The mission and goals of the Maryland Game Program include ensuring the viability and ecological integrity of Maryland's native furbearer populations. Additionally, they promote sustainable and compatible uses of the resource. Harvest of the following species is currently regulated in Maryland: beaver, bobcat (closed season), coyote, fisher, gray fox, long tailed weasel, mink, muskrat, nutria, opossum, otter, raccoon, red fox and skunk.
DNR promotes sustainable and compatible uses of the furbearer resource. Hunting and trapping seasons and bag limits are established based on furbearer biology, distribution and abundance of each species, public interests and needs and the incidence of furbearer damage complaints.
Maryland's diverse ecosystems support a rich and varied assemblage of furbearer species. They range from the solitary fisher of Garrett County spruce and hemlock forests, to the highly social South American nutria inhabiting vast wetland systems of the Eastern Shore. Maryland's citizens enjoy a variety of ecological, recreational, economic, and cultural benefits from these valuable resources.
Maryland's 14 resident furbearer species yield many user days of recreation, while also providing the nucleus for many traditionally based rural activities. The fur harvest industry is a multibillion dollar enterprise nationally and offers significant contributions to Maryland's economy.