Rhode Island Furbearer Trapping Laws & Regulations

9.14 Furbearer Trapping Regulations

A. Trapping License Requirement

A current Rhode Island Trapping License is mandatory for trapping furbearers.

B. Furbearer Definition

Furbearers encompass species specified in R.I. Gen. Laws § 20-16-1.

C. Trapping Season

The trapping season for various furbearers is as follows:

1. Gray Fox, Red Fox, Mink, Muskrat, Opossum, Cottontail Rabbit, Squirrels, Raccoon, Skunk, and Weasel

  • Season: November 1 to January 31, inclusive.
  • Traps may not be set before sunrise on the opening day, and all traps must be removed by the last day of the season.

D. Beaver Trapping

Beaver trapping season varies:

  • Private Land: November 1 to March 14, inclusive.
  • State Management Areas: December 1 to the last day of February, inclusive.

Bag Limit

The season bag limit is twenty (20) beavers, and all beaver pelts must be tagged in compliance with permit requirements.

E. Fisher Trapping


Fisher trapping season: December 1 to 24, inclusive.

Bag Limit

The season bag limit is two (2) fishers, and all fisher pelts must be tagged as per permit requirements. Fisher carcasses or parts must be turned in to the Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife.

F. Coyote Trapping

  • No closed season for trapping on private lands.
  • State lands: November 1 to January 31, inclusive.

Daily Bag Limit



Foothold traps and snares are prohibited. Other general trapping regulations apply.

G. Body-Gripping Traps

Body-gripping traps are allowed on land or in water with specific size and placement restrictions. Prohibitions apply to trap sizes exceeding specified limits.

H. State Lands Trapping

1. Permit Requirement

A permit is required for trapping on State Management Areas, in addition to a valid Rhode Island trapping license.

2. Body-Gripping Traps

Body-gripping traps have specific size and placement restrictions on State lands.

I. Trapper Identification

All traps must bear the trapper's valid license number embedded, cut, or attached in a specified manner.

J. Bobcat and River Otter

No open season for bobcat or river otter.

K. Tagging Requirement

Possession of untagged otter, fisher, bobcat, or beaver is prima facie evidence of illegal taking. They must be tagged and presented to relevant authorities within 24 hours of taking.

L. Road-Killed Furbearers

Taking or possessing road-killed furbearers is allowed with a current Rhode Island trapping license and within the open season, or as authorized by a Rhode Island Scientific Collector's Permit.

M. Translocation

Translocating protected furbearers is prohibited without written approval from the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

N. Species-Specific Traps

The use of legal species-specific traps is permitted for trapping furbearers on private and State lands, subject to specific characteristics.

O. Prohibited Trapping Methods

Using deadfalls, pitfalls, fish hooks, treble hooks, or similar instruments to capture or injure furbearers is strictly prohibited.

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