MISSOURI — The Common Muskrat is a native Missouri rodent that can cause damage to surrounding environments if the population is not kept under control.

However, these medium-sized mammals can be trapped with proper permits throughout the state until February 20.

In this installment of “You Can Hunt That?”, KMZU’s Dan Watson talked with Joe Coy, a Wildlife Management Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, about what type of trapping method is most effective in catching muskrat and where to look for them in Missouri.

Click below to listen to their conversation, which aired Tuesday on KMZU.

According to Coy, the muskrat can cause damage to a levy or dam by burrowing into them causing the levy to leak.

“Well muskrats have a tendency to be damaging to pond dams and wetland levies. The y have a tendency to make holes in the levies and then the bodies of water drain.”

Unlike otters, muskrats do not require any permits or licenses if you are trapping on your own land.

“If your own property that you own, you don’t have to have a trapping permit,” Coy said, “But if you are trapping on Missouri Department of Conservation ground, you have to buy a trapping permit and if you are on conservation property, you also have to have a special use permit, that is issued by the Area Manager.”

Once a muskrat has been captured, there are a few possibilities that a trapper has to sell the pelt.

“Basically once they harvest  muskrat, there’s few options that people do,” stated Coy, “The first option would be either skin it or some fur buyers don’t mind if you just throw them in the freezer and take them to them and they’ll take care of the processing of the hide and skinning them out.”

Muskrat season in Missouri began November 15, 2018, and will end on February 20, 2019.