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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Safety

Trapping Education 

The Illinois Trapper Education Course consists of a minimum eight hours of instruction. These courses cover
the basics in:
  • equipment and trapping techniques
  • trap and pelt preparation
  • wildlife and furbearer management
  • reporting requirements
  • trapper ethics
  • game identification and state regulations

This course is designed to teach new or inexperienced trappers the most ethical and humane procedures for trapping Illinois furbearers. In addition to basic techniques, it is also important that the trapper understand the unique role that trapping has played in the history of our state and nation. We believe that the trappers create a good image only by being responsible and ethical users of our fur resources. Trappers should also understand the principles of wildlife management and should cooperate with landowners, other sportsmen and mangers of the publics' natural resources. This course, taught by certified instructors, is designed to provide a solid beginning to your trapping education - an education that will continue every day you are on your trapline.

Persons completing the minimum eight hours of instruction and successfully completing the final examination will receive a State of Illinois Certificate of Competency and a graduate patch.

Who Must Take The Course?

On January 5, 1985, a State law was passed requiring that no person under eighteen years of age may be issued a trapping license unless:

1.  they present a valid Trapper Education Certificate of Competency issued by the Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division; or 2.  they present evidence that he or she has held a trapping license issued by the State of Illinois or another state in a prior year.

Two Ways To Take The Course

Instructor-led Classes-The traditional and preferred trapper education method is through an 8 hour instructor-led class and demonstrations. Classes are usually one day and held on a weekend . The class will end with a test to pass the course. Interested individuals may call 1-800-832-2599 or check List of Education Courses by County.

Online Self-Study Course-Students may study course material online and complete each section of the course. At the completion of the course the student must successfully complete an exam and will be able to print off a certificate verifying their assigned Trapper Education number. Trapper Education Course ( website) .

Courses are sponsored by various conservation clubs, park districts, public service organizations and other interest groups.

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