The Department of Natural Resources reminds fur harvesters that new regulations are in effect for all species that require registration this season.
Trapping season begins Oct. 15 with the opening of fox and coyote season statewide and raccoon and badger seasons in northern Michigan (Zones 1 and 2). Seasons for species with mandatory registration kick off with otter season in the Upper Peninsula beginning Oct. 25.
Fur harvesters are required to submit entire skulls from marten, fisher, bobcat and otter when presenting pelts to the DNR for registration and sealing.
Skulls will be used for aging to help the DNR with population modeling and management policies. Skulls will not be returned to fur harvesters. The required submission of skulls standardizes data collection among all furbearer species that require registration.
In previous years, the DNR only collected the skull from fisher and a tooth from marten and bobcats when they were registered. Submission of otter skulls or teeth was not required.
Pelts that have been registered and sealed will be released to fur takers immediately.
“The data we collect will help us better understand population dynamics of these species and will enable us to make appropriate harvest regulations,” said DNR furbearer specialist Adam Bump. “We appreciate the hunters’ and trappers’ cooperation with this effort.”
For more information on furbearer registration and harvest seasons for these species, please see check the 2011-2012 Hunting and Trapping Digest or visit www.michigan.gov/hunting.