Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator (NWCO)

 

800:25-37-1. Purpose
(a) The purpose of this Subchapter is to establish guidelines for the permitting and certification of Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators (NWCO), and the procedures to be used by the NWCOs in controlling nuisance wildlife.
(b) NWCO will be defined as all individuals (see exemptions section) who offer their services to control nuisance wildlife.


800:25-37-2. Permit requirements
(a) The Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator's (NWCO) Permit will be issued to any person who has successfully completed the NWCO certification course to operate as a NWCO. The NWCO permit, NWCO Complaint Report Form and a Professional Trapping License*(see exemptions section), must be carried at all times while conducting NWCO activities.
(b) The Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator's (NWCO) Permit authorizes an individual to capture, euthanize or relocate designated species of wildlife by safe and effective means at any time of the year and without limits which may be in force on certain species of wildlife provided the operator is acting on a documented nuisance wildlife complaint detailing the nature of the complaint, target species, method of control, effective dates of control, location, and customer information including landowner's signature.
(c) Any person whose hunting or trapping license privileges are revoked and is not legally able to purchase a hunting or trapping license, shall not possess or operate under the authority of a NWCO permit.
(d) NWCO Permitee must renew the NWCO permit annually. NWCOs must submit proof of:
(1) Prior year's Year End Report Summary;
(2) Current Professional Trapping License, Hunting License, Hunting and Fishing Legacy Permit or proof of exemption.


800:25-37-3. Exemptions
(a) Employees of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Oklahoma Cooperative Wildlife Services Program are exempt from all NWCO permit requirements while they are on duty.
(b) Employees of any city, town, or county government shall be exempt from the requirement of purchasing or possessing the Annual Professional Trapping License while they are on duty but are not exempt from the certification requirements.

800:25-37-4. Reporting procedures
(a) Nuisance Wildlife Complaint Report Forms (available from the Department) must be kept by NWCO for a period of three (3) years. Year End Report Summary forms will detail:
(1) number of each species of wildlife taken during the year.
(2) application for annual renewal.
(b) Such records shall be available for inspection at all reasonable times by authorized representatives of the Department.
(c) A summary of all Nuisance Wildlife Complaint Reports are to be submitted annually for each calendar year on or before January 30 of the following year and must include NWCO name or, Company name, address, and telephone number.


800:25-37-5. Procedures and guidelines
The following regulations for a NWCO permit shall be in effect to establish what species of wildlife may be taken under such a permit, the legal methods that may be used to control nuisance wildlife under such a permit, and the legal methods of disposal of nuisance wildlife under such permit.
(1) NWCO Permittees are only authorized to trap and relocate or euthanize the following wildlife species when such action is warranted by a valid nuisance wildlife complaint including, but not limited to: armadillo, badger, beaver, bobcat, coyote, jackrabbit, cottontail rabbit, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, red fox, gray fox, mink, mountain lion, muskrat, nutria, opossum, raccoon, river otter, striped skunk, and weasel.
(2) Problems and complaints concerning deer, elk, turkey, bear, alligator, antelope, big horn sheep, endangered or threatened species and game birds will only be handled when specifically authorized in writing by the Director of the ODWC.
(3) The sale, trade, barter, gifting, or retention of any wildlife, or parts thereof, except coyotes and beavers, taken under authority of a NWCO permit is prohibited, except wildlife legally taken during established trapping seasons and in accordance with all other pertinent rules and laws not associated with NWCO rules may be sold or otherwise disposed of as provided by law.
(4) The sale, trade, barter, gifting or retention of beavers, coyotes, or parts thereof, taken under authority of a NWCO permitted is allowed with the proper documentation containing the taker's name and permit number.
(5) NWCO permittees must follow all state and federal laws that apply to the taking of wildlife with the exception of season dates and bag limits except as otherwise provided in this section.
(6) Only damage or nuisance complaints affecting humans and/or their property may be controlled. Complaints involving conflicts between two or more wildlife species are not valid nuisance wildlife complaints.
(7) All wildlife taken under a NWCO permit shall be taken and disposed of in a manner to ensure safe and effective handling and/or euthanasia. Euthanasia of a captured animal is to be performed under the guidelines adopted by the American Veterinary Medicine Association.
(8) Traps and other similar devices set by, or under the direction of, a NWCO shall be checked at least once every 24 hours and all animals removed. Traps must have the Operators name and NWCO permit number attached.
(9) The following are legal methods of control under a NWCO permit:
(A) box or live trap;
(B) smooth-jawed single spring or double spring offset steel leg-hold traps with a jaw spread of no more than eight inches;
(C) conibear style traps less than size 330, except size 330 may be used for water sets for beavers only;
(D) shooting where permitted by law or by city ordinance; and
(E) snares which shall have a locking device that prevents the loop from closing to a circumference less than ten (10) inches if the snare is set on or just above ground level. If the snare is set in an attic or similar situation there is no loop restriction.
(10) All trapping devices must be placed in a manner that will:
(A) minimize the risk of non-target animals;
(B) minimize the risk to public and pets; and
(C) be out of the view of the general public.
(D) signs must be posted in conspicuous places in order to inform the public that traps are in use.
(E) signs must have minimum dimensions of 5@ by 8" and the wording ATRAPS@ must be included and be conspicuous on the signs and printed in letters at least 2" tall.
(11) Shooting with firearms shall be subject to all state, county and municipal restrictions and ordinances. Night shooting is allowed for nuisance beavers only under the following conditions:
(A) NWCO must notify the game warden(s) in the county where activity will occur twenty-four (24) hours prior to such activity;
(B) must be conducted in a safe manner to prevent injury to people, livestock and damage to personal property.
(12) When relocation is authorized, the NWCO may have the wildlife in possession for no more than 24 hours unless specifically authorized by the Department.
(13) Wildlife that is relocated shall be released at least five(5) miles outside any city limit but not more than one county distant from the capture site and must be within the state of Oklahoma.
(14) Wildlife shall not be released on private land without written permission of the landowner or landowner designee.
(15) Wildlife shall not be released on public land without first obtaining written permission from the governmental entity owning or administering the release property.
(16) Captured wildlife that appears to be sick or diseased shall be euthanized rather than relocated. Burial or incineration of these carcasses is required.

Information sourced from Oklahoma Administrative Code.