Becoming A Trapper
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Where To Begin
The following helpful information will answer some questions.
The Alberta Government refers to a Trapline as a Registered Fur Management Area (R.F.M.A)
There are two kinds of trapping licences in Alberta: a Registered Licence and Resident Licence.
A Registered License allows a trapper the right to trap a portion of Alberta and with that privilege the trapper may have a cabin to help with trapping activities. This is most commonly called a “trapline”. A trapper does not own the land but has the right to trap the fur on that portion subject to a five-year permit with annual renewals. The trapper cannot sell the land on which they trap, selling a trapline refers to the assets within that trapline.
Sometimes a trapline will become vacant and anyone who qualifies may let his name stand at the Fish and Wildlife office that looks after the area where the trapline is situated and – subject to the discretion of the officer – may acquire the right to trap in that area. The most common method of finding a trapline is to watch advertisements in the quarterly Alberta Trapper magazine. To get the magazine, simply contact us to become a member of the Association ($50 annually). Another method is to join a trappers' local and get to know the trappers, as word of mouth will often lead to a trapline.
The Resident Licence allows a trapper to trap on private property with the owner’s permission. This simply requires the consent of the landowner through a properly filled out government form called a WA 19A, available for download here, or at a Fish and Wildlife district office. Your Resident Trapping Licence number must be legible on the form. Many trappers choose this method of trapping and – subject to seasons – resident trappers can harvest most furbearers in the province.
Both Registered and Resident trappers are subject to the rules, regulations and seasons. A guide to these is found in the Alberta Trapping Regulations, which are published yearly.
To get a trapping licence, you must take a standard trapping course. These courses are offered throughout the province at various locations, at various times of the year.
For information on course locations, please check out the Education & Training Section