Trapping Law and Legal Definition

Trapping means securing or attempting to secure possession of a wild bird or animal by means of setting, placing, drawing, or using any device that is designed to close upon, hold fast, confine, or otherwise capture a wild bird or animal whether or not the means results in capture. Trapping typically includes every act of assistance to any other person in capturing wild birds or wild animals by means of the device whether or not the means results in capture.

Trapping is governed by state and local laws, which vary by juridiction. For example, some areas may allow trapping of trespassing animals. The following is an example of a state law governing trapping:

45.11-4. Methods of Taking. No person shall:

  1. Trap with any leghold trap larger than a number 4 and/or any trap containing a tooth style jaw for dry sets.
  2. Trap with any leghold trap larger than a number 5 and/or any trap containing tooth style jaw for wet sets.
  3. Trap within 25 feet of any exposed bait.
  4. Trap with aid of poison, stupefying substances or explosives.
  5. Set any trap or snare unless a metal tag is attached, stamped or engraved legibly with the name and address of the owner.
  6. Hunt with a bow with a pull strength of less than 35 pounds.
  7. Hunt with arrows less than 24 inches in length.
  8. Take or attempt to take mink or muskrat by means other than trapping or snaring.
  9. Hunt with the aid of an artificial light except that a flashlight may be used while hunting coyotes, raccoons, foxes or unprotected species while hunting on foot.
  10. Use any traps to take any wildlife not specified as furbearers.
  11. Destroy any den, lodge or hut.
  12. Possess any trap for the purpose of catching furbearers other than a steel-jawed trap, live trap or snare.
  13. Disturb or take the traps or snares or trapped animals of someone else.
  14. Operate more than 75 traps or snares in any combination.

45.11-5. Set and Placement Restrictions. No person trapping furbearers shall:

  1. Operate trap sets which permit the trapped animal to reach water, except during the muskrat, beaver and raccoon trapping seasons.
  2. Set any trap on any perch more than three feet above the ground.
  3. Set, place or operate any killer trap of the conibear type greater than “7 x 7"or any snare regardless of the size of the noose within 100 yards of any building devoted to human occupancy without the owner’s consent.

45.11-6. Trapping Hours. No person shall fail to check all dry land sets and remove animals therein at least once every 24 hours. Water sets shall be checked within four days of last trap tending.