey may be required from each licensed dealer. The MDWFP will provide a survey form, if required.

More Information

Hunting Rules

Access all rules and regulations associated with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks to ensure compliance and safety.