Keep Your Jaws Clean – Please
By Toby Trigger

Posted: December 10, 2016

As many furbearer seasons across Montana open in December, trappers and hunters should note a few changes to regulations.

During the second year of jaw collection, pelt tags will not be issued until hunters or trappers harvesting a bobcat, otter or swift fox provide a cleaned and air dried, complete lower jaw (both sides) for aging.  The lower jaw must be reasonably free from flesh and hide and air dried so that jaws can be mailed to a lab for processing.  The whole skull is no longer required to be turned in, only the lower jaw.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff use age data obtained from the jaws to track furbearer populations and set harvest quotas.

Other things hunters and trappers should pay attention to include:

  • Setbacks now apply to all public federal and state lands for the trapping of predators and non-game wildlife as well as furbearers at any time.
  • Limited fisher season – see page 10 of the Furbearer & Trapping regulations.
  • Special trapping regulations in Lynx Protection Zones – see page 3 of the regulations.
  • To trap or hunt bobcats, the general trapping license must be purchased by Nov. 30.
  • The wolverine quota is 0 in WMUs 1, 2, 3 and 4.
  • Even though the 2016 furbearer season extends into the 2017 license year, the deadline to purchase 2016 licenses is Feb. 28, 2017.
  • See the 2016 Wolf Hunting and Trapping Regulations for all wolf trapping regulations and license requirements.

Current harvest status information may be obtained by calling 1-800-711-8727 or 406-444-9557, 24 hours a day or the FWP website at The toll free line and website are updated by 1 p.m. every day.

Check the regulations for further information, such as reporting and pelt tagging requirements, quotas and season dates.

(Articled originally penned at :

New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing