July 1, 2024

Legislation Seeks to Increase the Minimum Age for Trapping in the Garden State

Article Contact: Kaleigh Leager,

Why It Matters: New Jersey Assembly Bill 2920 (AB 2920) would increase the minimum age for the issuance of a trapping license from 12 years of age to 18. Increasing the minimum age for someone to be eligible to participate in trapping would be extremely detrimental to the recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of trappers, which would detrimentally impact the practice in New Jersey. Trapping is a vitally important part of wildlife management and creating barriers to the practice will only hurt our natural resources.


  • The enactment of AB 2920 would increase the minimum age for someone to be eligible to trap by 6 years (from 12to18). In New Jersey, you are required to take and pass trapper education to obtain a trapping license.
  • The passage of AB 2920 would be detrimental to the Garden State’s outdoor heritage, conservation through wildlife management practices, and most noticeably, R3 initiatives.
  • Trapping is an extremely effective practice for furbearer and predator management, which is crucial for the population success of other species that were previously near the brink of extinction such as the wild turkey and wood ducks.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted a letter of opposition to AB 2920, which requested that the bill not receive a hearing in the Assembly Environment, Natural Resources, and Solid Waste Committee.

Legislation like AB 2920 is not unique to New Jersey. There are constant attacks on the practice of trapping around the country, which was reflected at a record level in 2023. It is important to note that trapping is a heavily regulated wildlife management practice used to manage habitat, monitor and control animal populations, protect and reintroduce endangered species, protect private and public property and to conduct research.

In New Jersey, there are trapping seasons for beaver, otter, mink, muskrat, eastern coyote, fox, opossum, racoon, skunk, and weasel. The success of many species relies upon predator management, which is most successfully done through trapping. For example, female (hen) turkeys are often victims of coyote and fox attacks while sitting on her nest. Additionally, she is prone to having her nest raided by skunks, racoons, and opossums. If the hen can successfully hatch her clutch, the poults make an easy meal for foxes and coyotes. Without trapping, non-predatory populations will decline and once again be in peril.

Trapping needs to be protected and supported as the essential wildlife management and conservation tool it is.  Licensed trappers provide a great service to the state and wildlife professionals, at their own expense. While some states have made trapping all but illegal – and as a result, forced those states to take on the economic burden of having to hire outside, professional trappers – recreational trappers pay for a license and utilize their own resources to participate in a traditional method of wildlife management, providing invaluable biological data to wildlife professionals and saving the state financial expenditures in the process.

CSF will continue to fight against policy that looks to negatively impact our outdoor heritage, conservation practices, and access and opportunity. Additionally, CSF looks forward to continuing to work with the New Jersey Angling and Hunting Conservation Caucus to protect and promote outdoor traditions in the Garden State.

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