Illinois DNR continually reviews and develops rules, regulations and education programs to ensure that hunting and trapping are as humane as possible. By reviewing rules, regulations and educational programs related to hunting and trapping,
Illinois DNR ensures the humaneness of these activities, and promotes the welfare of wildlife by:
- Coinciding with animal life cycles
- Developing Best Management Practices to regulate trapping
- Developing trapping laws
- Promoting humaneness through education
Hunting and trapping are allowed for a short time period each year, and seasons are set to coincide with animal life cycles. Trapping is not allowed when furbearers are giving birth to and raising their young.
The large bear traps with iron teeth seen in museums and antique shops have been illegal in Illinois for more than 25 years. Modern traps have smooth surfaces (some are even padded) and are sized to the animal being trapped.
Illinois trapping laws include:
- Mandatory licensing of trappers
- Mandatory daily checking of traps.
- Mandatory trapper education courses for first-time trappers younger than the age of 18.
- Restricted seasons for trapping.
- Restrictions on the size of traps.
- Restrictions on types of traps to ensure humaneness given current technology.
- Restricted areas for trapping.
Promoting humaneness through education
Illinois DNR provides Trapper Education courses for the public and encourages all trappers to participate. These courses teach people how to trap in the most selective and humane way possible.
First-time trappers and hunters under the age of 18 are required to pass one of these courses before they can buy licenses. Similar classes exist for hunters.