Furbearer Hunting/Trapping Season Opens November 10th

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Populations of fur-bearing animals in Ohio have remained stable and should provide excellent hunting and trapping opportunities this fall, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Hunting and trapping seasons for fox, raccoon, opossum, skunk, and weasel open Sunday, November 10, and close January 31, 2003.

The trapping season for mink and muskrat is open November 10 through February 28, 2003. Raccoons, mink and muskrat trapping seasons will remain open through March 15, 2003 in Erie, Ottawa, and Sandusky counties, and in Lucas County east of the Maumee River.

Ohio's beaver trapping season opens December 26 across the state except in the northeast zone (north of I-76 and east of I-77), when the season opens January 11, 2003. Beaver season closes February 28, 2003.

There are no closed hunting and trapping seasons for coyotes in Ohio. There are no daily bag limits or restrictions on hours when fur-bearers may be hunted or trapped. Special hunting regulations apply during the one-week statewide deer gun season that begins December 2.

A fur-taker permit is required in addition to a valid hunting license to hunt or trap fur-bearing animals, except for coyotes.

Last year, river otters were taken off the state endangered species list. River otters were reintroduced in four Ohio watersheds in 1986 and are now known to occupy 52 watersheds in 51 counties. River otters may not be hunted or trapped in Ohio and any otters that are accidentally captured in a trap must be released unharmed. Otters that are injured or killed in traps set for other fur-bearers must be turned over to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.

Beaver trappers in particular, are advised to watch for otter sign and modify their set placements in areas where otters are known to occur. The Ohio State Trappers Association and the ODNR Division of Wildlife have published a guide on how to recognize otter sign and use various otter avoidance techniques in placing trap sets. A copy of this publication and reports about observing otters in Ohio can be ordered by calling 1-800-WILDLIFE.

Ohio is among the nation's leading producers of raw furs. Last year, there were 92 fur dealers and 19,754 licensed fur takers in the state. Ohio's dealers saw an increase in pelts such as muskrat, red fox, raccoon, gray fox, opossum, mink, beaver, and skunk and a decrease in coyote pelts.

Additional hunting information is contained in the 2002-2003 Hunting and Trapping Regulations brochure, available where hunting licenses are sold, on the Internet at ohiodnr.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-WILDLIFE.