Results of the 2008-2009 Illinois Trapper Survey

Stacy A. Lischka, Linda K. Campbell, Samantha K. Carpenter

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


A random sample of 1,200 purchasers of the Illinois resident trapping license (2008-2009 series) was mailed a 5-page questionnaire between April and May 2009. We received 768 usable responses (66% response rate). Trapping license sales increased by 8.4% from 2007-2008 (3,824 licenses) to 2008-2009 (4,146 license). Trappers set an average of 21 traps for an average of 27 days/nights during the 2008-2009 season, and they harvested an estimated 155,496 furbearers (14% decrease from 181,631 furbearers harvested in 2007-2008). An estimated 77,310 raccoon (Procyon lotor) were taken by trappers in 2008-2009, more than any other furbearer species. Estimated harvest of other species included 32,480 common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), 2,764 American mink (Neovison vison), 22,839 Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), 783 red fox (Vulpes vulpes), 86 gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), 9,997American beaver (Castor canadensis), 4,745 striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), 22 least/long-tailed weasel (Mustela nivalis/M. frenata), 4,405 coyote (Canis latrans), and 65 American badger (Taxidea taxus). A majority (57%) of respondents reported being very or extremely satisfied with enforcement of trapping regulations. A plurality of trappers reported being very or extremely satisfied with efforts to monitor furbearer populations and harvest (43%), projects to restore threatened and endangered species (39%), and youth trapper education programs (37%). A plurality (44%) of respondents reported being unsatisfied or only slightly satisfied with efforts to educate the public about the benefits of trapping. Sightings of North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) and bobcat (Lynx rufus) by trappers, and harvest of furbearers by hunting trappers, were also documented.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherIllinois Natural History Survey
StatePublished - Jan 26 2010

Publication series

NameINHS Technical Report 2010 (04)


  • INHS


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