Nebraska offers long seasons and abundant opportunities to harvest furbearers and coyotes throughout the state.
These animals are common in Nebraska, and most are found statewide. Regulated harvest of these mammals is an important management tool for controlling populations to reduce problems they can cause people and property.
Hunting and trapping seasons typically are designed to allow the harvest of furbearers during the fall and winter, when the pelts are prime, and the animals are less likely to have dependent young. This provides hunters an opportunity to earn extra income, play a role in the species management and enjoy time outdoors.
Nebraska has three furbearers that only may be trapped – muskrats, beavers and river otters. Raccoons and opossums have an early hunting-only season. Those two species, along with bobcats, badgers, mink, long-tailed weasels, red fox, gray fox and striped skunks, also have seasons where they may be hunted or trapped.
Hunting and trapping are permitted statewide, except where closed by federal, state or local laws or regulations. Hunters and trappers must get permission before hunting or trapping on private land that is not part of a public access program.
River otters have a season bag limit of one for each harvester and an overall limit of 125 for the season. For other furbearers, there is no bag limit for Nebraska residents. Nonresidents may harvest up to 1,000 furbearers, with a fee for each additional 100 furbearers taken over 1,000.
For residents ages 16 and older, a fur harvest permit and habitat stamp are required to hunt or trap furbearers in Nebraska; no permit is needed for residents to harvest coyotes. Nonresidents need a nonresident small game permit for coyotes and a nonresident fur harvest permit and habitat stamp to harvest furbearers.
Residents may buy fur harvest permits at OutdoorNebraska.gov, but nonresident permits only may be purchased at Game and Parks’ Lincoln office. Call 402-471-5457.
Find more information on furbearer hunting and trapping in the Nebraska Small Game and Waterfowl Guide. It is available wherever permits are sold or online at Outdoornebraska.gov/guides.
The 2022-2023 Nebraska furbearer seasons are:
Muskrat and beaver – Nov. 1, 2022-March 31, 2023
River otter – Nov. 1, 2022-Feb. 28, 2023, unless the limit of 125 is met earlier
Raccoon, Virginia opossum – Sept. 1, 2022-Oct. 31, 2022
Hunting and trapping
Badger, mink, long-tailed weasel, raccoon, Virginia opossum, red fox, gray fox – Nov. 1, 2022-Feb. 28, 2023
Bobcat – Dec. 1, 2022-Feb. 28, 2023
Striped skunk – year-round
Coyote – year-round