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Site validation coupons required for fisher, pine marten, river otter

A new state trapping regulation that went into effect Sept. 1 requires trappers to validate a site coupon for any fisher, pine marten, or river otter taken in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says the free coupons are available at license vendors. Trappers will receive one site validation coupon for each animal they could potentially harvest. For example, a trapper who intended to target fisher, pine marten, and river otter would receive a total of nine coupons (five fisher/marten and four river otter).

The trapping validation coupon process:

Each person age five or older who takes a river otter, fisher, or pine marten must validate their site validation coupon at the site of the kill by cutting out the appropriate notches with a sharp knife or similar sharp object. The notches indicate the month, date, time and species (fisher/marten).

Site validation coupons do not need to be attached to the animal, but trappers must have their coupons in possession while taking or transporting fisher, pine marten, or river otter.

Fisher, river otter, bobcat, or pine marten taken by a resident under age 5 must be included in the limit of the accompanying parent or guardian. Fisher, pine marten, and river otter must be validated on one of the parent's or guardian's site validation coupons.

Fisher, pine marten, and river otter must not be removed from the kill site without the trapper's validated site coupon in possession.

Authorized agents may remove trapped fisher, pine marten, and otter from the trap, and agents must validate their own site validation coupon prior to removing the animal from the site of the kill. An authorized agent is an individual that a trapper has authorized in writing and who possesses all necessary licenses to tend traps set by the trapper, including resetting the trap at the same set.

Site validation coupons are not transferrable. Trappers may acquire site validation coupons at any time before or during the trapping season. Replacements for site validation coupons that are lost or destroyed are available on request from any license vendor. Replacement site validation coupons are clearly marked as replacements.

Trappers must present completed site validation coupons for each fisher, pine marten and river otter when they present the pelts for furbearer registration.

Complete trapping regulations can be found beginning on page 44 of the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook or on the DNR website.