2012-2013 will mark the first Illinois trapping season for river otters since 1929. This success
story was made possible by restoration efforts in Illinois and other states in the lower
Midwest. Federal laws require each otter pelt to be tagged before it is sold, which will be
new to most Illinois trappers. A simple and convenient system has been set up.
- Season Dates -The otter season is the same as the beaver season (Nov.5-March 31 in the North Zone; Nov. 10-March 31 in the South Zone).
- Otter Registration Permit - Trappers must purchase an Otter Registration Permit within 48 hours after harvesting a river otter. The cost of a permit is $5 plus a vendor’s fee. The temporary otter pelt permit will be available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, by phone at 1-888-673-7648 (1-888-6PERMIT), or online through the Illinois DNR License Sales Site. You will be mailed an official CITES pelt tag within 2-3 weeks after purchasing a permit. NOTE: Do not purchase a permit before you harvest an otter.
- Otter Tagging Requirement - An official CITES tag must be permanently affixed to the green hide of each otter (including a whole, un-skinned carcass) before it is exported outside the United States or transferred to a fur buyer, fur tanner, taxidermist or manufacturer (a manufacturer is an individual who dresses and fabricates green hides into fur garments or products).
Frequently Asked Questions. This link will take you directly to the River Otter section of the Hunting and Trapping Digest. When the document opens, simply scroll down a few lines. Contine reading the bottom of page 27 and the top of page 28.
Interesting Facts About River Otters
Videos-Tagging and Fur Handling
Handling and Tagging Otters
Handling Otter Pelts
Tools and Prep for Skinning Otters
Skinning an Otter
Stretching an Otter
Fleshing an Otter
If you have additional inquiries, please send us an email.