Furbearer Hunting and Trapping Regulations

This page is dedicated to furbearer hunting and trapping but you may download the

Entire 2013-14 Hunting and Trapping Guide here


Below are the regulations for furbearer hunting and trapping.  View trapper lookup, contacts, trapping events and more here.


Changes from last season are printed in blue throughout this guide to assist you in noticing those changes.

A change in the coyote hunting regulations was still pending legislative approval when the 2013-14 Fall Hunting and Trapping Guide went to press.

Coyotes may be hunted 24 hours a day year round.

Lights and night-vision equipment may be used to hunt coyotes after daylight hours from February 1 - May 31.

Lights and night-vision equipment shall not be cast from or connected to a motorized vehicle.

Shotgun is the only legal weapon that may be used to hunt coyotes after daylight hours.

A person shall not use a shotgun shell containing a single projectile when hunting coyotes at night.

Air guns, with a minimum of .22 caliber, may be used to take furbearers.


Searchable Season Dates


Raccoon and Opossum:

No limit



No limit



5; no more than 3 of which shall be taken with a gun


River Otter: 

10; only 6 of which can be taken from Otter Zone 2


Muskrat, Mink, Beaver, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Weasel and Striped Skunk: 

No limit





The River Otter Zone 1 counties are: Anderson, Ballard, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Bracken, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Christian, Crittenden, Daviess, Fayette, Fleming, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Graves, Grayson, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Hopkins, Jefferson, Kenton, LaRue, Livingston, Lyon, Marshall, Mason, McCracken, McLean, Meade, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson, Rowan, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trigg, Trimble, Union, Webster and Woodford.

The River Otter Zone 2 counties are the remaining 62 counties not listed in Zone 1.



(see Special Hunting Restrictions section below for exceptions)

  • Centerfire or rimfire gun
  • Shotgun no larger than 10-gauge and plugged to hold a maximum of 3 shells (two in magazine and one in chamber). There is no limit on shot size. Shot shells with a single projectile may only be used during daylight hours.
  • Bow and arrow or crossbow
  • Air guns with pellets that are at least .22 caliber in size
  • Hand or mouth operated calls, electronic calls, or attracting devices.


(Daylight hours are defined as one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset)

During modern gun deer season, raccoon and opossum hunters may not hunt during daylight hours. Night hunting on Friday before opening day of Modern Gun Season for deer (the second Saturday in November) shall conclude by a half-hour before sunrise.

A hunter shall not use a light from a boat to take raccoon or opossum.


Trappers may use lights from boats or vehicles to check traps.

Traps may not be set in trails/paths commonly used by humans or domestic animals.

There are no restrictions on traps used as water sets.

The following equipment is permitted for dry-land sets, but traps may not be set closer than ten (10) feet apart :

  • Deadfall
  • Wire cage or box trap.
  • Foothold traps with a maximum inside jaw spread of six (6) inches measured perpendicular to the hinges.
  • Body-gripping traps with a maximum inside jaw spread of seven and one-half (7.5) inches measured parallel with the trigger. 
  • Snares; a wire, cable, or string with a knot, loop, or single piece closing device which is not power or spring assisted.

A person shall not use the following while chasing raccoon or opossum from noon on March 1 through September 30:

  • A firearm
  • Slingshot
  • Tree climber 
  • Any device to kill, injure, or force a raccoon or opossum from a tree or den


  • All traps must bear a metal tag giving either: the name and address of the trapper, or a unique identification number issued by the department AND the 1-800-25ALERT phone number.
  • Any trap found without a tag can be immediately confiscated by the department without a court order.
  • All traps must be visited at least once every twenty-four (24) hours and all animals removed.
  • Trappers must harvest furbearers, squirrels and rabbits upon capture, unless they possess a captive wildlife permit from Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
  • Spotted skunks are protected year round and may not be taken or possessed. Report incidental trappings to KDFWR.
  • It is illegal to intentionally obstruct or disrupt the right of a person to lawfully take wildlife by trapping.



Sample Trap Tags

Harvested bobcats and otters must be telechecked by calling 1-800-245-4263 by midnight on the day the animal is recovered. A hunter or trapper who wants to have a bobcat or otter mounted shall provide his or her telecheck confirmation number to the taxidermist. Taxidermists cannot legally accept an unchecked otter or bobcat for mounting.

A Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) tag, issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, must be attached to the raw fur of any bobcat or river otter taken in Kentucky, if the hunter or trapper intends to sell or export internationally.

Request a CITES tag online or call 1-800-858-1549, and provide the animal’s telecheck confirmation number. CITES tags must be attached to the animal or pelt per the instructions included with the mailed tag and remain with the pelt until it is processed. Possession of an unused bobcat or otter CITES tag is prohibited.

A person who transfers, but does not sell, a river otter or bobcat to another person or taxidermist, is not required to request a CITES tag.

But, this person must attach a handmade carcass tag to the animal that contains the telecheck confirmation number and the hunter or trapper’s name and phone number.


There is no time restriction on the holding of raw furs of furbearers by a trapper or hunter after the close of furbearer season. Raw furs may be sold only to licensed taxidermists, licensed fur buyers or licensed fur processors.


Resident and nonresident youth hunters and trappers ages 15 and under may hunt and trap furbearers without a hunting or trapping license during the Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week. Hunter orange clothing must be worn by all hunters during the Free Youth Weekend since youth hunters are permitted to hunt deer with firearms at that time.

Youth hunters must abide by all equipment regulations and bag limits for furbearers when hunting or trapping. Hunter education is not required for license-exempt hunters. Adults accompanying youth hunters/trappers during the Free Youth Hunting & Trapping Week do not need a license if they are not hunting/trapping.