For The Madison Press
December 3, 2013
COLUMBUS — Ohio is among the nation’s leading producers of raw furs, and hunters and trappers encountered good populations when selected seasons began on Sunday, Nov. 10, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“Ohio offers many opportunities to pursue furbearers through hunting and trapping,” said ODNR Division of Wildlife Biologist Suzie Prange. “Ohio furbearer populations have remained steady and are expected to be similar to those of the past few years.”
Last year, 22,520 fur taker permits were sold in Ohio. The state currently has 69 licensed fur dealers.
Fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk and weasel hunting and trapping seasons are open through Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Mink and muskrat trapping seasons are open through Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.
Erie, Ottawa and Sandusky counties as well as Lucas County east of the Maumee River will remain open for raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, mink and muskrat trapping seasons through Saturday, March 15, 2014.
Coyote hunting and trapping has no closed season with an unrestricted bag limit. Special hunting regulations for coyotes apply during the statewide deer-gun season, Dec. 2-8, and deer-muzzleloader season, Jan. 4-7, 2014.
Beaver and river otter trapping seasons are open Thursday, Dec. 26, through Feb. 28, 2014, and beaver trapping is open statewide. River otter trapping is open in 43 counties.
River otters were reintroduced into Ohio from 1986-1993 and have increased their range in the state. River otters were removed from Ohio’s Endangered Species List in 2002. Full details of open counties as well as checking and permit requirements can be found in the Ohio River Otter Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.com.
There will be no daily bag limits or restrictions on hours for hunting and trapping furbearers, with the exception of river otters. River otter bag limits are dependent on the county where it was trapped.
A fur taker permit is required in addition to a valid Ohio hunting license to hunt or trap furbearing animals, except for coyotes, which may be hunted or trapped year-round without a fur taker permit. A special ODNR Division of Wildlife permit is required to trap beaver and river otter on state public hunting areas.
River otters that are accidentally captured, either in excess of bag limits or in closed counties, must be released unharmed. River otters that cannot be released must be turned over to the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Beaver trappers in particular are advised to watch for river otter sign and modify set placements where necessary. The Ohio State Trappers Association and the ODNR Division of Wildlife published a guide on how to recognize river otter sign and use avoidance techniques while trapping for beaver in areas closed to river otter trapping. A copy of the publication can be ordered by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).