Trappers have the chance to pursue beaver and river otter on 81 Ohio wildlife areas, state parks and other publicly managed lands through controlled trapping opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The ODNR Division of Wildlife provides trapping permits to manage beaver and river otter populations and provide a fair system for all trappers with an interest in these recreational opportunities. The lottery system for awarding these trapping permits on select public lands in Ohio allows area managers to set specific limits and restrictions based on the trapping opportunities and needs for those areas.

Beaver and river otter trapping on public land requires a special permit awarded through a system of random drawings. The application period is Sept. 20-Oct. 20. The application fee is $3 per event, and trappers may apply for each event once annually. People who apply more than once per event will be disqualified and forfeit his or her application fee. Independent drawings will be held for each event. Application fees are non-refundable, and applications must be submitted in the name of an adult. Applicants must also hold a current hunting license in order to apply for this trapping lottery. Applications submitted by people who are not properly licensed will be returned along with all application fees.

Drawings will be held after the October deadline, and applicants will be notified of the results in early November. Successful applicants will receive their permit and necessary information (dates, location, maps and any special instructions) in the mail. The permit to trap applies to the successfully drawn applicant only.

The permitted trapper may be accompanied by another individual to assist him or her while trapping. All permitted trappers and assistants must be properly licensed. Beaver trapping permits are not transferable.

Beaver trapping within American Electric Power’s recreation area, known as ReCreation Land, Avondale Wildlife Area and Conesville Coal Lands, requires a special beaver trapping permit, which is in addition to the normal user’s permit. This special beaver trapping permit is issued from the AEP Land Management office in McConnelsville. Call 740-962-1205 for more information.

The wildlife refuge portions of Killbuck Marsh and Mosquito Creek wildlife areas are not part of the lottery system. Instead, sealed bids will be accepted in September for all furbearer trapping opportunities at these areas. Contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife District Three Office at 330-644-2293 for official bid proposal forms and other information.

Persons interested in beaver or river otter controlled trapping permits can apply online or mail an application to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, Controlled Trapping, 2045 Morse Road, Building G-2, Columbus, Ohio 43229. Application forms may be obtained from ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices and are also available at

Visit or contact the nearest ODNR Division of Wildlife district office for more controlled trapping information.

Logo courtesy Ohio Department of Natural Resources

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