Wildlife Control Operators

Licensing Requirements And Classes For Becoming A NH Wildlife Control Operator

Skunk in the grassAnyone trapping wildlife outside of the regular season in New Hampshire must be licensed as a Wildlife Control Operator (WCO) by the NH Fish and Game Department. There are two types of WCO licenses, Level I and Level II.

  • Level I operators may only trap furbearers, woodchucks and porcupines outside of the season and must obtain a Level I WCO license in addition to the regular trapping license.
  • Level II operators are engaged in the commercial practice of trapping nuisance animals. In addition to the fee, every Level II WCO must complete a 6-hour workshop, or be certified by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA) or have held a previous Level II WCO license (pursuant to Fis 308.05).


The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department conducts a class annually, assisted by the New Hampshire Trappers Association and the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Wildlife Control Operators Association. The class is a 6-hour training workshop covering:

  • Legal aspects of WCO activities
  • Biology of target species
  • Euthanasia
  • Best Management Practices
  • Disease risk
  • Federal laws
  • USDA Wildlife Services activities

Wildlife Control Operators Class

Wildlife Control Operators (WCOs) in New Hampshire are required to complete a day-long workshop (the WCO Level II Class) prior to conducting business in the state. WCO Level II Class is offered once each year, typically in April. The class is free, but you must pre-register. In addition, a NH Fish and Game Trapper Education Course must be completed.

For more information, or to be put on a mailing list for future WCO certification classes, contact (603) 271-2461 or e-mail wildlife@wildlife.nh.gov. Be sure to include your name, address and telephone number. Completion of a Trapper Education class is also required.

Sign up for a class  


Wildlife Control Operator License Application

Wildlife Control Operator Reporting Form