Becoming A Trapper
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 Trapper Courses section on this site.