Sportsmen are reminded that various trapping seasons and small game hunting seasons will end soon, according to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

The trapping season for fisher ends on January 31, 2013. The hunting and trapping seasons for red and gray fox, bobcat and raccoon will end on February 28, 2013. The trapping seasons for coyote, otter, mink and muskrat will also end on February 28, 2013. Trapping season for beaver will be in until March 31, 2013. Beaver trappers are reminded that it is illegal to set traps during the month of March for beaver unless those traps are in water. Trappers should be aware that it is illegal to set traps or leave traps set after noon on the last day of the respective season.

All beaver, bobcat, otter and fisher pelts are required to be checked at an official game checking station within 30 days of the close of their respective seasons. Trappers, hunters and fur dealers are reminded that furs shipped out of West Virginia must have a fur shipping tag, which is available at Division of Natural Resources district offices and most game checking stations.

Also, anyone who plans to sell an otter or bobcat pelt outside of West Virginia should obtain a CITES seal for each pelt. All otter and bobcat pelts, usually exported from the United States by licensed fur buyers, must have a CITES seal from the state where the animal was harvested.

The public is reminded that now, before the trapping season ends, would be a good time to deal with nuisance muskrat or beaver problems. Trappers may be more likely to assist landowners with nuisance problems while their gear is in working order and pelts are prime.

Logo courtesy West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

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