Trapping Laws & Safety

Trapping is a highly regulated activity, designed to allow the sustainable harvest of furbearers and to help manage furbearing animals using safe and selective equipment and techniques that take into consideration the welfare of the trapped animal.

2014-15 Trapping Regulations and Information

The following trapping regulations are effective August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015.

Restrictions

It is unlawful to:

  • Sell or otherwise transfer ownership of the carcass or pelt of a fox*, bobcat or otter without first tagging it with the appropriate tag available from the Wildlife Resources Commission. The fee is $2.20 for each bobcat or otter tag and $2.25 for fox*. You may purchase these tags by tele phone, 888-248-6834, using a VISA or MasterCard credit card, or you can mail your request along with the fee to: NCWRC, Bobcat/Otter/Fox Tags, 1707 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1707. Include your name, address, date of birth and WRC number. NOTE: All fox*, bobcat and otter fur must be tagged within 10 days of the close of the applicable season. *except Beaufort, Davidson, Hyde, Johnston, Rockingham and Stokes counties and Winston-Salem where local laws do not require fox tagging.
  • Open or damage a beaver lodge without a permit from the Wildlife Resources Commission. Sell, keep or transfer ownership of any live animals, except foxes or coyotes and box-trapped rabbits. Foxes and coyotes may be sold live only to licensed fox preserves and only up to 10 days after the trapping season.
  • Take red and gray fox except where provided by state or local law. For more information about fox trapping seasons, visit the trapping page at ncwildlife.org/Trapping/SeasonsLimits.aspx and click on the "fox" tab.
  • Take wild animals by trapping upon the land of another without having in possession written permission issued and dated within the previous year by the landowner or his agent. This restriction does not apply to public lands on which trapping is not specifically prohibited including tidelands, marshlands, and any other untitled land.
  • Remove or disturb any lawfully set trap or remove any fur bear ing animal from a trap without permission of the trap owner.

Attendance

Every trap must be visited daily and any animal caught therein removed, except for completely submerged Conibear-type traps, which must be visited at least once every 72 hours and any animal caught therein removed.

Tagging Requirements

Bobcat and Otter Tags (CITES tags):

  • Needed to sell or otherwise transfer ownership of bobcat or otter carcasses or pelts.
  • All bobcat and otter carcasses shall be properly tagged within 10 days following the close of the applicable trapping or hunting season.
  • $2.20 per tag
  • Call (888) 248-6834 for information on purchasing bobcat and otter tags.

Fox Tags:

  • Needed in most counties with a fox season to sell or otherwise transfer ownership of a fox carcass or pelt.
  • To find out if your county exempts you from needing fox tags, please see Fox Season Trapping and Hunting Laws (PDF)
  • If required for a county, all fox carcasses or pelts shall be tagged within 10 days following close of the applicable hunting or trapping season.
  • Live foxes are exempt from tagging requirements.
  • $2.25 per tag
  • Call (888) 248-6834 for information on purchasing fox tags.

Legal Trap Types

Fox Laws

Local Laws

Unlawful Harassment

In North Carolina, it is unlawful for a person to interfere intentionally with the lawful taking of wildlife resources or to drive, harass, or intentionally disturb any wildlife resources for the purpose of disrupting the lawful taking of wildlife resources on public or private property. NOTE: This law does not apply to activity by a person on land he owns or leases or to a person who incidentally interferes with the taking of wildlife resources while using the land for other lawful activity such as agriculture, mining, or recreation.

Violation of this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable for a first conviction by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00, by imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or by both and punishable for a second or subsequent conviction by a fine left to the discretion of the court. (North Carolina General Statute 295)

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you experience unlawful harassment, immediately notify your nearest wildlife enforcement officer, county sheriff's office or local police department. Advise the authorities of this law and that you wish to hunt peacefully.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Do not provoke a fight, threaten reprisals or use profanity. Remember these anti-hunting activists are seeking confrontation and may be accompanied by the news media.

2013-14 Trapping Regulations and Information

The following trapping regulations are effective August 1, 2013 to July 31, 2014.

Request a Copy

Request a Regulations Digest copy to be mailed to you.
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  • or call or write to the following address or telephone number:
    North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
    1707 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1707
    (919) 707-0391