Is it legal to use mousetraps in Oregon without a hunting license? AFAIK mice are an unprotected species, so there are no bag limits or seasons and mouse tags are not required, and it's not a problem that mousetraps aren't listed as legal weapons for hunting, but is a hunting license required?

  • 2
    Don't you wanna ask the same about fly swatters?
    – Greendrake
    Aug 20, 2022 at 7:21

2 Answers 2


Mice are not Wildlife

Any animal that can be hunted with regulations is listed in the laws about hunting. But the very hunting regulation in Oregon also has an exclusion list what is not regulated under it, because they are not wildlife. Some Rats and Mice species are called out:

Pursuant to the definition of “wildlife,” the following species are not subject to these rules because they are not “wild”: SPECIES — SCIENTIFIC NAME

(16) Mouse (House mouse) — Mus musculus.

(18) Rat — Rattus norvegicus and R. rattus.

As they are not Wildlife no license is required.

They are not "Wild Mammels" either, meaning the whole rulebook of the Department of Fish and Wildlife does not apply to these species - and so no hunting license can be required.

Several types of Muridae are also listed as "Noncontrolled Species" in the chappter on Importation, Possession, Confinement, Transportation and Sale of Nonnative Wildlife - pretty much the pet statutes so you can buy and trade them normally, but that is not about hunting.

There are rules for Pests...

There are specific Pest Control Laws in Oregon.

For example Chapter 527 on Forest and forest products is targeting mostly "native and exotic pests", but defines a pest as an insect for this chapter:

(8) “Pest” means any forest insect or disease which causes or may cause damage that prevents or interferes with management objectives in a specific area.

In chapter 603/division 52 on pest and Disease control, everything that is a pest is either a bacteria, fungi, or insect.

Rodents are predatory animal

Rule 837-012-0310 allows very specific pest control fireworks, which (via the definitions) points to ORS 480.124, which again points to ORS 610.002, which reads:

As used in this chapter, “predatory animal” or “predatory animals” includes feral swine as defined by State Department of Agriculture rule, coyotes, rabbits, rodents and birds that are or may be destructive to agricultural crops, products and activities, but excluding game birds and other birds determined by the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to be in need of protection. [1959 c.240 §2; 1971 c.658 §29; 1977 c.136 §4; subsection (2) of 610.002 (“Predatory animals” defined) renumbered 610.003 (Bobcat and red fox control permitted); 1979 c.399 §2; 2001 c.125 §2]

So Mice and Rats are under Chapter 610, which regulates that the Fish and Wildlife Service has to put up a fund to allow them to take measures for control of their numbers.

Killing Rodents is often Mandatory

There are 58 Oregon laws and regulations that mention the word Rodent. Many of them are about sanitation and were to not allow rodents, as well as who is allowed to regulate what to do against rodents.

Child Welfare Services is allowed to make rules that demand rodent control. and indeed, Child care centers need to follow this rule

(3) Insect and Rodent Control:

(a) The center shall be in such condition as to prevent the infestation of rodents and insects.

Rule 415-050-0085 mandates (like many similar ones) that certain medical centers need to get rid of rodents:

(6) All measures necessary to control rodents must be taken;

Rule 603-032-0140 demands that grain storage is rodent free:

(1) Storage facilities shall be of sound construction and shall be maintained in such condition as shall adequately protect at all times stored commodities from the elements, rodents, birds, and injurious vermin.

Then there's Rule 333-030-0070 from the section on camps, which is all about rodent control:

(1) The grounds, buildings and structures [of a camp] used or intended for human use and habitation must be kept clean and maintained to prevent access, harborage and infestation by insects, rodents and vermin.

Likewise, Recreation Parks, Adult Foster Homes, Mental Health institutions and others need to be rodent free.

These does not just allow eradicating any rodent, it demands it


No one really cares how you kill pest animals. No license is required, you would only need one for trapping fur-bearing species.

Here is a Portland government resource on it.

Oregon Fish & Wildlife has the regs for fur-bearing animals.

  • 1
    Does "no one really cares" mean "there are no relevant laws" or "there are laws but they aren't enforced"?
    – Someone
    Aug 20, 2022 at 3:26
  • 1
    Also: eregulations.com/oregon/hunting Aug 20, 2022 at 5:06
  • 1
    Oregon doesn't care if you kill rodents. However, Oregon does care if you don't kill them.
    – Trish
    Aug 20, 2022 at 11:46
  • I mean, technically, you could skin rats for their fur.
    – nick012000
    Aug 23, 2022 at 21:05

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