INDIANA NUISANCE WILD ANIMAL CONTROL PERMITS
Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife
This free permit is given to control a nuisance wild animal protected by state law. Those who provide a service to the public or charge a fee for nuisance wild animal control services must pass a test before obtaining a permit. Migratory birds, including Canada geese and woodpeckers, are federally protected and cannot be taken under the authority of this permit. A pesticide applicator’s license is required from the State Chemist’s Office for the use of toxicants and other labeled drugs; for more information, contact the State Chemist’s Office at 765-494-1587.
What kinds of wild animals can be taken under this permit?
Wild animals protected by state law that are not an endangered or federally protected species can be taken under the authority of this permit, with some exceptions. Groundhogs (woodchucks), moles, voles, mice and chipmunks are not protected by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and can be taken at any time and with any method without a permit from the DNR. Domestic cats and dogs also are not regulated by the DNR; please contact your county animal control authority for information. White-tailed deer can be taken outside the season only with a special deer damage control permit issued by a DNR District Wildlife Biologist; you cannot take any white-tailed deer under the authority of this nuisance wild animal control permit.
Who will need to take the test?
Those who provide nuisance wild animal control services to the public or charge a fee for their services must pass a test before obtaining a nuisance wild animal control permit. The test is free of charge and can be taken at properties throughout the state. Please contact the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife and request a study packet to help prepare for the test. Call the Commercial License Clerk at 317-232-4102 or Linnea Petercheff at 317-233-6527 or by e-mail at email@example.com. A complete list of all of the testing locations is in the study packet; you will need to contact the property office to schedule an appointment to take the test. The test should take no longer than one (1) hour. The test consists of 90 questions, and all are true-false or multiple choice. Approximately 50 questions pertain to the diseases, food habits, reproduction and behavior of wild animals. Approximately 20 questions pertain to laws and regulations about methods of taking and disposing of nuisance wild animals. A few questions propose real-life situations and require you to choose a solution that’s legal, effective and practical. Additional questions address identification of animals, methods for capturing animals, and methods for preventing further problems.
Once you pass the test, continuing education in the amount of 32 hours in 4 years is required, or you will need to take the test again. The Indiana Animal Damage Control Association Meetings, State Trapper’s Education Course, and Furtakers of America Trapper’s College will count towards continuing education hours. To contact the Indiana Animal Damage Control Association, please call Tim Dale at 260-731-4573 or Tim Julien at 317-895-9069. For trapper education courses or the Indiana State Trapper’s Association, visit the DNR Law Enforcement website at: http://www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/4812.htm. For educational opportunities with the Fur Takers of America, please contact Jim Mahoney at (812) 526-6480. Additional training may be available; please contact Linnea Petercheff at (317) 233-6527 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What methods can I use to trap the animal?
Firearms can be used if possessed and used in compliance with all applicable state, local, and federal firearm laws. Steel and live traps can be used, as follows:
- It is illegal to use a foot-hold trap possessing saw-toothed or spiked jaws.
- A foot-hold trap can be set on land if the widest inside jaw spread is less than 5 3⁄4 inches. If the jaw spread (measured 2 ways) is equal to or greater than 5 3⁄4 inches, the jaws of the trap must have either at least a 1/8 inch offset, have securely attached rubber pads in the offset, or the trap must be completely covered with water. The trap’s hinge posts must be maintained at a 90° angle to the trap’s baseplate.
- It is illegal to take a wild animal with a foot-hold trap on land if the widest inside jaw spread measured perpendicular to the trap’s baseplate and the inside width between the trap’s hinge posts is greater than 6 1⁄2 inches.
- A Conibear, Dahlgren, Bigelow, or other body-gripping trap can be used on lane if the widest inside jaw-spread is 8 inches or less in diameter, if round, or 7 1⁄2 inches, if square. Otherwise, the trap must be completely covered by water.
No snare can be used that permits a circumference greater than 15 inches unless at least 50% of the loop of the snare is covered by water or the snare employs a relaxing snare lock (a lock that will allow the snare’s loop size to increase once pulling tension is no longer exerted along the snare from its anchored end).
All traps must be checked at least once every twenty-four (24) hours; if an animal is found in that trap within that time period, it must be removed from that trap within 12 hours of receiving notice of an animal being caught in the trap. Although you have up to 48 hours to release or euthanize the animal, the animal cannot be left in the trap for 48 hours.
What can I do with the animal once it is caught?
Animals can be released at the capture site or county of capture, euthanized, or treated as otherwise authorized in the permit. Animals that are euthanized must be done so with the safest, quickest, and most painless available method as recommended and approved by the Division of Fish and Wildlife; the list of approved methods are included with the permit. If the animal is sick, injured or orphaned, you can give it to a licensed rehabilitator or veterinarian. Reasonable efforts should be made to reunite dependent young with their mother. You must obtain permission from the property owner before releasing any animals on any property, including public land. A wild animal that is taken under this permit cannot be possessed for more than forty-eight (48) hours. Live animals or carcasses of wild animals taken under the authority of this permit can not be sold, bartered, gifted or traded.
What species of wild animals are endangered?
Indiana’s endangered species include the Indiana bat, alligator snapping turtle, eastern massasauga rattlesnake, and timber rattlesnake; a complete list of Indiana’s endangered species can be found on our website at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/ . An endangered species cannot be possessed or taken without a special permit issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife with approval of the Endangered Species Coordinator; this is in addition to your nuisance wild animal control permit. If an endangered species or river otter is accidentally captured in a trap, release it immediately at the capture site or if it is killed in the trap, you must give it to the DNR; contact a DNR conservation officer or Linnea Petercheff for more information. You can contact your local conservation officer or Linnea Petercheff for instructions on capturing an endangered species, river otter, badger, or bobcat that is causing a nuisance. A federal permit is also needed before a federally endangered species can be taken.
What species of birds can I take under this permit?
Only English or house sparrows, European starlings and feral pigeons can be taken without a federal or state permit. All other species of birds, including woodpeckers and owls, can be captured, possessed or transported only with a permit issued by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Indiana DNR. You may, however, employ methods that will not require you to handle the birds, such as putting up a barrier or applying a non-toxic product that will discourage perching. Contact your DNR district wildlife biologist for information on obtaining a special permit to trap, relocate or kill nuisance Canada Geese outside the legal hunting seasons; contact information is available on our website.
Who do I contact for more information about state regulations?
Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife
Attn: Linnea Petercheff
402 W. Washington St., Rm W273
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2781
(317) 233-6527; e-mail: email@example.com
Who do I contact for more information about obtaining a federal permit?
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Migratory Bird Permit Office
BHW Federal Building; 1 Federal Drive
Fort Snelling, MN 55111-4056