Additional Information
Jump to:   
Best Trapping Practices

The illustrations and data provided below were inspired from the results of the trap testing completed through the work of the Trap Research and Development Committee of the Fur Institute of Canada. They are intended as general guidelines for trap users.
Illustrations © Fédération des Trappeurs Gestionnaires du Québec, Fur Institute of Canada and Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et Parcs (Quebec).




ACCIDENTAL CATCHES (cervidae, cattle, sheep)

ACCIDENTAL CATCHES (eagles and birds of prey)

Fishers are considered a "limit" species in Alberta and all fishers trapped during an open season must be registered (see Mandatory Registration), including those fishers incidentally trapped in areas or at times with no open season.

To minimize incidental capture of fisher in marginal areas and to maintain or enhance fisher populations where marten trapping is taking place, marten boxes can be modified by making them longer and the entry hole ≤2¼” in diameter (see diagram at right). Using this method, fishers are deterred from entering the marten box.

Marten box at right modified with fisher exclusion plate. The exclusion plate splits horizontally in the hole middle and is held in place by thick rubber straps to allow for the extraction of an animal.

Trapping in Protected Areas

In certain cases trapping is allowed within specific protected areas where this activity is not normally allowed. This may involve a Provincial Park or Recreation Area (or portions of such areas) that fall within an RFMA. If trapping is allowed in such an area individuals who wish to trap on those portions of the RFMA may be required to obtain a Firearms Carry and Discharge Permit from Alberta Parks. Please contact your local Alberta Parks Office to confirm if trapping is allowed in a protected area and if this permit is required.

Accidental Trapping

Trappers who accidentally trap a fur-bearing animal during a closed season or after a limit has been filled or who trap a big game animal or bird of prey are required to submit to Fish and Wildlife a completed report and, in the case of a fur-bearing animal, bear or cougar, deliver it to a Fish and Wildlife District Office no later than 14 days after the date of capture. Such animals do not have to be skinned.

Swift Fox has been reintroduced into Fur Management Zone 8, and trappers are encouraged to take all reasonable care to prevent accidental capture, and to report any contact with this species. Injured Swift Fox should be immediately delivered to the nearest Fish & Wildlife District Office, or a qualified veterinarian for care.

Trappers who accidentally capture any wildlife that are not fur-bearing animals are reminded to report the incident as soon as practical to the nearest Fish & Wildlife District Office. In addition, permission must first be obtained from Alberta Forestry and Parks to use such an animal as bait.


Diseases and parasites are normal parts of the life of a furbearer. Usually, they are not a problem either for the furbearer or for the person trapping an infected animal. Indeed, most parasites and diseases go completely unnoticed by trappers. However, there are situations where an animal may be infected with a disease that can be transferred to people. Such diseases are most often caused by bacteria and can be recognized readily by the presence of small white spots in the liver and spleen of an infected furbearer. Such animals should be handled carefully (preferably with gloves on). Any person who handles wildlife and then has persistent “flu-like” symptoms or redness, swelling, heat or pain in hands or arms should contact a medical doctor. Remember to tell the doctor the person has handled wildlife.

Carcasses from all fur-bearers suspected of being diseased should be submitted for examination to the nearest Fish & Wildlife District Office.

Wild canids in Alberta could contain tiny tapeworms in the intestines. Eggs of these tapeworms can potentially infect people. Thus, trappers and field biologists should wear gloves when handling or processing wolves, coyotes, foxes, or their scats and thoroughly clean knives and work tables when done. Particular care should be taken when skinning around the anus or when carcasses are soiled with faecal material. In addition, do not feed internal organs of moose or elk to dogs – the dogs could become infected and pass on tapeworm eggs to people. Regular de-worming of dogs also reduces potential risk to humans.

There are two different Echinococcus species that could occur in wild canids. See and for more information.

Community Relations

To foster and maintain good relations within their communities and to gain public support, trappers should:
  • respect the rights and property of others;
  • protect and conserve wildlife, and wildlife habitat;
  • help farmers and other landowners who are having problems with nuisance animals;
  • encourage and support trapper education and public awareness programs;
  • support trappers and other wildlife conservation organizations;
  • support and cooperate with government wildlife agencies; and
  • report illegal activities.

Alberta Trappers' Compensation Program

The Alberta Trappers’ Compensation Program provides a framework for compensating Senior RFMA holders for business losses incurred through industrial activity on their RFMAs, when they are unable to reach a settlement with industry. Incidences of theft or vandalism to assets on RFMAs will also be considered.

Only Senior Registered Fur Management Licence holders are eligible to submit a claim for consideration, and claimants must be considered active trappers, as defined by Alberta Forestry and Parks, and must demonstrate failed efforts to resolve their dispute directly with industry.

Claims are reviewed by a Board of Directors, consisting of Government, Industry and Trapping community stakeholders, with subsequent direction given to the Alberta Trappers Association, who administers the Alberta Trapper Compensation Program through a Memorandum of Understanding with Alberta Forestry and Parks

Claim types considered by the ATCP include:

  • Direct damage to trapping-related assets and improvements, including cabins, trails, traps, snares, stretching boards, etc. Insurable items, including ATVs, trailers and snowmobiles, in addition to non-trapping or secondary assets, are not eligible. Where compensation is awarded, value will be based upon repair or replacement costs as warranted. Associated labour, transportation and equipment costs will be considered.
  • Theft/Vandalism to trapping related assets and improvements. Such claims must be accompanied by a police report and affected assets must be non-uninsurable. In the case of cabins, compensation is limited to a maximum of $3,000 each.
  • Temporary disruption to trapping activities due to industrial activity that prevents the maintenance of traditional trapping effort and/or harvest. Eligible activities include relocation of trapping activities to unaffected portions of the RFMA, development of new trails and trap sets, relocation or replacement of cabins, and reasonable time and expenses related to relocation efforts.
  • Long-Term Loss of Livelihood. Such claims will be compensated to a maximum of five years, with payments based on the maximum annual trapping revenue from the preceding three years, as evidenced by fur harvest reports. Claims must be supported by maps depicting the location and extent of disturbance within the RFMA.

In all cases where compensation is considered, fur value shall be based upon the average selling price of raw furs as provided in the annual Alberta Guide to Trapping Regulations. Cabins lost to naturally caused forest fires (funded by trappers).

For claims related to the damaged asset and temporary disruption categories, the trapper must first negotiate directly with the company responsible. Should this action fail, the claim must be submitted to the Alberta Trappers Compensation Board to receive consideration. All theft and vandalism must be promptly reported to the RCMP.

Requests for compensation must be made on the approved ATCP Claim Form available on the ATA website (, and include any attachments relevant to the claim. This may include:

  • Photographs – especially for theft, vandalism and arson, or trail disruptions, etc.;
  • Police reports
  • Description of equipment stolen and estimated value of items;
  • Dates of disturbance and/or when discovered;
  • Names of companies involved or others that can verify loss.

Trappers must cooperate with industry to ensure the success of the program. If you have any questions about this program, please contact a Fish and Wildlife District Office or the Alberta Trappers Association, Box 6020, Westlock, Alberta T7P 2P7 (780-349-6626).

Fur Institute of Canada

The Fur Institute of Canada (FIC) is a non-profit organization, established in 1983 on the initiative of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Wildlife Ministers, to pursue the work of the Federal-Provincial Committee For Humane Trapping. The Institute is an umbrella organization for the Canadian fur industry and its mandate ensures that all sectors are represented, particularly on the Board of Directors.

The overall mission of the FIC is to promote the sustainable and wise use of Canada's fur resources. The Institute supports the following values:
  • The sustainable use and conservation of renewable resources;
  • The continued improvement of animal welfare through ongoing research and the development of national and international trapping standards;
  • The conservation and management of natural resources based on scientific evidence and traditional knowledge;
  • Professionalism through continued education, licensing and research;
  • Respect for people, animals and the environment;
  • Respect for tradition, heritage and culture;
  • Respect for the right of Aboriginal people to pursue their aboriginal and treaty rights.

Five operational committees develop programs and deliver project activities within the structure of the Institute. These programs are trap research and development, communications, sealing, aboriginal communications and international relations and conservation.

The Fur Institute of Canada is committed to delivering information to the media, the general public and governments pertaining to the economic, social, cultural and environmental contributions made by today’s fur trade.

For further information, contact the Fur Institute of Canada

  • by mail: 1554 Carling Avenue, Suite M260, Ottawa, Ontario K1Z 7M4
  • by telephone: 613-231-7099
  • by fax: 613-231-7940
  • by e-mail: or
  • visit website:

Release of Non-Target Species

Trapping has been a part of Alberta's heritage for over a century. People across the province are invloved in trapping as licenced, registered or resident trappers and harvest over $2 million in fur each year. All trappers in Alberta must meet mandatory requirements to obtain a licence including either having passed a test which deals with humane trapping and fur management, or have completed a Trapper Education course.

A Code for Responsible Trapping
During trapping operations, trappers should:
  • show compassion for the animals they capture;
  • develope skills so that furs are properly prepared for market;
  • record all trap-set locations and captures of fur bearers;
  • carefully select trap-set locations and capture of non-target species;
  • report the presence of diseased animals to a Fish and Wildlife Division district office; and
  • know and practice proper killing and releasing methods.

Trappers should be prepared to release non-target animals that are not seriously injured. Carefully assess the risk factors involved in releasing an animal or bird to ensure personal safety and the welfare of the animal or bird.

Methods of releasing animals include:

Using a forked stick

  • position the stick around the animal's neck and apply only enough pressure to immobilize the animal.
  • the capture device can then be released from the animal.

Using a snare pole

  • the noose of the snare pole is slipped over the animal's jaws or neck and tightened to immobilize the animal.
  • the capture device can then be released from the animal.

Using a tarp, coat or blanket

  • This method is especially useful for releasing small animals or birds, particularly Birds of Prey.
  • The material should be large and strong enough only to immobilize the animal or bird without harm.
  • Once immobilized, the animal or bird can be released from the capture device.
Trappers who accidentally capture any wildlife that are not furbearing animals are reminded to report the incident as soon as practical to the nearest Fish and Wildlife District Office. Accidental capture of Birds of Prey, i.e. Eagles, or Endangered Species such as Swift Fox that cannot be readily released due to injury should be delivered to the nearest Fish and Wildlife District Office or a qualified veterinarian for care.



Nearly half of the forest fires in Alberta are caused by people. Nobody means to start a forest fire and most never know the blaze was a result of their carelessness. Campfires built in a poor location, left unattended or not completely extinguished can cause forest fires. Even when there is water nearby or snow on the ground!

Make sure your fire is out and if you see smoke or fire in a forested area, call the hot line:

310-FIRE - Call Collect, Call Immediately!

Home Changes and Definitions General Regulations Licensing and Costs Quotas and Fur Seasons Fur-bearer Management Additional Information WMU & Map Descriptions Fish and Wildlife Offices

Copyright in Provincial Statutes and Regulations, whether in print or electronic format, belongs to the Province of Alberta.
No person may reproduce copies of Alberta Statutes and Regulations for any purpose without the prior consent of the King’s Printer for Alberta.

The contents of this website are provided free-of-charge to all trappers in Alberta. With the exception of short quotations for review purposes, no portion of this document may be reproduced without written permission from Alberta Forestry and Parks or Sports Scene Publications Incorporated.