Raccoon & Opossum - October 1 through the last day of February
Coyote - Year-round, day or night (Exceptions apply)
Bobcat - One half-hour before sunrise the fourth Saturday of November through the last day of February, daylight hours only
River Otter, Muskrat, Mink, Beaver, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Weasel and Striped Skunk - One-half hour before sunrise on the third day of modern gun deer season through the last day of February, daylight hours only
Free Youth Hunting and Trapping Week - Seven consecutive days beginning on the Saturday after Christmas
All furbearer species - One-half hour before sunrise on the third day of modern gun deer season through the last day of February
SPECIAL HUNTING RESTRICTIONS
(Daylight hours are defined as 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset)
During modern gun deer season, raccoon and opossum hunters may not hunt during daylight hours. Night hunting on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 shall conclude by 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, which is when shooting hours open for modern gun deer season.
A hunter shall not use a light from a boat to take raccoon or opossum.
A person shall not use the following while chasing raccoon or opossum from noon on March 1 through September 30: a firearm, a slingshot, tree climber or any device to kill, injure, or force a raccoon or opossum from a tree or den.
Coyotes may be hunted year-round with no bag limit.
They can be hunted after daylight hours using lights or night vision equipment from Feb. 1 – May 31. Shotguns are the only legal firearm for night coyote hunting but a shell containing a single projectile may not be used.
Night hunting for coyotes is prohibited on Kentucky lands managed by Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Daniel Boone National Forest, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, Clarks River National Wildlife Refuge and Reelfool National Wildlife Refuge, including Beaver Creek, Cane Creek, Mill Creek, Pioneer Weapons and Redbird wildlife management areas (WMAs).
Hand or mouth-operated calls and
electronic calls that imitate wounded
prey or coyote calls are legal. It is legal
to hunt coyotes over animal carcasses.
Animal carcasses are considered bait.
A hunter shall not place or distribute
bait or otherwise participate in baiting
wildlife on all WMAs, Big South Fork
National River and Recreation Area,
Daniel Boone National Forest, Jefferson National Forest, Land Between The
Lakes and state parks open to hunting
LEGAL METHODS and EQUIPMENT FOR TRAPPING FURBEARERS
Trappers may use lights from boats or vehicles to check traps.
Traps may not be set in trails/paths commonly used by people or domestic animals.
New This Year: There are no restrictions on the
size or type of trap used as a water
set, except that any body-gripping
trap greater than 20 inches wide
must be set so the trap is completely
submerged under water. A water
set is a trap set in the water of a
river, stream, pond, lake, wetland or
other body of water so that a portion
of the trap body is underwater.
The following equipment is permitted for dry-land sets. A dry land
set is a trap set so that no portion
of the trap touches the water of a
river, stream, pond, lake, wetland
or other water course.
- Wire cage or box trap.
- Foothold traps with a maximum inside jaw spread of six (6) inches measured perpendicular to the hinges.
- On private land, a body-gripping
trap with a maximum inside jaw
spread of 7½ inches measured
parallel with the trigger.
• On wildlife management and outdoor
recreation areas, a bodygripping
trap with a maximum inside
jaw spread of 5¼ inches
- Body-gripping traps with a maximum inside jaw spread of seven and one-half (7.5) inches measured parallel with the trigger.
- New This Year: On wildlife management and outdoor recreation areas, a body-gripping trap with a maximum inside jaw spread of 5 1/4 inches.
- Snare. A snare is a wire, cable, or string with a knot, loop, or a single piece closing device, the deployment of which is or is not spring-assisted, but any spring-assisted device is not for the purpose of applying tension to the closing device.
On wildlife management and outdoor
recreation areas, dry land sets
may not be placed closer than 10
New This Year: On private land, dry land sets
may not be placed closer than 10
feet apart unless the person trapping
has written permission from
the landowner or the landowner’s
designee, except there shall not be
more than three traps set within any
10-foot spacing. The trap spacing
requirement does not apply to wire
cage or box traps or on properties of
5 acres of less.
SPECIAL TRAPPING RESTRICTIONS
- 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 1-800-25-ALERT phone number. Apply for the Trap Tag Identification number here
- 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.
- Coyotes can only be trapped during furbearer trapping seasons.
- Trappers must harvest furbearers 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 Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
- It is illegal to intentionally obstruct or disrupt the right of a person to lawfully take wildlife by trapping.
TELECHECK and CITES TAGGING
Harvested bobcats and otters must be telechecked by calling 1-800-245-4263 by midnight on the day the animal is recovered, before processing the
carcass and before transporting the
raw fur, pelt or unskinned carcass out
of Kentucky. A hunter or trapper who wants to have a bobcat or otter mounted shall provide his or her name, telephone number and 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 Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, 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.
To complete and submit a CITES tag click here or call 1-800-858-1549, and provide the animal’s telecheck confirmation number.
New This Year: A CITES tag must be attached to
the raw fur, pelt or unskinned carcass of
any bobcat or river otter taken in Kentucky
upon receipt of the tag from Kentucky
Fish and Wildlife per the instructions
provided by the department and
remain attached until it is processed or
exported outside the United States.
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.
FURBEARER HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Kentucky Fish & Wildlife is collecting lower canines from harvested bobcats and river otters for a population study. Please contact the department at 1-800-858-1549 to request a sample packet and instructions. Thank you for your contribution to furbearer management.
BUYING and SELLING HIDES
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.
FREE YOUTH WEEK
Resident and nonresident youth hunters and trappers ages 15 and younger may hunt and trap small game without a hunting or trapping license for seven consecutive days starting the Saturday after Christmas.
Please refer to the hunter orange clothing law section for guidelines.
Youth hunters must comply with 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.