DAR File No. 43414

This rule was published in the December 15, 2018, issue (Vol. 2018, No. 24) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources

Rule R657-11

Taking Furbearers and Trapping

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 43414
Filed: 11/28/2018 09:55:16 AM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule is being amended pursuant to Regional Advisory Council and Wildlife Board meetings conducted for taking public input and reviewing the Division of Wildlife Resources' (DWR) furbearer program.

Summary of the rule or change:

The amendments to this rule: 1) set the criteria for allowing another person to check and remove wildlife from traps; 2) add language acknowledging that the take of coyotes and raccoons is regulated by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food; 3) clarify who may legally euthanize a bobcat caught in a trapping device; and 4) clarify that owners of domestic pets caught in a trapping device may only disturb the device to remove their pet.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 23-14-18
  • Section 23-14-19

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

These amendments only clarify processes already in rule. Therefore, DWR has determined that these amendments do not create a cost or savings impact to the state budget or DWR,s budget, since the changes will not increase workload and the increase in revenue will be minimal.

local governments:

None--This filing does not create any direct cost or savings impact to local governments because they are not directly affected by these amendment. Nor are local governments indirectly impacted because these amendments do not create a situation requiring services from local governments.

small businesses:

These amendments clarify language already in rule, and therefore will not generate a cost savings or impact to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

These amendments clarify language already in rule, and therefore will not generate a cost savings or impact to other persons.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

These amendments clarify language already in rule and do not add additional requirements to trap in Utah. Therefore, DWR has determined that there is no additional compliance costs associated with these amendments.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

After conducting a thorough analysis, it was determined that these proposed rule amendments will not result in a fiscal impact to businesses.

Michael R. Styler, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Natural Resources
Wildlife Resources
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3154

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Staci Coons at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4718, by FAX at 801-538-4709, or by Internet E-mail at stacicoons@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Mike Fowlks, Director


Appendix 1: Regulatory Impact Summary Table*

Fiscal Costs

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

State Government




Local Government




Small Businesses




Non-Small Businesses




Other Person




Total Fiscal Costs:




Fiscal Benefits

State Government




Local Government




Small Businesses




Non-Small Businesses




Other Persons




Total Fiscal Benefits:




Net Fiscal Benefits:





*This table only includes fiscal impacts that could be measured. If there are inestimable fiscal impacts, they will not be included in this table. Inestimable impacts for State Government, Local Government, Small Businesses and Other Persons are described above. Inestimable impacts for Non-Small Businesses are described below.


Appendix 2: Regulatory Impact to Non-Small Businesses

These proposed rule changes to Rule R657-11 are not expected to have any fiscal impact on non-small businesses' revenues or expenditures, because there are no services required from them in order to implement these rule changes.


The head of department of Natural Resources, Michael Styler, has reviewed and approved this fiscal analysis.



R657. Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources.

R657-11. Taking Furbearers and Trapping.

R657-11-1. Purpose and Authority.

(1) Under authority of Sections 23-14-18 and 23-14-19, the Wildlife Board has established this rule for taking furbearers and trapping.

(2) Specific dates, areas, number of permits, limits, and other administrative details which may change annually are published in the guidebook of the Wildlife Board for taking furbearers.

(3) Take of coyotes and raccoons is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Food pursuant to Title 4, Chapter 23, Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Act. The division, through the Wildlife Board, is charged in Sections 23-14-1 and 23-14-18 to conserve protected wildlife and establish regulations considered necessary to accomplish that directive, including regulating the means by which protected wildlife may be taken. The trapping device use regulations in this rule concerning coyotes and raccoons are intended solely to minimize take of nontargeted protected wildlife, maximize potential for successful release of nontargeted protected wildlife, detect illegal trap sets targeting protected wildlife, and protect compliant trappers from criminal liability otherwise applicable to taking nontargeted protected wildlife in a trapping device.


R657-11-5. Tagging Bobcats.

(1) (a) Only a person who possesses a valid bobcat tag issued in their name and who is present upon discovery of a bobcat in their marked trapping device or the device of another under R657-11-9(6) may euthanize the animal.

(b) The person who euthanizes a bobcat caught in a trapping device is required to attach their bobcat tag to the carcass, as provided below.

(2) The pelt or unskinned carcass of any bobcat must be tagged in accordance with Section 23-20-30.

([2]3) The tag must remain with the pelt or unskinned carcass until a permanent tag has been affixed.

([3]4) Possession of an untagged green pelt or unskinned carcass is prima facie evidence of unlawful taking and possession.

([4]5) The lower jaw of each bobcat taken must be removed and tagged with the numbered jaw tag corresponding to the number of the temporary possession tag affixed to the hide.


R657-11-9. Trapping Devices.

(1) Any foothold traps used to take a furbearer, coyote, or raccoon must have spacers on the jaws which leave an opening of at least 3/16 of an inch when the jaws are closed, except;

(a) rubber-padded jaw traps,

(b) traps with jaw spreads less than 4.25 inches, and

(c) traps that are completely submerged under water when set.

(2)(a) Any cable devices (i.e snares), used to take a furbearer, coyote, or raccoon, except those set in water or with a loop size less than 3 inches in diameter, must be equipped with a breakaway lock device that will release when any force greater than 300 lbs. is applied to the loop.

(b) Breakaway cable devices must be fastened to an immovable object solidly secured to the ground.

(c) The use of drags is prohibited.

(3) On the middle section of the Provo River, between Jordanelle Dam and Deer Creek Reservoir, the Green River, between Flaming Gorge Dam and the Utah Colorado state line; the Colorado River, between the Utah Colorado state line and Lake Powell; and the Escalante River, between Escalante and Lake Powell, trapping for a furbearer, coyote, or raccoon within 600 yards of either side of these rivers, including their tributaries from the confluences upstream 1/2 mile, is restricted to the following devices:

(a) Nonlethal-set foot hold traps with a jaw spread less than 5 1/8 inches, and nonlethal-set padded foot hold traps. Drowning sets with these traps are prohibited.

(b) Body-gripping, killing-type traps with body-gripping area less than 30 square inches.

(c) Nonlethal dry land cable devices equipped with a stop-lock device that prevents it from closing to less than a six-inch diameter.

(d) Size 330, body-gripping, killing-type traps modified by replacing the standard V-trigger assembly with one top side parallel trigger assembly, with the trigger placed within one inch of the side, or butted against the vertical turn in the Canadian bend.

(4) A person may not disturb or remove any trapping device, except:

(a) the owner of the trapping device;

(b) peace officers in the performance of their duties;

(c) the landowner where the trapping device is set;

(d) the owner of a domestic pet [is ]caught in the device may disturb the device to remove the domestic pet; or.

(e) as provided in Subsection (6).

(5) A person may not kill or remove wildlife caught in any trapping device, except:

(a) the owner of the trapping device who possesses the permit, license, tag, or legal authorization required for the species that is captured;

(b) a peace officer in the performance of their duties;

(c ) as provided in Subsection (6); or

(d) as provided in R657-11-11.

(6)(a) A person, other than the owner, may [temporarily ]possess, set, disturb or remove a trapping device; or temporarily possess, kill or remove wildlife caught in a trapping device provided:

(i) the trapping device is appropriately marked with the owner's trap registration number;

(ii) the person possesses a valid [trap registration license, ]furbearer license[,] and appropriate permits or tags when working with furbearer sets;[and]

(iii) the person's trap registration license or furbearer license are neither denied nor suspended; and

([ii]iv) the person has obtained written authorization from the owner of the trapping device [stating]with the following information printed on the authorization in permanent ink:

(A) date written authorization was obtained;

(B) name[ and ], address, and phone number of the owner;

(C) owner's trap registration number;

(D) the name of the individual being given authorization; and

(E) signature of owner.

(b) Nothing in Subsection (6)(a) authorizes a person to use the owner's trap registration license, furbearer license, permit or tag.

(7) The owner of any trapping device providing written authorization to another person under Subsection (6) [shall]may be [strictly]criminally liable and civilly responsible under Section 23-19-9 for any violations of Title 23, this rule, or applicable guidebooks resulting from the use of the trapping device by the authorized person.

(8) The owner of any trapping device providing written authorization to another person under Subsection (6) must keep a record of all persons obtaining written authorization and furnish a copy of the record upon request from a conservation officer.

(9)(a) A person may not set any trapping device on posted private property without the landowner's or lessee's written permission.

(b) Wildlife officers should be informed as soon as possible of any illegally set trapping devices.

(10) Peace officers in the performance of their duties may seize all trapping devices and wildlife used or held in violation of this rule.

(11) Except as provided in Subsection (6), a person may not possess any trapping device that is not permanently marked or tagged with that person's trap registration number while setting, checking, or moving a trapping device targeting a furbearer, coyote, or raccoon.

(12) All trapping devices used to take a furbearer, coyote, or raccoon must be checked and animals removed at least once every 48 hours, except;

(a) killing traps striking dorso-ventrally;

(b) drowning sets; and

(c) lethal cable devices that are set to capture on the neck, that have a nonrelaxing lock, without a stop, and are anchored to an immoveable object; which must be checked every 96 hours.

([14]13)(a) A person may not remove from a trapping device and thereafter transport or possess:

(i) live protected wildlife[.]; or

(ii) a live coyote or raccoon in violation of Section 4-23-111.

(b) Any live animal found in a trapping device must be[killed or]:

(i) euthanized and removed from the device by the trapper within the 48-hour trap check period in R657-11-9(12); or

(ii) released immediately by the trapper unharmed.

([15]14) The trapping restrictions in Subsections (1), (2), and (3) do not apply to a trapping device set within 600 feet of a building or structure occupied or utilized by humans or domestic livestock, provided the trapping device is set:

(a) to capture a coyote or raccoon; and

(b) with the landowner's or lessee's permission.


R657-11-11. Accidental Trapping.

(1)(a) Any protected wildlife accidentally caught in a trapping device that is alive must be immediately released unharmed by a person authorized in R657-11-9(5) and (6).

(b) All incidents of accidental trapping of protected wildlife must be reported to the division within 48 hours.

(2)(a) Permission must be obtained from a division representative to remove from a trapping device the carcass of any protected wildlife accidentally caught.

(b) The carcass remains the property of the state and must be turned over to the division.

(3) Black-footed ferret, lynx and wolf are protected species under the Endangered Species Act. Accidental trapping or capture of any federally protected species must be immediately reported to both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the division.

(4) A person that captures or kills an unauthorized species of protected wildlife in a trapping device is not criminally liable under state law for that take, provided the person:

(a) was not attempting to take the unauthorized species;

(b) possesses a valid trap registration license or a valid written authorization from the owner of the trapping device as provided in R657-11-9(6);

(c) possesses the licenses, permits and tags required to trap the targeted wildlife species; and

(d) otherwise complies with the provisions of the Wildlife Code, this rule, and guidebooks applicable to trapping the targeted wildlife species.


KEY: wildlife, furbearers, game laws, wildlife law

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [ November 25, 2017 ] 2019

Notice of Continuation: July 13, 2015

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 23-14-18; 23-14-19; 23-13-17

Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2018/b20181215.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Staci Coons at the above address, by phone at 801-538-4718, by FAX at 801-538-4709, or by Internet E-mail at stacicoons@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.