Trapper Education Frequently Asked Questions

Trapper Education Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Who needs a trapper education?

A: Anyone who purchased or will purchase their first Idaho trapping license on or after July 1, 2011, regardless of their age or if they have trapped in another state.

Q: When is this required?

A: Starting July 1, 2018.

Q: When did this happen?

A: The legislature made this law during spring 2017. The Department also informed trappers through the annual letter that reminds trappers to submit their furtaker harvest report card.

Q: Why do I need to take trapper education?

A: Regulated trapping can be controversial. Responsible trappers know when, where, and how to catch animals humanely and without harming non-target animals or being disruptive to the non-trapping public. Trapper education is designed to teach proper techniques so the next generation of trappers will be safe and responsible. Additionally, if all trappers behave ethically, there is less need to create complex trapping regulations.

Q: How can I sign up for a trapper education class?

A: Please check the trapper education course list at

Q: What is taught in a trapper education course?

A: This course includes trapping laws, understanding regulated trapping, ethical trapping, responsible treatment of animals, techniques for avoiding non-target catches, basic trapping methods, fur handling, safety, and field demonstrations/exercises.

Q: How long is the class?

A: Class length varies slightly, but a typical class is about 8 hours, taught over 1-2 days.

Q: Is there an online class I can take instead of an instructor-led class?

A: No, we do not offer an online trapper education class. 

Q: Do I need a trapper education course if I trapped in another state?

A: Maybe. Having previously held a license in another state does not exempt anyone from the trapper education requirement. The Idaho trapper education course is unique to our state (rules and regulations, trap types, non-target species avoidance, etc.). However, if you have taken trapper education in another state, it may exempt you from taking the Idaho course.  We accept certification of trapper education from 28 other states that have courses similar to ours. To find out if certification from another state applies to you, please contact a regional office.

Q: If I went through wolf trapper education in Idaho or elsewhere, do I have to take the standard trapper education course?

A: Yes. Wolf trapper education is a separate course. All trappers purchasing their first Idaho trapping license after July 1, 2011, must take the standard trapper education course. Wolf trappers must also take or have taken the Idaho wolf trapper education course. 

Q: I bought an Idaho trapping license years before the data were stored electronically in the license database and then didn’t purchase another trapping license until 2014. Do I still have to take trapper education to purchase a trapping license?

A: Since we have incomplete records of license purchases before 2000, you may not be in the database. In that case, you will have to take trapper education unless you can produce a copy of pre-2011 Idaho trapping licenses or other reasonable evidence that you held an Idaho trapping license before that time. However, given the length of time you have not trapped in Idaho, we recommend you take the trapping class in any case so you are familiar with changes in rules, best practices for avoiding bycatch, and other recent information you may not be familiar with.

Q: Can resident youth under age 14 trap muskrats on their own land without a license or having taken trapper education?

A: Yes. Additionally, trapper education is not required for control measures pertaining to Idaho Code 36-1107.