Comprehensive Guide to Small Game and Furbearer Hunting Regulations

Detailed Overview of Small Game Hunting

Possession Limits and Regulations

Small game hunting, an integral part of wildlife management and outdoor recreation, includes species such as squirrels and rabbits. Key regulations include:

  • Daily Bag Limit Multiples: Hunters are permitted to possess up to three times the daily bag limit. This rule ensures a sustainable approach to hunting while allowing ample opportunity for hunters.

  • Legal Trade of Animal Parts: Specific animal parts like tails, skins, and skulls of squirrels, as well as rabbit carcasses, can be legally traded. This trade is permissible only if these parts are severed from the rest of the carcass and during the open season for rabbits and hares.

Licensing and Permit Requirements for Small Game Hunting

Essential Licenses for Hunters

A valid hunting license is a prerequisite for small game hunting. This section elaborates on:

  • License Acquisition: Detailed information on how to obtain a small game hunting license, including the necessary forms and fees.

  • Exemptions and Special Cases: Special conditions and exemptions apply to certain groups, such as landowners and qualified individuals, under specific circumstances. These exemptions are comprehensively explained on page 9 of the hunting regulations guide.

Regulations for Hunting Unprotected Species

Hunting Unprotected Wildlife

In addition to general hunting regulations, there are specific rules for hunting species not protected under standard laws:

  • Open Season and Absence of Limits: Unprotected species can be hunted throughout the year without any possession limits, allowing for more flexible management of these populations.

  • Legalities of Selling Harvested Species: Hunters are allowed to sell carcasses, skins, or feathers of legally harvested unprotected species, providing an economic aspect to hunting.

  • Licensing for Hunting or Trapping: While a small game or trapping license is generally required, exceptions exist for landowners managing nuisance or damaging species. These exceptions are outlined in detail on page 9.

Small Game Mammal Hunting Season Dates and Bag Limits

Specifics of Hunting Seasons for Small Game Mammals

The guide provides a detailed breakdown of season dates and bag limits for various small game mammals:

  • Species-Specific Regulations: Each species, such as squirrels, hares, and rabbits, has its own set season dates and bag limits. This ensures responsible hunting practices and sustainable population management.

In-Depth on Furbearer Hunting

Detailed Furbearer Hunting Seasons and Regulations

Furbearer hunting is subject to additional rules and season dates:

  • Unlimited Possession for Certain Species: Hunters can possess an unlimited number of certain furbearers, with the exception of bobcats, which require a valid permit.

  • Licenses and Permits for Furbearer Hunting: Details on the necessary licenses and permits, including the bobcat harvest permit, are provided, guiding hunters through the legal requirements for hunting furbearers.

Bobcat Hunting: Regulations and Procedures

Comprehensive Guidelines for Bobcat Hunting

Bobcat hunting is regulated under stringent guidelines to ensure ethical and sustainable hunting practices:

  • Immediate Tagging and Reporting Requirements: Specific procedures for tagging a harvested bobcat, reporting to the DNR, and ensuring proper certification are outlined. This includes the method of tagging and the timeline for reporting and certification.

  • Procedures for Harvest Handling and Submission: Detailed instructions on how to handle the bobcat carcass post-harvest, especially for those intending to have it mounted. The requirements for carcass surrender and certification seal attachment are explained.

  • Legal Restrictions and Prohibitions: Clarification on the legalities surrounding the transfer or sale of bobcat pelts, the prohibition of night hunting, and the importance of following these regulations to maintain legal compliance.

Additional Resources and Information

Trapping Regulations and More

For a comprehensive understanding of trapping regulations and other specific hunting guidelines, the guide directs readers to the 2023 trapping regulations available on the DNR website. This section is invaluable for trappers seeking detailed information on rules, season dates, and other relevant guidelines. It serves as an essential resource for both beginners and experienced trappers in navigating the legal and practical aspects of trapping and hunting.

Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.