Trapping in Maine

Tagging Furbearers

Do the furbearing animals which I take by trapping or hunting need to be tagged?

The skins of all beaver, bobcat, coyote, fisher, fox, marten, mink and otter must be tagged within 10 days after the end of the season on each species. There is a 25 cent tagging fee for each skin.

Note: The skins of all bobcats taken by hunting must be tagged within 72 hours from the time they were taken.

Tags must be attached to the skins of these furbearing animals before you are allowed to sell them, give them away, send them anywhere or take them anywhere. Skins of other furbearing animals (muskrat, opossum, raccoon, red squirrel, skunk and weasel) do not need to be tagged.

If the beaver trapping season closes at different times in different districts, do some beaver skins have to be tagged sooner than others?

All beaver must be tagged within 10 days of the final closing date on beaver. If beaver are allowed to be trapped in some districts until April 30th, all beaver skins (regardless of where they were taken) must be tagged by May 10th.

What are the special tagging requirements for marten and fisher?

When you obtain your trapping license you will be given 25 temporary marten tags and 10 fisher tags. One of these tags must be immediately attached to each marten and fisher at the time you remove the animal from your trap. This temporary tag allows you to keep the marten until you are able to have it officially tagged by the Department.

Trappers who are not required by law to have a trapping license (residents under 10 years of age and residents trapping on their own land) may use, in lieu of the official temporary tag, a substitute tag (string tag) on which the name and address of the individual has been clearly written in ink.

What if I bring the skins of furbearing animals into Maine from another state or province?

The skins of furbearing animals taken in another state or province must be tagged in that state or province before being brought into Maine. If that state or province has no tagging requirements, you must have the skins tagged in this State. (The tagging of imported fur applies only to those eight species for which Maine requires tagging.)

Note: Skins imported by taxidermists solely for taxidermy purposes do not require tagging.

Am I allowed to have a skin tagged before removing it from the carcass?

Yes, you may have a skin tagged while it's still attached to the carcass, but you may find it more difficult to properly prepare the skin if it has already been tagged.

What about tagging frozen skins?

If a skin will be frozen at the time it is presented for tagging (even if it hasn't been removed from the carcass), you should insert a popsicle stick, tongue depressor, or similar object from the mouth hole through one of the eye holes before you freeze it. Removal of the stick at the time of tagging allows the tag to be inserted in the skin without thawing it out. Tagging agents may refuse to tag frozen skins which have not been prepared in this manner.

Where do I get my furs tagged?

Except for bobcat and otter, you can get your furs tagged at one of the fur tagging stations (PDF), many which are located throughout the state. In addition to fur tagging stations, furs may be tagged at any regional office of the Department and, through prior arrangement, by any Department game warden or wildlife biologist. Bobcat and otter must be tagged by Department personnel.

What if I want to take or ship my furs out of the State?

If your furs have been properly tagged, you are allowed by Maine law to take or ship your furs out of the State, but Federal Law requires an export permit for black bear, bobcat, otter and ermine (weasel) before these animals may be transported outside the United States. For information and permit applications please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Management Authority, Room 420C, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203. (703) 358-2104

For more information, please see the current hunting and trapping laws and rules.