Red fox and coyote furs cover the tables at the Idaho Trappers Association auction in January 2013 at the National Guard Armory in Mountain Home.

JEROME — Beginning July 1, 2018, trappers who purchased their first trapping licenses after June 30, 2011, must pass a mandatory trapper education course before purchasing an Idaho trapping license.

So the Idaho Department of Fish and Game this spring is encouraging trappers to sign up.

Trappers who are certified through Idaho's voluntary trapper education course — or equivalent courses from other states or countries — are exempt, but new trappers will be required to take the course starting in 2018. People who have taken only a wolf-trapping course are not exempt.

“Trapping is a learned skill, and our course helps trappers learn the best tools, methods and locations for catching their intended quarry,” Bill Seybold, Fish and Game’s trapper education coordinator, said in a release. “But responsible trapping is critical, and this course teaches trappers how to avoid catching non-target animals, as well as how to minimize their potential impacts on other recreationists.”

Topics include safety, ethical behavior, selecting safe trap set locations, furbearer behavior, trapping regulations, equipment selection and maintenance, avoiding non-target catches and care of captured animals.

Courses are a mixture of classroom instruction and field experience. Participants must be at least 9. Register at any Fish and Game office for $8, or online for $8 plus a extra fee of $1.75.

Watch for upcoming classes near you: https://idfg.idaho.gov/hunt/education

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