Nature prepares furbearing animals for winter with thick, prime pelts. For Tennessee pelts are prime from early November through February. Tennessee’s trapping season corresponds to that time and is Nov. 18 – Feb. 28. Eligible furbearers are: Bobcat, fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, river otter, raccoon, skunks (striped and spotted), and weasel. There are no daily or annual limits.
Beaver, coyote and groundhog can be trapped year round since they are such costly pests to farmers, stockmen and landowners.
Modern trapping is highly regulated by federal and state wildlife agencies and it is similar to hunting as an effective tool for controlling populations of target species. Such regulations include the style and size of traps, identification tags on all traps, and frequent inspection of trap sites. See pages 14-17 of the 2016-17 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide for more details.