DEC will issue trapping permits for refuge, wildlife management area

Posted 1 October 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

BASOM – Beginning today, trapping permits will be issued for the Oak Orchard, Tonawanda and John White Wildlife Management Areas for the 2014-2015 license year.

Permit applications can be obtained weekdays from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, by appearing in person at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Office on Casey Road between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., or by writing to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife, 1101 Casey Road, Box B, Basom, New York 14013.

Trappers who obtain a permit will be required to report their harvest and trapping efforts on each area. The Western New York trapping season for fox, raccoon, coyote and other upland furbearing animals opens Oct. 25 and closes Feb. 15, with the exception of the John White WMA. On John White WMA the upland trapping season will run from Nov. 1 to Feb. 15.

This year beaver season in this area of NY (including on Tonawanda, Oak Orchard and John White WMAs) will run from Nov. 25 until Feb. 15.

The Western New York trapping season for mink and muskrat opens on Nov. 25 and closes on Feb. 15.

However, the 2014-2015 muskrat and mink seasons at the three WMAs start later than the Western NY trapping season and will run from Dec. 6 to Feb. 15. In addition, a 25-trap limit will be in place for muskrat and mink on the three WMAs (traps set for upland trapping and beaver will not require numbered tags and will not be considered in the trap limit). The trap limit provides a more equitable distribution of the harvest and prevents trappers from monopolizing the better trapping areas.

The maximum number of traps a trapper can set for muskrat and mink on the three areas is 25. To accomplish this, the DEC issues 25 numbered tags to each trapper who obtains a permit. A tag must be attached to each trap the trapper is using on the areas. Any trap that does not have one of these tags attached is considered an illegal trap. Also, an individual trapper can only operate traps that contain tags with their assigned numbers.

Management of the muskrat population promotes prime emergent marsh habitats used by waterfowl and uncommon marsh birds such as the black tern and least bittern. The trap limit allows Bureau of Wildlife personnel to better regulate the muskrat harvest according to water availability, habitat needs and population.

Hunters and trappers are reminded that no gas or electric motor boats are allowed on Oak Orchard or Tonawanda WMAs.