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Trapping Furbearers

coyoteSouth Dakota is home to many species of furbearing animals. Large numbers of coyote, raccoon, beaver and muskrat occur in South Dakota as well as good numbers of bobcats, mink and red fox. Trapping furbearers not only serves as a recreational pastime and valuable tool for wildlife management, but also allows sportsmen/women another opportunity to experience the outdoors. Furbearers are a valuable, renewable natural resource with most species occuring across South Dakota.

Resident Furbearer License

Nonresident Furbearer Application

Furbearer Survey Report

South Dakota Furbearer Season Dates

Species (1)
Dates (2)
Open Areas
Mink, Weasel
 
Nov. 2 - Jan. 31
Statewide
Muskrat
West River
Year-round
West River except Black Hills area described below
Black Hills
Nov. 2 - Apr. 30
Black Hills Fire Protection District south of I-90 and west of SD Hwy 79
East River
Nov. 2 - Apr. 30
East River (3)
Shooting
Apr. 1 - Aug. 31
Statewide (3)
 
West River (4)
Year-round
West River except Black Hills area described below
Beaver
Black Hills
Jan. 1 - Mar. 31
U.S. Forest Service land within the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of I-90 and west of SD Hwy 79
 
East River
Nov. 2 - Apr. 30
East River
Bobcat (5)
West River
Dec. 26 - Feb. 15
West River
 
East River
Dec. 26 - Jan. 19
Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix, Bon Homme and Yankton counties
Fox, Badger, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, Jackrabbit, Coyote
Year-round
Statewide

(1) - Nonresidents make take only raccoon, beaver and muskrat from Dec. 1 - March 15, and bobcats from Jan. 11-Feb. 15. Mink and weasel may be trapped from Dec. 1-Jan. 31. Nonresidents may not use dogs to aid in taking raccoon.
(2) - Seasons begin at sunrise of opening day and end at sunset of closing day.
(3) -Muskrat Restrictions:

(4) - Body grip traps may be used as water sets, with all of the bottom surface of these traps below the water's edge, for beaver year-round West River, except in the Black hills Fire Protection District.
(5) - Bobcat restrictions:

License Requirements for Trapping Furbearers

Species
Resident
Nonresident
Coyote, Red/Gray Fox, Skunk

Furbearer License.
No license required for youth under age 16

Nonresident Furbearer License
Raccoon, Badger
Furbearer License.
No license required for youth under age 16
Nonresident Furbearer License
Bobcat, Opossum, Mink, Weasel, Beaver, Muskrat

Furbearer license.
No license required for youth under age 16

Nonresident Furbearer License
Jackrabbit
One of the following:
Predator/Varmint license, or
any resident hunting license, or
furbearer license.
No license required for youth under age 16
Nonresident Furbearer License

Wildlife Damage Management

GFP employs 24 Wildlife Damage Specialists (WDS) within its Wildlife Damage Management Program. Some of the WDS's time is spent conducting educational programs on sport trapping as a form of recreation and its importance in the management of furbearers. Programs can be given in classrooms, meeting halls, summer camps, or any other group meeting place. Please contact your local WDS or call your local GFP office for assistance.

Avoid trapping River Otter