Trapping in NV

Trapping and hunting are legal means of harvesting the following furbearing animals in Nevada: beaver, mink, muskrat, otter, kit fox, red fox, gray fox, and bobcat. However, gray fox and bobcat are closed to nonresidents. A trapping license is required to hunt or trap any of these furbearers.

Some species can be can be hunted in Nevada without a hunting license, but a trapping license is required to trap them: The include the coyote, black-tailed jackrabbit, badger, weasel, spotted skunk, striped skunk, raccoon and the ring-tailed cat.

NOTE: A trapping license is required for any person of any age who sells raw furs of any kind, whether taken by trap or by firearm.

Remember to be considerate of those who enjoy the outdoors but may not trap themselves. Always trap responsibly and avoid setting your traps near neighborhoods or along trails frequented by others, especially those who do so with pets. Scents associated with trapping may attract curious pets. Avoiding these areas could save you and the pet owner some aggravation.

Trapping Laws & Regulations

Trapping license required; unlawful to remove or disturb trap, snare or similar device of licensee. (NRS 503.454)

  1. Every person who takes fur-bearing mammals by trap, snare or similar device or unprotected mammals by trapping or sells raw furs for profit shall procure a trapping license.
  2. It is unlawful to remove or disturb the trap, snare or similar device of any holder of a trapping license while the trap, snare or similar device is being legally used by the holder on public land or on land where the holder has permission to trap.

Manner of Hunting Furbearing Mammals

(NRS 503.450) It is unlawful for any person at any time to hunt any furbearing mammal in any manner other than by trap, gun or bow and arrow.

Steel Leghold Traps: Definitions (NAC 503.153)

As used in NAC 503.155 and 503.157, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. "Bait" means the flesh, fur, hide, viscera or feathers of any animal.
  2. "Exposed bait" means bait, any portion of which is visible from any angle.
  3. "Trap" means any device designed, built or made to close upon, contain, confine, or hold fast any wild mammal or wild bird.

Steel Leghold Traps: Spacers (NAC 503.155)

All steel leg hold traps of size number 2 or larger or with an outside jaw spread of 5 1/2 inches or larger used in the taking of any wildlife must have lugs, spacers or similar devices permanently attached so as to maintain a minimum trap opening of three-sixteenths (3/16") of an inch.

Steel Leghold Traps: Use of Bait (NAC 503.157)

  1. It is unlawful for a person to:
    1. Place, set or maintain a steel leghold trap within 30 feet of exposed bait;
    2. Capture a mammal or raptor with a steel leghold trap that is placed, set or maintained within 30 feet of exposed bait; or
    3. Use any part of a game mammal, game bird, game fish, game amphibian or protected species of wildlife for bait.
  2. A person using bait is responsible if it becomes exposed for any reason.
    3. As used in this section, raptor means any species of the order Falconiformes or Strigiformes that are protected by the Migratory Bird Treat Act of July 3, 1918, as amended, 16 U.S.C §§ 703 et seq.

Minimum Visitation of Traps (NRS 503.570)

  1. A person taking or causing to be taken wild mammals by means of traps, snares or any other devices which do not, or are not designed to, cause immediate death to the mammals, shall, when the traps, snares or devices are placed or set for the purpose of taking mammals, visit or cause to be visited at least once each 96 hours each trap, snare or other device during all of the time the trap, snare or device is placed, set or used in the taking of wild mammals, and remove therefrom any mammals caught therein.
  2. The provisions in subsection 1 do not apply to employees of the Division of Agriculture of the Department of Business and Industry or the United States Department of Agriculture when acting in their official capacities.

Hunting with a dog

It is unlawful to hunt, chase or pursue:

  1. Any fur-bearing mammal with a dog except during the open season and under the authority of a trapping license.

Department May Obtain Data From Trappers (NAC 503.160)

  1. The Department may determine methods of obtaining necessary data from a person who purchases a trapping license from the Department or a license agent relative to the trapping activities and success of the person.
  2. Each person who purchases a trapping license from the Department or a license agent shall complete and return any reporting form or questionnaire required by the Department. The person must return any such form or questionnaire regardless of whether the person trapped any fur-bearing mammals or unprotected species of wildlife during the term of the trapping license. Except as otherwise provided by an annual regulation of the Commission, the completed form or questionnaire must be received by the Department or an independent contractor designated by the Department not later than April 30 of each year. Failure to return the form or questionnaire within that period or the submission of any false information on the form or questionnaire is cause for the Commission to suspend the trapping license held by the person and deny the person the right to acquire any trapping license for a period of 1 year. A person whose trapping license is suspended or whose right to acquire a trapping license is denied pursuant to this section may have the privilege reinstated if he:
    1. Pays to the Department an administrative fine in the amount of $50; and
    2. Completes and submits the required form or questionnaire to the Department.
  3. As used in this section, "license agent" has the meaning ascribed to it in NAC 502.065.

"Trapping," "Trapped" and "To Trap" Defined (NRS 501.090)

The words "to trap" and their derivatives, "trapping" and "trapped," mean to set or operate any device, mechanism or contraption that is designed, built or made to close upon or hold fast any wildlife and every act of assistance to any person in so doing.

Bobcats: Miscellaneous Requirements; Prohibited Acts; Fee for Seal (NAC 502.347)

  1. Any person who kills a bobcat shall, within 10 days after the close of the season, personally:
    1. Present its pelt for inspection by and give its lower jaw to a representative of the Department;
    2. Have the Department’s seal affixed to the pelt; and
    3. Complete a report of the killing in accordance with the Department’s instructions.
  2. A person shall not sell, offer for sale, barter, trade, purchase, transfer ownership, tan, offer for out-of-state shipment by a common carrier or, except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, transport from this State any pelt of a bobcat unless the Department has affixed its seal to the pelt.
  3. During the season designated by the Commission for the taking of bobcats, a person who holds a valid resident trapping license may transport from this State, for not more than 2 hours:
    1. The pelt of a bobcat that has not been stretched, dried or cured; or
    2. The entire unskinned carcass of a bobcat, lawfully taken by the person in this State, without the seal being affixed to the pelt pursuant to subsection 2, for the purpose of returning to the person’s residence within this State by the most expedient route or checking any additional trap set by the person that is located in an area of this State that is most readily accessed from any state. The provisions of this subsection do not authorize a person to import, transport, export or possess an unsealed pelt in violation of a law or regulation of any state.
  4. A person shall not possess a pelt of a bobcat 10 days or more after the close of the season unless the Department’s seal is permanently attached to the pelt.
  5. A resident of Nevada must pay the Department $5 for such a seal.
  6. It is unlawful for a person to present for sealing or to have sealed in this State the pelt of any bobcat taken in another state.
  7. As used in this section, "pelt" means the hide or skin of a bobcat that is not permanently tanned or has not been processed to a finished form or product beyond initial fleshing, cleaning, temporary tanning, curing, stretching, salting or drying. The term includes, without limitation, any green pelt or raw pelt.

Please Note: Trapping is prohibited within 1,000 feet of each side of the following designated hiking trails (established within that portion of the Humboldt - Toiyabe National Forest that is located north of the Washoe County – Carson City county line, west of U.S. Highway No. 395 and south of U.S. Interstate Highway No. 80:

  1. Hunter Creek Trail, U.S. Forest Service Trail No. 21053
  2. Jones Creek – White’s Creek Trail, U.S. Forest Service, Trail No. 21056
  3. Ophir Creek Trail, U.S. Forest Service Trail No. 21059
  4. Tahoe Rim Trail, U.S. Forest Service Trail No. 21055
  5. Thomas Creek Trail, U.S. Forest Service Trail No. 21057

Trapping Within 200 Feet of Public Road/Highway (NRS 503.580)

  1. For the purposes of this section, "public road or highway" means:
    1. A highway designated as a United States highway.
    2. A highway designated as a state highway pursuant to the provisions of NRS 408.285.
    3. A main or general county road as defined by NRS 403.170.
    4. It is unlawful for any person, company or corporation to place or set any steel trap, used for the purpose of trapping mammals, larger than a No. 1 Newhouse trap, within 200 feet of any public road or highway within this state.
  2. This section does not prevent the placing or setting of any steel trap inside, along or near a fence which may be situated less than 200 feet from any public road or highway upon privately owned lands. NOTE: Certain areas are closed to trapping.

Trapping on State or Federal Lands

Trapping on Specific Wildlife Management Areas is Allowed Only as Follows:

Persons having permits to do so may trap on the Overton, Key Pittman, W.E. Kirch, Scripps, Humboldt, Fernley, Mason Valley, Alkali Lake, Steptoe Valley and Franklin Lake Wildlife Management Areas. Permits will be issued through a drawing process and may contain designations of specific trapping areas, dates or other restrictions to ensure compatibility with other public activities. (NAC 504.170)

Trapping on National Wildlife Refuges:

The following National Wildlife Refuges are closed to trapping and furbearer harvest: Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Desert National Wildlife Range, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, and Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge.

Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge are closed to trapping with the exception that muskrat trapping is allowed by special permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Trappers should check with the refuge manager on regulations and post the phone number for each refuge.

Ash Meadows NWR - (775) 372-5435

Desert NWR - (702) 879-6110

Moapa valley NWR - (702) 879-6110

Pahranagat NWR
- (702) 725-3417

Ruby Lake NWR - (775) 779-2237

Stillwater NWR - (775) 423-5128

Sheldon NWR - (541) 947-3315