Nuisance Contracts

Last month I brought you through the process of becoming a nuisance trapper. Hopefully you enjoyed that process and have decided to climb aboard. If you do choose to do this fun pastime you need to consider a contract of some sort to protect yourself from any liability.

For years I operated on the concept if I do something for you, you do something for me. I was brought up to believe a firm handshake was a good deal maker. That all changed about five years ago.

I spent a considerable amount of time removing foxes for a homeowner who had foxes that were fond of her suburban critters. When I finished the job I sent her a bill and waited, and waited, and waited. Repeated phone calls went unanswered. Knocks on the door went unanswered. When I finally made a contact she “could not remember’ me helping her. I made it abundantly clear I would take her to court to get paid for my services and she finally paid.

So now I have a signed contract before I do any work. It is not real official but its proof that you agreed to do a service and expect to get paid for that service.

My contract starts out with the contractees name, address and phone number. The rest goes like this: This contract is an agreement between yourselves and (your company name). The fee for this agreement is $ ____ per hour plus (______) per mile traveled. Times starts when I leave my office and ends when I get back to my office. Traps will be checked daily by an agent of (your business) as regulated by law. When possible the contractee will check the trap and call an agent of (your company) if an animal has been caught.

I then follow with a warning which states: Warning, this document is a contract. Please familiarize yourself with its unusual features so there will be no misunderstandings as to your obligations.

Then comes a legal note which states: (your state law) prohibits the relocation of nuisance animals. Animals caught must be released on your property or destroyed. Violations of this law could result in criminal prosecution. All animals caught will become the property of (your company).

I follow with a safety note that says as follows: Wild animals are dangerous and infectious and carry lethal diseases. Please do not attempt to handle any trapped animal. Use caution around any trapped animal as they can /or will bite and scratch even through the cage.

Also add that it is the contractees responsibility to notify adjacent landowners that traps will be set on your property. It is the contractees responsibility for any and all traps while on your property and agrees to pay for any broken or stolen traps(s). It is also not (your company) responsibility for damage done to your property, i.e. Digging, flooding, or smells i.e. Skunk spray.

Finally, a signed liability waiver which goes like this: On 00/00/00 Mr./Ms./Mrs./ ___________ give permission to (your company) to set traps on my property located at any street, any town for the purpose of attempting to catch any critter. I hereby release (your company) from any and all civil responsibilities and liabilities for any mishaps that may occur from having this trap on my property. I understand (your company) does not have any control over the activities of any wild animal or house pet. Wild animals are unpredictable and there are no guarantees said animals will be caught. Where allowed animals will be dispatched prior to removal.

The only thing left is for the homeowner to sign and date, a then yourself or agent sign and date.

The final line states: Payment will be expected at the completion of the exclusion. There will be a $50.00 charge on all returned or bad checks. Please make checks payable to (your wishes.)

So that is basically it. I ran it by the law firm of Dewey, Screwem and Howe and it passed muster. Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to make one up for your needs and you will save money and time in the long run.


It’s fair season here in Vermont. The Vermont Trappers Association attends most of the major fairs in the area selling 10 gun raffle tickets , tanned fur, memberships etc. Stop by and say hi. We all love the sport of trapping and will talk it all day long. We also offer free advice and do anything we can to help you be more successful on your line.

Keep your waders patched, your lures in the shed and be sure to take a kid outdoors with you!