52 California Trapping Regulations Every Trapper Should Know Before Trapping

California raccoon trapping and California raccoon hunting seasons, and California Trapping Regulations

On this page, you’ll find a selection of California trapping regulations.

California trapping regulations.
California trapping regulations.
    1. CPC § 597. Cruelty to animals
    2. FGC § 312. Survival training
    3. FGC § 2005 (a) generally prohibits lights when hunting game birds and game mammals; (b) prohibits lights (i) on a highway, woodland, or forest where mammals are commonly found or (ii) upon mammals while in possession of a weapon (e.g. firearm) that could be used to kill it; (c) prohibits “night vision equipment” to help take any bird or mammal; (d) exempts (i) landowners with permits to take mammals causing damage to people or property per Section 4180, (ii) certain hand-held flashlight unless attached to a weapon, (iii) certain lamps and lanterns, (iv) normal use of motor vehicle headlights, (v) agricultural landowners and employees; and (e) prohibits arrest by anyone besides a peace officer.
    4. FGC § 2007. Trap guns
    5. FGC § 2009. Interference with traps
    6. FGC § 2250. Permit to import, transport, or possess live muskrat
    7. FGC § 3003.1. Body-gripping taps and illegal sale of raw fur
    8. FGC § 3005.5. Capture and confinement of live furbearing mammals, as well as game and nongame birds and mammals.
    9. FGC § 3011. Illegal bear traps
    10. FGC § 3031. Hunting license for adults, juniors, nonresidents
    11. FGC § 3039. Buying and selling birds, mammals, including furbearing and nongame mammals
    12. FGC § 3801.6. Salvage of nongame bird parts by Native Americans
    13. FGC § 4000. Furbearing mammals
    14. FGC § 4002. Hunting methods
    15. FGC § 4003. Poison permits
    16. FGC § 4004. Illegal traps, trap tags, trap checking, dispatch, conibear traps, warning signs, drawing, injection, and crushing except beaver and muskrat
    17. FGC § 4005. Trapping license, test
    18. FGC § 4006. Trapping license age, fees, residency
    19. FGC § 4007. Trapping license year, selling fur
    20. FGC § 4008. Trapping license renewal, declaration
    21. FGC § 4009. Disturbing traps of others
    22. FGC § 4030. Dealer license [also see Sec. 4034]
    23. FGC § 4031. Fur dealer license
    24. FGC § 4035. Display of fur dealer license
    25. FGC § 4036. Illegal purchase of raw fur
    26. FGC § 4037. Maintenance of fur dealer license
    27. FGC § 4038. Inspection of fur dealer records
    28. FGC § 4040. Fur dealer annual reports
    29. FGC § 4041. Confidentiality of fur dealer records
    30. FGC § 4043. Revocation of fur dealer license
    31. FGC § 4152. Muskrats and red fox causing property damage
    32. FGC § 4180. Furbearers causing property damage  [also see Sec. 4181]
    33. FGC § 4181.  Permits for animals causing property damage (bear, beaver, elk, pig, squirrels, turkey)
    34. FGC § 4185. Bear traps near beehives in San Bernardino and Riverside counties
    35. FGC § 10500. Traps at game refuges
    36. FGC § 12156. Violations and penalties
    37. 14 CCR § 251.5. Possession, kill, daily bag limit
    38. 14 CCR § 263 prohibits night hunting in Monterey County and San Benito County east of Highway 101.
    39. 14 CCR § 264 allows lights of any size or voltage for hunting furbearing mammals and nongame mammals in Zone 1 and Zone 2 (as described) except (a) during the general deer season, (b) in a moving vehicle, (c) in a vehicle with the motor running, (d) from a vehicle on a public road or highway.
    40. 14 CCR § 264.5 generally allows lights for hunting furbearing mammals and nongame mammals outside of Zone 1 and Zone 2, as described in Section 264, but only if the light is (a) powered only with a 9-volt battery or smaller, (b) held in the hand or worn on the head, and (c) being used while on foot; and exempts landowners preventing property damage, e.g. livestock, by furbearing and nongame.
    41. 14 CCR § 265. Dogs for hunting and training on mammals.
    42. 14 CCR § 401. Permits for animals causing property damage (bear, beaver, bobcat, deer, elk, pigs, squirrels, turkey)
    43. 14 CCR § 460. Protected species (Fisher, marten, river otter, desert kit fox and red fox)
    44. 14 CCR § 461. Seasons, limits, badger, gray fox, and dogs.
    45. 14 CCR § 462. Seasons, limits, muskrat, mink.
    46. 14 CCR § 463. Beaver seasons, bag limits, hunting areas
    47. 14 CCR § 464. Raccoon, seasons, bag limits, hunting areas, and dogs.
    48. 14 CCR § 465. Hunting methods and contests
    49. 14 CCR § 465.5. Types of traps allowed and prohibited
    50. 14 CCR § 466. Shooting / Trapping hours
    51. 14 CCR § 467. Trapping reports, suspension
    52. 14 CCR § 474. Night hunting areas and restrictions
    53. 14 CCR § 656. Permits to take beaver or bear in a refuge
    54. 14 CCR § 700. Possession of hunting license

CPC § 597

Cruelty to Animals. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c) of this section or Section 599c, every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, tortures, or wounds a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally kills an animal, is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (b) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (a) or (c), every person who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills any animal, or causes or procures any animal to be so overdriven, overloaded, driven when overloaded, overworked, tortured, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter, or to be cruelly beaten, mutilated, or cruelly killed; and whoever, having the charge or custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts unnecessary cruelty upon the animal, or in any manner abuses any animal, or fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from the weather, or who drives, rides, or otherwise uses the animal when unfit for labor, is, for every such offense, guilty of a crime punishable as a misdemeanor or as a felony or alternatively punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony and by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). (c) Every person who maliciously and intentionally maims, mutilates, or tortures any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish as described in subdivision (d), is guilty of an offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, or, alternatively, by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. (d) Subdivision (c) applies to any mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish which is a creature described as follows: (1) Endangered species or threatened species as described in Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code. (2) Fully protected birds described in Section 3511 of the Fish and Game Code. (3) Fully protected mammals described in Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4700) of Part 3 of Division 4 of the Fish and Game Code. (4) Fully protected reptiles and amphibians described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 5050) of Division 5 of the Fish and Game Code. (5) Fully protected fish as described in Section 5515 of the Fish and Game Code. This subdivision does not supersede or affect any provisions of law relating to taking of the described species, including, but not limited to, Section 12008 of the Fish and Game Code. (e) For the purposes of subdivision (c), each act of malicious and intentional maiming, mutilating, or torturing a separate specimen of a creature described in subdivision (d) is a separate offense. If any person is charged with a violation of subdivision (c), the proceedings shall be subject to Section 12157 of the Fish and Game Code.


FGC § 2007

It is unlawful to set, cause to be set, or placed any trap gun.

A “trap gun” is a firearm loaded with other than blank cartridges and connected with a string or other contrivance contact with which will cause the firearm to be discharged.


FGC § 2009

(a) A person shall not willfully interfere with the participation of any individual in the lawful activity of shooting, hunting, fishing, falconry, hunting dog field trials, hunting dog training, or trapping at the location where that activity is taking place.

(e) In order to be liable for a violation of this section, the person is required to have had the specific intent to interfere with the participation of an individual who was engaged in lawful shooting, hunting, fishing, falconry, hunting dog field trials, hunting dog training, or trapping.


FGC § 3005.5

Methods of Taking [3000 – 3012]

It is unlawful to capture any game mammal, game bird, nongame bird, nongame mammal, or furbearer, or to possess or confine any live game mammal, game bird, nongame bird, nongame mammal, or furbearer taken from the wild, except as provided by this code or regulations made pursuant thereto. Any bird or mammal possessed or confined in violation of this section shall be seized by the department.

The commission may promulgate regulations permitting the temporary confinement of game mammals, game birds, nongame birds, nongame mammals, or furbearers for the purpose of treating the animals, if injured or diseased.


FGC § 3011

No person, including employees of the state, federal or county government, shall take bear with iron or steel-jawed or any type of metal-jawed traps, and no provision of this code or any other law shall be construed to authorize, or to permit the authorizing of, the use of iron or steel-jawed or any type of metal-jawed traps to take bear.


FGC § 4000

The following are fur-bearing mammals: pine marten, fisher, mink, river otter, gray fox, red fox, kit fox, raccoon, beaver, badger, and muskrat.

FGC § 4002

Fur-bearing mammals may be taken only with a trap, a firearmbow and arrowpoison under a proper permit, or with the use of dogs.


FGC § 4003

It is unlawful to use poison to take fur-bearing mammals without a permit from the department. The department may issue such a permit upon a written application indicating the kind of poison desired to be used and the time and place of use.


FGC § 4004

It is unlawful to do any of the following:

(a) Use a steel-jawed leghold trap, or use any trap with saw-toothed or spiked jaws.

(b) Use a body-gripping trap, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 3003.1, for the purpose of recreation or commerce in fur.

(c) Set or maintain traps that do not bear a number or other identifying mark registered to the department or, in the case of a federal, state, county, or city agency, bear the name of that agency, except that traps set pursuant to Section 4152 or 4180 shall bear an identifying mark in a manner specified by the department. No registration fee shall be charged pursuant to this subdivision.

(d) Fail to visit and remove all animals from traps at least once daily. If the trapping is done pursuant to Section 4152 or 4180, the inspection and removal shall be done by the person who sets the trap or the owner of the land where the trap is set or an agent of either.

(e) Use a conibear trap that is larger than 6 inches by 6 inches, unless partially or wholly submerged in water. Unless prohibited by the department as a permit condition, a lawfully set conibear trap that is 10 inches by 10 inches or less may be set pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 465.5 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.

(f) When any conibear trap is set on publicly owned land or land expressly open to public use, fail to post signs at every entrance and exit to the property indicating the presence of conibear traps and at least four additional signs posted within a radius of 50 feet of the trap, one in each cardinal direction, with lettering that is a minimum of three inches high stating: “Danger! Traps Set For Wildlife. Keep Out.” Signs shall be maintained and checked daily.

(g) Kill any trapped mammal in accordance with this section by intentional drowninginjection with any chemical not sold for the purpose of euthanizing animals, or thoracic compression, commonly known as chest crushing. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit the use of lawfully set conibear traps set partially or wholly submerged in water for beaver or muskrat or the use of lawfully set colony traps set in water for muskrat.


FGC § 4005

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, every person, other than a fur dealer, who traps fur-bearing mammals or nongame mammals, designated by the commission or who sells raw furs of those mammals, shall procure a trapping license. “Raw fur” means any fur, pelt, or skin that has not been tanned or cured, except that salt-cured or sun-cured pelts are raw furs.

(b) The department shall develop standards that are necessary to ensure the competence and proficiency of applicants for a trapping license. No person shall be issued a license until he or she has passed a test of his or her knowledge and skill in this field.

(c) Persons trapping mammals in accordance with Section 4152 or 4180 are not required to procure a trapping license except when providing trapping services for profit.

(d) No raw furs taken by persons providing trapping services for profit may be sold.

(e) The license requirement imposed by this section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Officers or employees of federal, county, or city agencies or the department, when acting in their official capacities, or officers or employees of the Department of Food and Agriculture when acting pursuant to the Food and Agricultural Code pertaining to pests or pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 6021) of Chapter 9 of Part 1 of Division 4 of the Food and Agricultural Code.

(2) Structural pest control operators licensed pursuant to Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 8500) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, when trapping rats, mice, voles, moles, or gophers.

(3) Persons and businesses licensed or certified by the Department of Pesticide Regulation pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11701) and Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 12201) of Division 6 of, and Chapter 3.6, (commencing with Section 14151) of Division 7 of, the Food and Agricultural Code, when trapping rats, mice, voles, moles, or gophers.

(f) Except for species that are listed pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4700), nothing in this code or regulations adopted pursuant thereto shall prevent or prohibit a person from trapping any of the following animals:

(1) Gophers.

(2) House mice.

(3) Moles.

(4) Rats.

(5) Voles.


FGC § 4006

(a) A trapping license shall be issued as follows:

(1) To any resident of this state over the age of 16 years upon payment of a base fee of forty-five dollars ($45), as adjusted under Section 713.

(2) To any resident of this state under the age of 16 years upon payment of a base fee of fifteen dollars ($15), as adjusted under Section 713.

(3) To any person not a resident of this state upon payment of a base fee of two hundred twenty-five dollars ($225), as adjusted under Section 713.

(b) A license shall not be issued to a nonresident if the state in which he or she resides does not provide for issuance of a nonresident trapping license to California residents. Also, a nonresident issued a license under this subdivision may take only those species, and may take or possess only that quantity of a species that a resident of California may take or possess under a nonresident trapping license or permit in the state of residence of that nonresident.

(c) The commission shall adjust the amount of the fees specified in subdivision (a), as necessary, to fully recover, but not exceed, all reasonable administrative and implementation costs of the department and the commission relating to those licenses.


FGC § 4007

A trapping license authorizes the person to whom it is issued to take, during the open season, fur-bearing mammals and nongame mammals for a term of one year from July 1st, or if issued after the beginning of such term, for the remainder thereof and to sell the raw fur of any such animal.


FGC § 4008

No trapping license shall be issued to any applicant within one year following the expiration of any trapping license previously issued to such applicant unless he has submitted to the department a sworn statement showing the number of each kind of fur-bearing mammals and nongame mammals taken under the previous license and the names and addresses of the persons to whom they were shipped or sold.


 FGC § 4009

It is unlawful to remove or disturb the trap of any licensee while the trap is being used by the licensee on public land or on land where the licensee has permission to trap. This section does not apply to any employee of the department while engaged in the performance of official duties.

FGC § 4031

A revocable fur dealer license shall be issued to any person upon payment of a base fee of seventy dollars ($70), as adjusted under Section 713.


FGC § 4035

A fur dealer or fur agent license shall be shown upon request to any person authorized to enforce the provisions of this code.


FGC § 4036

It shall be unlawful for any fur dealer to purchase the raw fur of any fur-bearing mammal or nongame mammal from any person who does not hold a valid trapping license, fur dealer license, or fur agent license.


FGC § 4037

Every fur dealer licensed pursuant to this article shall maintain a true and legible record of any transfer of raw furs to show:

(a) The license number, name, and address of the seller.

(b) The signature, name, and license number, if applicable, of the buyer.

(c) The number and species of raw furs transferred, by county of take.

(d) The price paid or terms of exchange.

(e) The date of transfer.

(f) Such other information as the department may require.


FGC § 4038

The record of sale, exchange, barter, or gift shall be available for inspection at any time by the department.


FGC § 4040

Each licensed fur dealer shall submit an annual report to the department on the sale, exchange, barter, or gift of raw furs, on forms furnished by the department. No license shall be renewed until such a report is received.


FGC § 4041

The receipts, records, and reports required by this article and the information contained therein, shall be confidential, and the records shall not be public records. Any information which is published shall be published in such a manner as to preserve confidentiality of the persons involved.


FGC § 4043

Any license issued under this chapter may be revoked by the commission at one of the commission’s regularly scheduled meetings, upon the licensee’s conviction of a violation of this article.


FGC § 10500

Except under a permit or specific authorization, it is unlawful to do any of the following:

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(b) To use or have in possession in a game refuge, a firearm, BB device as defined in Section 16250 of the Penal Code, crossbow, bow and arrow, or a trap or other contrivance designed to be, or capable of being, used to take birds or mammals, or to discharge a firearm or BB device or to release an arrow or crossbow bolt into a game refuge.


FGC § 12156

No person who is licensed or required to be licensed pursuant to Section 4005 and who is convicted of a violation of any provision of Article 1 (commencing with Section 4000) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 4 or of Section 4150 shall take any fur-bearing or nongame mammal in the state for three years from the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting of the commission held at least 30 days after the date of that conviction. The commission shall revoke the trapping license of the person who is prohibited from taking fur-bearing and nongame mammals in the state, if the person has one, for the period of prohibition.

No person shall obtain, or attempt to obtain, a trapping license during a period of prohibition.

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