Important Changes and Definitions 
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Minister's Message

Message from the Honourable Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks

I am honoured to welcome you to Alberta's 2016-17 trapping season. The regulations for the upcoming year play a significant role in honouring Alberta's long-standing trapping heritage; one that has contributed to the economic development of our province for many decades.

Trapping is the longest enduring commercial enterprise in Alberta and remains an important tradition for many rural and local economies. Our trapping heritage exemplifies the tenets of sustainable use, with our province enjoying healthy and thriving furbearer populations today. Trappers play an essential role in managing Alberta's furbearer resource thanks to their sound stewardship practices and expertise in helping to monitor the status and trends of animal populations.

It is my sincere hope that you experience our province's natural wonders and its breathtaking beauty as you venture out this year.

Shannon Phillips
Minister of Environment and Parks

Important Changes For 2016-2017
  • 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.
  • Trappers are reminded that the Trapper Challenge Exam has been discontinued, and first time trappers must now 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.
  • For fall 2016, certified killing traps are now mandatory for Otter (click here for more information).
  • For fall 2018, certified killing and restraining traps will become mandatory for Bobcat (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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