Trapping in Ontario

Get the required training and licence to trap animals and sell their fur.

What you need to know

Every trapper harvesting fur must have a trapping licence. Each licence has a unique number identifying where the trapper can trap. This allows for the tracking of harvest information to monitor furbearer populations. Trapping is regulated through seasons and harvest quotas.

Trappers may be licensed as:

  • individual trapper on their own property (Landowner)
  • individual trapper on private lands (Resident)
  • head or helper trapper on a  trapline area (Registered)
  • youth trapper aged 12-15 trapping under the direct supervision of an adult mentor trapper (Youth)

The law

To trap in Ontario, you must:

  • have a licence and complete the required course
  • only trap during open seasons
  • adhere to annual harvest quotas
  • limit trapping on Crown lands to specific assigned areas, called traplines
  • have written permission from the landowner when trapping on private property
  • only use humane certified traps

Trapping in Ontario is governed by regulations in the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and policies administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

Licence qualifications (adult)

Qualifications for an adult trapping licence are:

  • successful completion of the Fur Harvest, Fur Management and Conservation Course
  • resident of Ontario or Canadian citizen
  • hold a valid hunting/fishing Outdoors Card (Class H1)

Licence qualifications (youth)

Licensed youth can participate in most aspects of trapping, including setting traps and preparing and selling the pelts of furbearing mammals. However, licensed youth can only trap under the direct supervision of a licenced mentor trapper who is at least 18 years of age.

To obtain a youth trapping licence, you must:

  • be a resident of Ontario or a Canadian citizen
  • complete the Fur Harvest, Fur Management and Conservation Course
  • provide written parental/guardian consent

Use of firearms

Youth trappers may use a firearm if they hold one of the following:

  • Class A1 Hunter Apprenticeship Safety Card (for firearms)
  • Class H1 (hunting) Outdoors Card

Youth may only use a single firearm, which is shared with the mentor trapper.

Get training and apply for a licence

You must complete the Fur Harvest, Fur Management and Conservation Course emphasizing safety and humane trapping, survival skills, good pelt preparation and sustainable management.

The course is 40 hours long and includes:

  • 32 hours of classroom instruction
  • 8 hours of hands-on pelt preparation and trap-setting

In general, the province has partnered with several organizations to deliver trapper education and issue trapping licenses. You can take the course or get a trapping licence through one of the following organizations:

Some other licence types may also be obtained from an Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry office.

Humane trapping

Licensed trappers use humane techniques to capture furbearing animals. These include: beaver, muskrat, fisher, marten, weasel, raccoon, skunk, opossum, red squirrel, otter, mink, lynx, bobcat, wolf and coyote.

The province works with trappers to protect these wildlife populations and habitat by:

  • helping to manage wildlife populations
  • supporting conservation through licence fees and royalties from the sale of pelts
  • reducing conflicts between humans and wildlife
  • collecting harvest information from trappers that provide critical information on animal populations

The Fur Institute of Canada coordinates trap testing across Canada to ensure the traps meet humane trapping standards recognizing Canada’s commitment under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards. Traps meeting these standards can be certified for use in Ontario. You can learn more about humane trapping standards here.

Updated: June 12, 2015