Important Changes and Definitions 
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Minister's Message

Message from the Honourable Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks

Trapping has been a part of the fabric of Western Canada since long before Alberta became a province. The fur trade played a significant role in the history and economic development of the province, and continues to be important to many Alberta economies.

Today's trappers continue a tradition and livelihood linked to our past, while upholding high standards of ethical and humane harvest. Trappers play an important role in helping manage the populations of wild fur-bearing animals, and have a direct interest in protecting the environment. This ethical commitment helps ensure that there is strong international demand for wild furs from Alberta.

Thanks to the strong cooperation between trappers, conservation groups, and government, Alberta enjoys an abundance of healthy and thriving populations of fur-bearing animals.

Please accept my best wishes for a safe and rewarding trapping season.

Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks

Important Changes For 2017-2018
  • Additional traps have been certified under the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS). Trappers are reminded that it is unlawful to use traps that do not meet the requirement of the AIHTS (click here for more information).
  • Trappers are reminded that for the voluntary fisher collection program only the heads of fisher are currently being collected.
  • Trappers are reminded that the Trapper Challenge Exam has been discontinued, and first time trappers must now successfully complete the Alberta Trapper Education Course. If you are interested in taking the Alberta Trapper Education Course, contact the Alberta Trappers' Association office in Westlock at (780) 349-6626.
  • For fall 2018, certified killing and restraining traps will become mandatory for Bobcat (click here for more information).
  • Use of certified restraining traps for wolf and beaver (cages) will become mandatory in the fall of 2020 (click here for more information).


The following definitions will help you understand this Guide:

Fur Management Zone (FMZ) – Alberta is divided into eight (8) Fur Management Zones, based on similar environmental features. Season timing and length is established on the basis of these zones, reflecting differences in furbearer status, trapping pressure and seasonal pelt quality.

Killing Device
  1. a device designed and set in a manner to trap and kill a fur-bearing animal by the action of the trap;
  2. snare set to tighten on the neck of a fur-bearing animal in order to kill it, where the energy to tighten the snare is provided by the animal; or
  3. a device that is set so that it will hold and kill a fur-bearing animal under water.
Partner – A person with written permission from a Senior Holder (see Senior Holder definition) to trap on the Senior Holder's Fur Management Area. A partner must be a Resident and must obtain a licence. Partners who are first-time trappers must meet mandatory requirements, before their partnership agreement can be approved. For further information, contact the Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch.

Resident – a person who either
  • has his or her only or primary residence in Alberta and
       - is a Canadian citizen or admitted to permanent residence in Canada, or
       - has lived in Canada for the 12-month period immediately preceding the relevant date;

  • is on full-time service with the Armed Forces of Canada and would, if an election were held under the Elections Act (Canada), be eligible to vote in Alberta under that Act.
Registered Fur Management Area (RFMA) – a parcel of public land the boundary of which is described on the original Registered Fur Management Licence.

Registered Fur Management Licence – a licence to hunt and trap fur-bearing animals on the lands described on the licence, as well as on private lands that the licence-holder owns or occupies.

Resident Fur Management Licence – a licence available for trapping on privately owned and some public lands not included in Registered Fur Management Areas. For further information contact the Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch.

Senior Holder – the principal holder of a Registered Fur Management Area, and the person who has authority to give written consent to establish partnerships.

WMU – Wildlife Management Unit, a geographical area prescribed in legislation.

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