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Fisher Trapping

Has Youth Season
ND Resident Only

Season Dates

Season Dates
Season Hunting Units Opens Closes Season Dates Status
Regular - Traps, cable devices Open Area Only 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

Fisher may only be harvested by North Dakota residents. Fisher may be harvested statewide, except for Bottineau and Rolette counties which are closed. The limit is one fi sher per person. Trappers must contact the local game warden or Department fi eld offi ce to report their harvest within 12 hours and make arrangements to have the fi sher tagged. The pelt must be removed from the carcass prior to presenting the fi sher to Department personnel for tagging. No fi sher pelt will be tagged until the animal is skinned and presented with the entire carcass, including the head. The carcass shall remain the property of the Department. No person, taxidermist or fur dealer shall possess or purchase an untagged fi sher. When any part of the animal is mounted, if the tag is removed from the pelt, the tag must be securely fastened to the back or bottom of mount. Fishers incidentally trapped after the close of the season must be reported to the Department within 12 hours and turned over to the Department.

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)

Report a Fisher Sighting