Maryland Hunter Education Trapper Course

Trapper Education Requirement

Effective August 1, 2007 any person who is trapping or attempting to trap furbearers (muskrat, beaver, raccoon, red and gray fox, opossum, mink, skunk, river otter, fisher, long-tailed weasel, and coyote) under the authority of a Furbearer Permit must first obtain a Certificate of Trapper Education from the Department unless the person held a Furbearer Permit during the 2006-2007 trapping season (prior to August 1, 2007).

Trapper Education is not required to hunt furbearers using a legal hunting technique other than​​ trapping during a regulated and legal hunting season. A Furbearer Permit is required.

The majority of Hunter Safety Education classes are offered in the fall leading up to Maryland’s standard hunting seasons but many classes are ​held throughout the year but fill up quickly. New classes are posted often. Prospective students are encouraged to check the schedule frequently year round. Planning well ahead of your hunt is key.

***Attention Parents of Younger Students and Those with Special Needs Attending In-person Training***​

  1.  Any student under the age of 13 years old must have an adult (18 years or older) accompany them during any session of the Hunter Education Course unless otherwise stated on the registration site.
  2. ​​T​raining teams will have the discretion to require adult supervision for students 13 to 16 years old or non-drivers of any age.
  3. Training teams will have the discretion to require any student chaperones to remain outside the actual classroom, trail walk and/or range. Refer to the individual class description on the registration page.
  4. Teaching teams are the guest of the facilities that allow them to teach there. Therefore some classes may have specific age limitations in order to accommodate facility by-laws or insurance regulations. Please read the class description on the registration page thoroughly.
  5. Students who rely on transportation from another person must ensure that the transportation is on time. If the student’s transportation is more than thirty minutes late, the instructor may at their discretion dismiss the student from further participation in the course.
  6. Any ​student registering for a class that has a special need (i.e. interpreter, physical or mental disability, etc.) must contact the chief instructor at the time of registration in order to allow the team time to prepare appropriate accommodations.
  7. Hunter Education classrooms are filled with student of all ages. The curriculum is designed to accommodate approximate 5th grade age students. Although students of any age may attend, the success rate of students decreases below that age. Instructors will make every attempt to achieve the success of every student where possible.
  8. Parents may not assist their children with any portion of the training. This includes testing, trail walk or range events. If reading is an issue, please communicate with the instructors at the time of the class and an instructor may be available to read the test aloud.

Training Options

There are two options to obtaining trapper certification:

  1. In-person, instructor led classroom course – Instructor led class consisting of instructions and demonstrations and equipment displays.
  2. “Test-out” – For students confident in their knowledge of the materials they may choose to “test-out”. Contact the Safety Education Office (410-643-8502 to arrange to meet with a Hunter Ed staff member and schedule a proctored test. These tests are conducted in person at a public location and are sometimes done in a small groups. A photo ID is required at the test-out exam. Exam reading assistance is not available at test-outs. Test-out failures may not test again on the same day.
  3. Both options are provided without cost to the student.​

Training Materials

There are two books required to complete the Trapper Education training. These books are downloadable in .pdf format at the links below.

  1. Maryland Trapper Education Student Manual
  2. Maryland Trapper Education Workbook​

​The Manual is the trapper student’s textbook which contains all the information needed to pass the course. You may print the Manual for your own reference or refer to the digital version.

The Workbook is a guide in the form of question and answer to test the students’ knowledge of information provided in the Manual. You must use a printed copy of the Workbook. ​

Students may print their own copy or request mailed copies from the Safety Education and Outreach Office at 410-643-8502. The manual may be ordered as well if requested at the same time. There is no cost to the student for ordering the manuals.

Regardless of the training option chosen every student must turn in a completed Trapper Education Workbook. You must physically complete the workbook before attending any trapper training or testing. You will be required to present the completed workbook to the instructor at the classroom course or to the proctor at the test-out location. The Trapper Classroom Course is a fully in-person, training event provided by state certified Trapper Instructors. The Trapper Classroom Courses are scheduled independently by the training teams all over the state and are posted on the DNR website listed below. Demand for trapper certification is much lower than basic Hunter Education classes and therefore there tend to be less classes during a given year. Test-outs are available year round.

What to Expect at the Trapper Classroom Course

Students will be provided with all information needed to successfully pass evaluation at the Classroom Course.

Generally, the Trapper Course will last 4 to 6 hours. Duration of the event may vary due to the number of students and class participation. Trained Trapper Instructors may adapt the presentation of material to the needs of the class and the limitations of the facility.

​The Trapper Classroom Course will include the following:

​Classroom sessions provided by trained Trapper Instructors that include in-depth instruction on:

  • Benefits of regulated trapping
  • State and National trapping organizations
  • Legal trap types in Maryland
  • Maryland furbearers
  • Furbearer management principals
  • Trapping laws and regulations
  • Best Management Practices (BMPs)
  • Trapping safety
  • Trapping ethics and responsibility
  • Trap preparation, adjustment and anchoring
  • Bait and lure
  • Land set trapping techniques
  • Water set trapping techniques
  • Cable restraint devices
  • Animal welfare practices
  • Fur handling
  • A 50 question multiple ​choice test – requires an 80% score to pass
  • Resources for continued growth in trapping

Students must also demonstrate to an instructor the ability to behave in a mature and safe manner.

Trapper Classroom Courses may vary from training to training and are designed to be flexible. Instructors may shift the focus of the instruction, or the style of instruction as needed based on the age/experience of the overall student group or a demonstrated need for a different training/testing technique.

Please make a note of any special instructions when registering for the Classroom Course as some training facilities have special requirements. Be sure that you have the proper clothing for the outdoor sessions.

Maryland highly encourages all persons who wish to hunt in Maryland to attend in-person Trapper Classroom Courses. These class​es provide a maximum amount of interaction between experienced trappers, subject matter experts and other individuals who can discuss current issues and importantly, answer specific questions. These classes generally provide a much greater opportunity for a successful learning experience and a foundation for a lifetime of safe trapping for everyone. In addition, the traditional in-person classes provide much more “hands on” time for students with specific training aides and technique demonstrations. This is especially important for younger students.

Follow the link below to see the currently scheduled trapper classes and register: