Michigan Fur Harvester License

Like all other hunting seasons in Michigan, hunting & trapping furbearing animals requires specific licenses, including the Michigan Fur Harvester License. There are a few additional requirements necessary to get you started trapping in Michigan. The details are outlined below.

Purchasing a Michigan Hunting License

First, to purchase a hunting license in Michigan, you must have one of the following forms of identification:

  • Valid Michigan driver’s license
  • State of Michigan ID card
  • DNR Sportcard

All hunters born on, or after, January 1, 1960 must present their hunter safety certificate or previous hunting license to purchase their licenses. When hunting or trapping, you must carry your license and present upon demand of a Michigan conservation officer, a tribal conservation officer, or any law enforcement officer.

Base License

All hunters are required to have a base license before purchasing other licenses.  The base license provides funding for habitat and conservation work on both public and private land, and supports the work of conservation officers and field staff to ensure safe, legal hunting practices. The base license is valid for hunting small game. Hunters are encouraged to carry their base license at all times when hunting.

Fur Harvester License

A valid base license is needed to purchase a Michigan Fur Harvester License. A fur harvester license allows residents to hunt fox, opossum, skunk, weasel, bobcat, coyote, raccoon, and trap badger, bobcat, fisher, marten, fox, coyote, weasel, mink, raccoon, muskrat, beaver, otter, skunk, and opossum.

Nonresidents, including nonresident youth, with a valid fur harvester license can harvest the species listed above except bobcat, otter, fisher, marten, or badger.

Fur harvester licenses are valid from May 1 to April 30 (the following year). See our post on the Michigan Fur Harvest Season for specific season information.

Furbearer Kill Tags

Residents with a Michigan Fur Harvester License, who intend to harvest bobcat, otter, fisher, or marten must request free kill tags from license agents, DNR Customer Service Centers, or online. Kill tags are available May 1 through the last day of the trapping season for fisher, marten, and otter. Bobcat kill tags are only available through November 30. A person who harvests a bobcat, otter, fisher, or marten shall immediately validate the tag and attach the tag to the hide from the upper jaw through the eye socket or through the lower jaw. The kill tag must be replaced by an official DNR seal at registration.

Furbearer Registration

A person taking a bobcat, fisher, marten, and otter must present the animal at a DNR registration station for registration. A complete listing of available furbearer registration locations and hours is available at Michigan.gov/Trapping.

  • Fur takers must register their own take. It is unlawful to register the take of another person.
  • Animals should be skinned prior to registration.
  • The pelt and skull must be brought in to a DNR registration station for registration.

Following registration, a DNR representative will attach an official seal to the pelt of each animal, which replaces the furbearer kill tag. The location of take, date of harvest, and manner of harvest will be recorded when the animal is sealed. The skull will also be collected to determine the sex and age of the specimen. Skulls will be retained and will not be returned as it is used analysis of sex and age. Seals shall only be removed by a licensed taxidermist upon acceptance and recording of the specimen. Otherwise, seals shall not be removed until the pelt is processed or tanned.

For updated Rules and Regulations, see the 2022 Michigan Fur Harvester Digest on the Michigan DNR website.