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TRAPPING

Trapping seasons, harvest limits, and other regulations are in accordance with New York State Trapping Laws, and Fort Drum Regulation 420-3 Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Camping (updated 1 May 2016). Fort Drum is Wildlife Management Unit 6H.

Recreational or commercial trapping is NOT permitted in the Cantonment Area. When it is necessary to control furbearer populations in the Cantonment Area, Fort Drum utilizes a Nuisance Trapping Program.

Joint Use Policy to Access Closed Training Areas for Trapping

A Joint Access Policy for trappers (and anglers) allows the utilization of training areas when military maneuvers are occurring as long as those activities do not interfere with military operations. Trappers and anglers MUST call 315-772-7152 to speak with Range Branch personnel to determine if access is possible and if there are any additional restrictions.

Use of Firearms for Trapping

While engaged in trapping activities, only a .22 caliber rimfire pistol/rifle may be used or lawfully possessed. The use of .22 rimfire weapons to dispatch trapped animals is permitted in Training Areas 4A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 5D, and 6B outside the big game hunting season.

Use of ATVs/Snowmobiles for Trapping

Use of ATV's and snowmobiles is authorized for trapping purposes. Use and operation of ATV's and snowmobiles must be in accordance with the laws of New York State.

Beaver Management

Beaver activity is an important management issue that Fort Drum’s Fish and Wildlife Management Program is responsible for on a day-to-day basis. The abundance of wetlands and extensive food sources provide habitat for beaver throughout Fort Drum. Beaver activity in some parts of the installation has the potential to cause adverse impacts to roads and military training areas.

With cooperation from the 10th Aviation Brigade, annual aerial surveys were historically conducted to locate recent beaver activity and a map was made available to trappers in an attempt to increase harvest and decrease potential damage situations. Unfortunately, surveys have not been conducted the last several years due to deployments, but past beaver activity maps created in 2005, 2006, and 2007 are available to download to give trappers an idea where beaver activity has occurred in the past and likely to occur in the future.

To try and reach a balance of maintaining beaver within the ecosystem, yet managing beaver activity to mitigate adverse affects to the military mission, beaver management is currently focused on the following: (1) Trying to optimize beaver harvest during the regulated trapping season; (2) breaching dams, clearing culverts, and/or installing beaver tubes or water-control devices in areas of repeated problem beaver activity and flooding; and (3) removal of beaver outside the recreational trapping season based on complaints. On average, approximately 30 culverts are cleaned, 10 dams are breached or removed, and 98 beavers are trapped and removed at 16 sites per year.

The Fish and Wildlife Management Program has a Nuisance Trapping Program whereby volunteers are utilized primarily to trap beavers in nuisance situations in restricted areas. Since 2006, USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services has also been contracted periodically to trap beaver in particularly difficult and/or low density situations, and will continue to be utilized in the future.

Furbearer Harvest Statistics

Season  Beaver Otter  Bobcat Fisher Coyote 
 1998 - 1999  443 8 0  4 1
 1999 - 2000  714  47  1  0  2
 2000 - 2001  510  48  1  2  0
 2001 - 2002  470  30  0  4  8
 2002 - 2003  133  21  1  4  3
 2003 - 2004  479  51  3  14  8
 2004 - 2005  280  31  0  12  7
 2005 - 2006  335 17  0  3  0
 2006 - 2007  444  37  2  11  0
 2007 - 2008  308  32  3  2  *
 2008 - 2009  482  51  4 9  *
 2009 - 2010  442 32  8  6  *
 2010 - 2011  *  42  5  9  *
 2011 - 2012  *  38  5  8  *
 2012 - 2013  *  30 7  10  *
 2013 - 2014  * 22 6  1  *
Numbers are based on sealed pelts by NYSDEC.
* = denotes pelts that are no longer required to be sealed.

Volunteer Nuisance Trapping Program

Those interested in nuisance trapping on Fort Drum can contact the installation's Fish & Wildlife Management Program Office at 315-772-0053. The following are Volunteer Nuisance Trapper guidelines for those interested in applying.