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Wildlife Control Operators - WCO Permit

Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs a Wildlife Control Operator permit?

Businesses engaged in wildlife control operation (removing animals causing damage, creating a public nuisance, or posing a public heath risk) on behalf of private property owners or others for a fee need a WCO permit.

A private property owner that chooses to lawfully remove an animal from his or her property needs an ODFW permit for certain animals, but not a WCO permit. Such permits are free of charge and can be obtained by contacting the nearest ODFW office.  

However, ODFW recommends that private property owners unfamiliar with trapping wildlife seek the help and advice of professional WCOs before attempting to trap or remove wildlife, in order to best protect the welfare of the animal and the health of people.

How to avoid wildlife-human conflicts

What are the requirements to get a WCO permit?

As of January 1, 2008, businesses that want to obtain a WCO permit must pass a test which is based on information contained in the ODFW Wildlife Control Operator Training Manual (pdf). Even WCOs that have been in business before 2008 will need to pass this test.

Employees of businesses that already have a WCO permit can be designated as “subpermittees” and are not required to separately pass the test. However, all employees engaged in wildlife control will need to sign a form indicating they have read and understand the WCO Training Manual (pdf).

Once obtained, permits can be renewed on an annual basis. However, not following regulations (including record-keeping, monthly reporting requirements and humane transportation and euthanasia standards) are grounds for a WCO permit not to be renewed.

How do I take the WCO test?

A business person requiring a WCO permit will need to take the test in-person at an ODFW office. Call the office first to schedule an appointment. An 80 percent test score is the minimum required to pass.

How much does the WCO permit cost and how often it is renewed?

Permits are free of charge and are issued for the calendar year. WCO permits should be renewed on an annual basis. ODFW will mail permitted WCOs renewal applications no later than 45 days before they expire.

Remember, not following regulations including monthly reporting requirements can lead to a permit being revoked or not renewed.

Where can I find more information?

More information can be found in the Oregon Administrative Rules for WCOs (pdf), ODFW's Wildlife Control Operator Training Manual (pdf), or the Living with Wildlife Web page or the Contacts page. To receive an informational packet, including training material, please contact Carol Turner at 503-947-6303 or e-mail.


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