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Beaver Hunting and Trapping

Has Youth Season
ND Resident Only

Season Dates

Season Dates
Season Hunting Units Opens Closes Season Dates Status
Regular - Firearms, traps, underwater cable devices, archery equipment Statewide Finalized
Regular - Cable devices on land Statewide Finalized
Regular - Cable devices on land within 50 feet of water Statewide Finalized

License Requirements

General Requirements

Except for residents under 16 years of age, a furbearer license is required to hunt or trap furbearers.

Nonresidents may not take furbearers, except they may hunt fox and coyote if they possess a furbearer and nongame license. Exceptions: Residents of a state that allows North Dakota residents to trap within that state, may purchase a nonresident reciprocal trapping license to trap in this state. Nonresidents having this license may not take bobcats, mountain lions, river otters or fishers.

Hunters and trappers are required to purchase licenses, except any resident, or member of his or her family permanently residing with him or her, may hunt small game, trap or use cable devices during the open season without a license upon land owned or leased by him or her, but otherwise is governed by seasons, limits and all other regulations.

Residents do not need a license to take unprotected species of wildlife (prairie dogs, rabbits, skunks, ground squirrels). Nonresidents hunting only unprotected species of wildlife need only a nongame license.

Residents must possess the following licenses:

  • Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
  • Furbearer License (not required of residents under age 16), or
  • Combination License (includes Small Game, General Game and Habitat, Furbearer, and Fishing licenses)
  • Military - Upon presentation of valid leave papers and a valid North Dakota operator's license, a resident who is on leave and is an active duty as a member of the United States armed forces or the United States merchant marine may hunt small game, fish, or trap during the open season without a license.

Nonresidents must possess the following licenses:

  • Bobcats, Mountain Lions, Fishers, River Otter - May not be taken by nonresidents.
  • Badger, Beaver, Mink, Muskrat, Raccoon, Weasel - May only be taken with traps or cable devices by nonresidents whose home state has a reciprocal trapping agreement with North Dakota.
    • Required licenses:
      • Nonresident Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
      • Nonresident Reciprocal Trapping License
  • Coyote, Fox (Red and Gray)
    • Required licenses:
      • Nonresident Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
      • Nonresident Furbearer and Nongame License (to hunt) or Nonresident Reciprocal Trapping License (to take with traps or cable devices)


Species Specific Regulations

Beaver dams may be dismantled when their presence causes property damage.

Beaver may be hunted statewide using firearms, pre-charged pneumatic air guns and archery equipment during regular hunting hours. Beaver and raccoon may be trapped statewide using traps (foothold, body-gripping and cage traps) and underwater cable devices. Raccoon may be pursued statewide with dogs. Beaver and raccoon may also be taken at any hour of the day, while hunting on foot, with the aid of artificial lights, night vision, thermal vision or infrared light with a power source of not more than 6 volts. The artificial light must produce a red, green or amber color except when taking a raccoon treed or at bay. Legal firearms for flashlight hunting of beaver and raccoon are rifles or handguns firing a rimfire cartridge no larger than .22 caliber, or shotguns no larger than .410 gauge. Rifled slugs are not legal.

Cable devices on land season – Beaver may be captured statewide using legal cable devices.

Cable devices on land within 50 feet of water season– Beaver may be captured statewide using legal cable devices. Cable devices must be placed within 50 feet of water and be no greater than 4 inches off the ground.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department, along with the North Dakota Fur Takers Association, recommends that all traps be visually inspected and all captured animals be removed at no greater than 48-hour intervals, and that rubber gloves be worn for skinning and handling of all furbearers.

Best Management Practices

(Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies)