Fisher (Martes pennanti)

MADISON — Aug. 1 is an important deadline for trappers and hunters who wish to pursue bobcat, fisher and river otter this fall.

Permit applications for fall trapping seasons can be purchased for $3 ($6 for bobcat applications) online at GoWild.wi.gov, at Department of Natural Resources service centers, and at all license agents.

License sales are not available by phone, but live operators at the DNR Call Center are available to answer any questions hunters may have about the permit application process. The call center is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, at 888-WDNR-INFo (1-888-936-7463).

2018 fall season dates

Bobcat hunting and trapping: Period 1: Oct. 20 through Dec. 25; Period 2: Dec. 26 through Jan. 31, 2019.

Fisher (trapping only): Oct. 20 through Jan. 6, 2019

Otter (trapping only): North Zone: Nov. 3 through Apr. 30, 2019; South Zones: Nov. 3 through Mar. 31, 2019.

Bobcat, Fisher and River Otter

The statewide harvest quota for bobcat has been approved and set at 800 and a combined 1,650 permits are available for the 2018-19 season, which mark the fifth year of statewide bobcat harvest.

The statewide fisher quota for 2018 is 985 (the same level as last season), and a combined 5,420 fisher permits are available. A statewide river otter quota has been set at 2,000, with 12,300 permits available for trappers this season.

New for 2018, the fisher and otter zones have been consolidated and now match the bobcat zones. There is a Northern Zone and a Southern Zone split by Highway 64 for all three species.

Wait times for permits vary depending on the species and management zone. Visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search for keyword “trap” for details on trapping and preference points needed to draw a permit.

Drawings will take place in August, with permits issued in September. Applicants can check their online account in mid-September to see if they’ve been awarded a permit by visiting GoWild.wi.gov.

In addition to the permit, a trapping license is required to trap bobcat, fisher and river otter. All first-time trappers are required to complete a trapper education course before buying a trapping license. Trapper education classes are posted at GoWild.wi.gov.

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