Important Changes and Definitions 
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Minister's Message

Trapping is a long-standing tradition in Alberta, and fundamental to the economic, social and ecological history of the Province. It is a way of life that remains a vibrant part of our culture, which is so important to many of our rural communities and families across the province.

The Government of Alberta remains committed to an internationally recognized standard of ethical and humane trapping as part of a responsible and effective wildlife management strategy that supports the province’s overall conservation efforts.

Trappers are important partners in conservation, as they help manage Alberta’s furbearer populations and reduce human-wildlife conflict.

Active trappers are uniquely connected to our landscape and see changes to furbearer density, distribution and abundance before most people. Detailed information on effort and catch reported by trappers helps the province more accurately set quotas, ensuring sustainable harvest of target species.

The values of respect and stewardship are very closely held by those in the trapping community. These values help ensure that trapping activity in Alberta conforms to the highest ethical and humane standards and that international demand for Alberta’s wild furs remains strong.

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

Jason Nixon
Minister of Environment and Parks

Jason Nixon
Minister of Environment and Parks

Important Changes For 2019-2020
  • 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.
  • First time trappers must 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, or visit for a list of course locations and dates.
  • Certified killing and restraining traps are now 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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