113-291.6. Regulation of trapping.

(a) No one may take wild animals by trapping upon the land of another without having in his possession written permission issued and dated within the previous year by the owner of the land or his agent. This subsection does not apply to public lands on which trapping is not specifically prohibited, including tidelands, marshlands, and any other untitled land.

(b) No one may take wild animals by trapping with any steel-jaw, leghold, or conibear trap unless it:

(1) Has a jaw spread of not more than seven and one-half inches.

(2) Is horizontally offset with closed jaw spread of at least three sixteenths of an inch for a trap with a jaw spread of more than five and one-half inches. This subdivision does not apply if the trap is set in the water with quick-drown type of set.

(3) Is smooth edged and without teeth or spikes.

(4) Has a weather-resistant permanent tag attached legibly giving the trapper's name and address or the trapper's trapper identification number provided by the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission's telephone number to report wildlife violations. If a trapper places a trap on the property of another that gives the trapper's trapper identification number instead of the trapper's name and address, the Wildlife Resources Commission shall disclose the identity of the trapper to the landowner upon the landowner's request.

A steel-jaw or leghold trap set on dry land with solid anchor may not have a trap chain longer than eight inches from trap to anchor unless fitted with a shock-absorbing device approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission.

(c) No person may set or otherwise use a trap so that animals or birds when caught will be suspended. No hook of any type may be used to take wild animals or wild birds by trapping.

(d) Conibear type traps that have an inside jaw spread or opening (width or height) greater than seven and one-half inches and no larger than 26 inches in width and 12 inches in height may only be set in the water and in areas in which beaver and otter may be lawfully trapped. For the purposes of this section:

(1) A water-set trap is one totally covered by water with the anchor secured in water deep enough to drown the animal trapped quickly.

(2) In areas of tidal waters, the mean high water is considered covering water.

(3) In reservoir areas, covering water is the low water level prevailing during the preceding 24 hours.

(4) Marshland, as defined in G.S. 113-229(n)(3), is not considered dry land.

(e) With respect to any lawfully placed trap of another set in compliance with the provisions of this section, no one without the express permission of the trapper may:

(1) Remove or disturb any trap; or

(2) Remove any fur-bearing animal from the trap.

This subsection does not apply to wildlife protectors or other law-enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties.

(f) Nothing in this section prohibits the use of steel- or metal-jaw traps by county or State public health officials or their agents to control the spread of disease when the use of these traps has been declared necessary by the State Health Director.

(g) The Wildlife Resources Commission must include the trapping requirements of this section in its annual digest of hunting and trapping rules provided to each person upon purchase of a license.

(h) A person who has been issued a depredation permit for coyotes under G.S. 113-274(c) may use a Collarumm trap, or similar trap approved by the Wildlife Resources Commission, solely for the purpose of taking coyotes under that permit. The person authorized to use these traps pursuant to this subsection shall provide information on the effectiveness and efficiency of the traps as requested by the Commission. To minimize the risk of harm to nontargeted species, any such trap set shall be attended daily and any nontarget animal caught released. (1977, c. 933, ss. 2, 7; 1979, c. 830, s. 1; 1981, c. 729; 1987, c. 827, s. 98; 1989, c. 727, s. 114; 1997-418, s. 5; 2009-120, s. 1; 2010-156, s. 1; 2019-204, s. 7.)