Becoming a Trapper
Where to Begin

Denay’s Story
(WMV video) 
We receive many enquiries concerning acquiring a trapline, or how to become a trapper in Alberta. Here is some helpful information.

There are two kinds of trapping licences in Alberta: a registered licence and resident licence.

A Registered trapper has 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 trapline but can only sell the assets on the property.

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 ($35 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 is similar to going hunting and 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 or at the Trapper Gord College in Debolt, at various times of the year. For information on course locations, please check out the Trapper Courses section on this site.

DVD – “Meet Your Local Trapper”

This DVD is a must for schools, especially for those students studying the fur trade. It is full of short chapters encompassing everything from why we manage fur to the science behind it, as well as interviews with key scientists involved in wildlife research. There is an animated sequence on the fur trade, and Studio NAFA takes us into the world of fur design.

Ross Hinter explains concepts to students such as habitat, carrying capacity of the land and examines the predator-prey relationship. Although various schools can use information from this DVD , almost anyone with an interest in furbearer management will find the DVD interesting and beneficial.

This DVD is part of our school fur kit, but is also sold separately and is available for $25 + tax + a $2 shipping fee in Alberta. To obtain a copy, please contact our office for information: email or call 780-349-6626. This DVD is also available from “Trapper Gords” store in Debolt, Alberta (call 780-833-3730).

DVD running time is approximately 100 minutes.

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