Go to http://www.footloosemontana.org/ and you will find the link near the top.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

126 Responses to Check Footloose, Montana's first TV ads

  1. avatar skyrim says:

    jerry b posted this site on another thread earlier. There is a ton of information there and one more issue to be concerned about. What is this fascination with the ways of cavemen, anyway? Guess they got their wives with a club, huh?

  2. avatar Fox says:

    What an awesome TV spot about the dangers of trapping! I bet this is the first ever in MT!? Looks like those “Footlooseers” are making it clear that they are against trapping and not hunting, huh? Good for them…

  3. avatar Monte says:

    Trapping is one of the few if not only ways to control some animals and is a great way to get fur for coats, gloves, etc. It is also one of the oldest “hunting” methods that humans have practiced for generations. It is unfortunate that dogs sometimes fall prey to traps, but it is interesting that if wolves killed “cupcake” the dogs owner would not get much sympathy from the users of this site. Regulations should be stringent regarding trapping near trails, but trapping itself is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and should not be banned. When you take your pets in the wild you incur some risk, wolves, traps, etc.

  4. avatar Buffaloed says:

    What animals need to be “controlled” this way? I agree that “when you take your pets in the wild you incur some risk” but those risks should not be due to someone who traps them. Trapping does not discriminate by species and will kill, unnecessarily, animals that are barely hanging on such as wolverines, fishers and lynx. It also unnecessarily tortures animals, sometimes for days, before they starve or freeze to death. I don’t think it is ethical.

  5. avatar Jay says:

    I think trappers could really improve their image if they’d push for some reform of their own ranks, the #1 place to start being trap checks every 24 hours. I have no doubt a fair number of them would complain about not having enough time to check their “longline” in that amount of time, but my response would be, if you can’t take ’em, don’t set ’em. There’s absolutely no reason to make animals suffer and die of exposure, dehydration, or shock because it’s just too much effort to go out and and check the traps. State agencies should also make mandatory classes put on by experienced trappers that teach methods on reducing non-target captures. There are some very good trappers out there that have tremendous knowledge and skill in keeping mountain lions and other critters out of their bobcat and coyote sets. Without a little self governance, I have no doubt that trapping will be illegal sooner than later.

  6. avatar ghost grizzly says:

    “What animal need to be controlled this way?”

    Beaver, muskrats, nutria especially when they can drain your pond or ponds, reroute waterways to flood a house or pasture. Get real. Traps sets can be made to target specific species. The problem is too long of a check time and no education. I ran a 100 trap trap line in Pennsylvania in the late 70’s and the check time was once every 24 hours. I usually checked mine twice a day during the trapping season. Granted there are some bozo trappers just like there are bozo environmentalists.

  7. avatar jerry b says:

    One of the big problems is “incidental catch”. This includes endangered and protected species (lynx, eagles, wolves etc). As well as fawns, elk calves and other non targeted animals. The state of Maine finally banned trapping in areas where Lynx were present.
    Montana has NO regulations regarding trap time checks and traps for “predators” including coyote and fox, can be used year round and put on or adjacent to hiking trails.
    Nine states have banned trapping including Colorado, Arizona, Washington and Californis and those states have done very well managing their wildlife without trapping.

  8. One beneficial effect of a campaign against trapping, is better practices by trappers such as checking the trapline, selecting the appropriate kind of trap, the enforcement of existing rules that are ignored, or as Jerry says above the creation of rules where there are none, as in Montana for “predatory” animals.

    A person doesn’t have to be opposed to trapping to support Footloose, Montana because it raises public consciousness of occupational, and/or recreational practices of a people who who been too largely ignored.

    When it comes to the government, Wildlife Services needs better trappers and less high tech “gun em from the airplance and let god sort them out” attitude.

  9. avatar Monte says:

    I certainly agree regarding trap checking regulations. 24 hours seems reasonable.

  10. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    I’m pro-hunting and fishing – I’m a hunter and fisherman myself, but I am totally opposed to all trapping, except when absolutely necessary by wildlife management “professionals.”

    These animals are WILD. It is unnecessarily cruel to purposefully restrain a wild animal for any period of time, especially when that restraint has the potential to cause soft tissue and bone injuries, as well as expose the trapped animal to predators, dehydration, etc.

    I’d like to see a nationwide ban on trapping and if that’s not possible, I’d like to see more states ban trapping.

    Screw this crap about trapping being a great way to obtain fur, as well as being an old and traditional method of taking animals and a great way to “enjoy the outdoors.”

    I think it’s time to take another step up the ladder of evolution and ban trapping.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  11. avatar Layton says:

    Mack said

    “I think it’s time to take another step up the ladder of evolution and ban trapping”

    BUT — it was OK to attempt taking a step “down” the ladder of evolution and introduce another apex predator??

    8^)

    Layton

  12. avatar ghost grizzly says:

    So Mack how would you get rid of mice in cupboard? rats in the basement? moles in the yard?? with poison??

    Because the last anti-trapping initiative here in Oregon wanted to ban all traps!!

  13. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Layton, that’s your opinion.

    I think bringing the gray wolf back to YNP and Greater Yellowstone WAS a step up the ladder of evolution.

    ghost grizzly, I was addressing the trapping of WILDLIFE.

    I think it’s okay to trap mice, rats in basements, etc., where there’s NO CHANCE of wildlife being trapped.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  14. avatar Jay says:

    The deer mouse isn’t wildlife?

  15. avatar Ice says:

    Ghost; the problems you are referring to are mostly human induced and perpetuated. In the 1930s nutria were imported from South America to Louisiana for fur. Now they are out of control. “Predator control” has been a huge contributing factor with mice in the cupboards, rats in the basement and moles in the yard.

  16. avatar dcookie says:

    news flash: mice declared endangered species..

  17. avatar JB says:

    Ditto what Jay said: (1) 24 hour trap checks, and (2) some kind of required education and internal policing of their ranks would be a great start to improve trapping.

    I would also add that the use of “soft-catch” traps should be at least considered as a requirement. Research suggests they do considerably less bone and tissue damage and have no significant impact on escapes. These types of traps would help control the problem of incidental take because, were one to catch a lynx, for example, it is less likely to be injured by the trap (and more likely to be successfully released).

    IMO, trappers could’ve avoided the trapping ban ballot initiative in Colorado had they been willing to institute some of these practices, but they choose to fight it out–and ended up with an overly restrictive law and subsequent problems removing “nuisance” wildlife (e.g. skunks, raccoons, opossum, etc.).

    I’m all for making trapping less harmful for wildlife, but let’s be smart about it. I’d hate to have to catch all of those mice by hand! Now, where’s that lazy cat?!

  18. avatar JB says:

    dcookie:

    Actually, the preble’s meadow jumping mouse, was recently listed a threatened throughout its entire range. Don’t worry, your not likely to confuse it with a house mouse!

    Species info: http://www.fws.gov/mountain%2Dprairie/species/mammals/preble/

  19. A major concern in Montana is that wolf trapping under current rules (or lack thereof) will lead to the inadvertent trapping and injury, mortality of grizzly bears.

  20. avatar jerry b says:

    Washington States ban does not include mice and moles. They can be trapped at any time. I’m sure that in the future when initiatives are written, they’ll exempt house pests as Washington has done.

  21. avatar jerry b says:

    The Montana Trappers Assn has come out against trapping for wolves at this time. Public sentiment is turning against trapping and to trap wolves would make it worse. At a recent hearing, a rep for the trappers said”for them to trap wolves would be a train wreck waiting to happen”.
    There are anti-trapping letters and editorials appearing almost daily in the state newspapers…another oped in todays Missoulian.

  22. Trappers are the forgotten hunters in most states. Enforcement is difficult because who knows but them how many traps they have out and where they are? I have personally come across set traps that were obviously old and forgotten twice (once in Michigan, once in Wyoming). You might ask how I knew they were forgotten? Well, one was half buried in silt and had obviously sat through at least one winter, and the other was rusted and upside down. The silty one still snappped shut when I put a little weight on it with a stick. My bottom line is this: I agree that all traps should be checked at least every 24 hrs. A good trapper tracks the movements the animal he’s going for before setting a trap, and if he doesnt have anything in a couple days, he did something wrong. Second, by-catch needs to be more than just an “oh, well” issue. By that I mean, trapping is as skilled a form of huinting as archery, and if you are getting the wrong things, you are a bad trapper. Bad trappers should get fines and more for excessive by-catch. There is plenty of scientific literature out there to determine what “excessive” is. Finally… enforce, enforce, enforce. Maybe if we get some new blood in Washington there will be more money for that.

  23. avatar JB says:

    Cowboy the Cat:

    I couldn’t agree more; unfortunately, most of what your suggesting (especially the enforcement) requires more $$, at a time when States’ coffers–and by extension the agencies’–are low. I’m not trying to be argumentative, as I said, I agree with you completely, I just don’t know where the personnel, money, etc. will come from?

  24. avatar Fox says:

    Trapping artificially increases “furbearer” populations so that trappers can kill a high number of animals, considered “surplus”, without threatening the population as a whole. The maximum sustained yield (MSY) model of population growth is flawed for several reasons including the fact that it does not account for confounding interactions among species (e.g., predators, prey, competitors.

    Another issue to consider is how trappers kill animals, again there is no mandatory trap check in MT, which means that animals can linger in traps for an unknown period of time before they get bludgeoned, suffocated or shot.
    For children or people otherwise not yet legally permitted to carry a gun, the Trapper Education Manual recommends the following: “Strike smaller furbearers such as raccoon, opossum, and fox hard at the base of the skull with a heavy wooden or metal tool to kill or render them unconscious. Placing your foot over the heart and chest area and compressing these organs will lead to death.”

    We don’t need a better trap check or more education for trappers… This type of animal cruelty has to stop!

  25. avatar JB says:

    I would point out the the method you cited meets the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (1993) criteria for euthanasia–that is, it results in rapid loss of consciousness followed by cardiac arrest and ultimately loss of brain function.

    However, while the method of killing may differ, the same general set of criteria applies to livestock and even the euthanasia of companion animals. I’m not advocating in favor (or against) trapping, but think its important people understand this before they line up in universal condemnation of trapping.

  26. Fox, I agree it is often a terrifying and painful death for the animal, but I have personally shot a deer in a bad spot and had to track her for hours and miles before she finally gave out. I’m sure it has happened to a lot of people. Is that any less terrifying for the beast?

    I don’t like trapping either, but it’s pretty entrenched, and I don’t see it dying out for at least a few more generations.

  27. avatar Marty E says:

    With a little education, things can change quite rapidly in our country. Frankly most people aren’t aware of just how barbaric trapping is. But once they know, they will act. Thank you Footloose Montana for helping to provide that education!

  28. avatar MT Goose Hunter says:

    I have a few facts to share regarding trapping:

    Trappers contribute to wildlife management and habitat through the purchase of their mandatory Conservation License (MT) and through their purchase of the General Trapping License. These funds are used by FWP and other wildlife agencies to acquire critical wildlife habitat and fund furbearer track surveys and radio tracking. Trappers also promote furbearer management by providing their harvest numbers to FWP so mangement decisions and population trends can be made. Additionally, most trappers are involved in conservation and sporting groups. I am a trapper, and I am a member of the local Montana Wildlife Federation chapter (works on habitat acquisition and conservation of wildlife), Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Obviously I, as a trapper, contribute greatly to wildlife management and conservation through these organizations.

    Most legal and responsible trapping does not cause undue suffering or pain to the target animal. The conibear traps I use for pine marten kill in minutes. A beaver in a drowning set will die in minutes. In most forms of trapping, there is minimal suffering of the animal. Also, the trapper’s objective is to insure a quick, clean kill because this keeps the pelt undamaged and the trap set reusable.

    Trapping is ARGUABLY a form of hunting. Hunting is defined in Hunter Education courses as “the pursuit or search for game”. The trapper is most definitely “pursuing game” with his traps. Therefore, it makes no sense when hunters claim they are opposed to trapping. Trapping, fishing, and hunting are one and the same. Is trying to bring in a fox to a set with lure any different than trying to entice a whitetail buck to you by rattling? The only difference is the means of kill.

    Trappers are no different than loggers or miners because these activities utilize public RENEWABLE resources to make a profit. How is selling an animal pelt any different than cutting some trees for lumber? Harvest of these resources is and should be permitted as long as the harvest is sustainable.

    A 24 hour trap check would be unfair to many trappers. As a marten trapper I run 20+ mile long ski lines a fair distance from home. It would be impossible for me and other longliners to check traps every day. The marten I catch die almost instantly in conibears, and are well-preserved and undamaged when I retrieve them. There is no reason for a 24 hour trap check for many forms of trapping. Given that foothold trappers, large body-gripping trappers, and snarers probably should check their sets every other day because of the exposure and nature of their traps.

  29. avatar Bob G says:

    Contrary to the views of Footloose and the theme of these ads, traps are not strewn all over the countryside like landmines. Trappers choose their sets carefully and prudently, and don’t want you to see their traps any more than you want to see them. Also, trapping does not occur at all times of the year. Even though predator trapping is open year-round, pelts are worthless in the warm months. This means few will trap during this time except for damage trappers, who are licensed professionals.

    Also, according to FWP, only six dogs have been killed in traps in the last DECADE! Think of the number of pets killed on the highway in ONE YEAR and then try to tell me that trapping is a major threat to dogs.

    Webmaster’s note: “Bob G” and “Montana goose hunter” are the same person. Ralph Maughan

  30. avatar Catbestland says:

    Mt Goose hunter/Bob G.

    How can anyone take seriously your feigned concern for wildlife when you have to make comments under different names to try to make people believe that other people feel as you do. Are all trappers dishonest?

  31. avatar Bob G says:

    sorry, my fault. Auto-fill had put in a new name and I didn’t look.
    I wouldn’t be stupid enough to try to use different names when I was using the same email address!

  32. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob, Goose, or whatever your name is:
    Even your own members admit that trapping causes pain and suffering to animals. ( Check the “Missoulian”, “New West.net”, or “Footloosemontana.org” for that story. There are also stories of “incidental” taking of eagles, wolves, deer, lions, as well as pets. Your traps ARE indiscriminate land mines!
    “According to FWP only 6 dogs were “reported” killed in a decade.”
    “……..FWP doesn’t keep records of all dogs caught and most go unreported because of the lack of enforcement, not to mention that FWP coddles the trapping community second only to the livestock industry which dictates wildlife management in Montana.
    Check out “footloosemontana.org”, “trapfreeoregon.org” or other groups that are forming to combat this archaic, cruel sport.

  33. avatar Fox says:

    Montana’s FWP does not care nor does the agency keep track of incidents in which endangered species or companion animals are injured or die in traps – Footloose Montana does! Here are the stats on incidents that were REPORTED to Footloose Montana since January 2008: 2 dogs have died as a result of traps and 8 dogs were injured in traps, some of these injures were major and caused vet bills of several hundred dollars. Footloose knows of 12 incidents between 2007 and 1998, where 4 dogs have died in traps. Again, these numbers come from people who know about Footloose and considering that Footloose has only been in existence for a year, one can imagine that the number of trap incidents is much higher.
    The majority of these traps were set illegally without any ID tag attached and they were set in highly frequented recreation areas and not, as Bob G. wants us to believe, set “carefully and prudently”… In fact, the locations of these traps indicate that they were set by rather lazy trappers who cared more about not having to walk far to set or check their traps rather than attempting to avoid conflicts with recreationist’s dogs.
    Between 45,000 and 50,000 animals are being killed by trappers annually. This number again is only the reported kills and does not include unreported incidents or the trapping of non-target animals or endangered species. Most trappers trap for “recreation”, which in essence means, they spend a few hours in the woods to set their traps, go home to watch TV and get a good night sleep in their warm bed while trapped animals struggle for their lives. If they are still alive when the trapper returns (remember there is NO mandatory trap check – FWP merely recommends a 48-hr trap check), he either bludgeons the animals to death, stands on their chests “to compress inner organs, which leads to death” or shoots them in the head (to save the pelt).
    Trappers even kill wolverine, a rare species whose numbers are unknown; endangered species such as Golden Eagle, wolves and lynx are injured by or killed in traps.
    Footloose Montana starts and ends with its mission to ban trapping wild animals for fun on PUBLIC LANDS! Please consider becoming a member and supporting Footloose Montana. Visit http://www.FootlooseMontana.org

  34. avatar Greg B says:

    Most trapping is NOT indiscriminate. As a marten trapper, I set my small 110 conibears (only 6×6 inches)
    In a recessed box three feet up in a tree. There is no way I could catch a dog or large animal (such as a lynx, eagle, etc.) because my traps are too small, the box opening is too tight, and the set is too high for these animals to access. The bait is out of sight in the box where birds can not see it and be drawn to it (birds find food primarily by sight). The only non-target animals I have EVER caught were common red squirrels, which I use for bait in other sets and use their fur for fly-tying. I do not waste any part of the animals I catch: I tan and sell the hide, use the carcasses for bait, and dry and bleach the skulls for rustic decoration. To do otherwise would be showing disrespect to these amazing animals, and would be waste of game (both unethical and illegal).

  35. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    MT Goose Hunter and/or Bob G said:

    “Trappers contribute to wildlife management and habitat through the purchase…”

    How much money do trappers contribute compared to hunters and anglers? Have any hard data?

    “Most legal and responsible trapping does not cause undue suffering or pain to the target animal.”

    Keyword: “Most.” How ’bout that illegal and irresponsible trapping?

    “The conibear traps I use for pine marten kill in minutes. A beaver in a drowning set will die in minutes.”

    Keyword: “Minutes.” Not seconds, but minutes. How fast would a small mammal die when hit with a .22? Minutes? Nah – seconds.

    “In most forms of trapping, there is minimal suffering of the animal.”

    Keywords: “most forms” and “minimal suffering.” How ’bout those other forms, the ones that don’t minimize suffering of the animal. And what forms would those be? Snares?

    MT Goose Hunter and/or Bob G, would you care to describe maximal suffering for us? Give us a worse case scenario.

    “Trapping is ARGUABLY a form of hunting. Hunting is defined in Hunter Education courses as “the pursuit or search for game”. The trapper is most definitely “pursuing game” with his traps. Therefore, it makes no sense when hunters claim they are opposed to trapping. Trapping, fishing, and hunting are one and the same..”

    Bullshit. There is NO PURSUIT of game while trapping. Trapping is a passive method; the traps are set to auto-pilot; they’re robots working 24/7. Hunting and fishing are ACTIVE pursuits of game.

    “Is trying to bring in a fox to a set with lure any different than trying to entice a whitetail buck to you by rattling?”

    Ah, yeah. Big difference. Your fox trapping scenario lets you go home, eat crow and enjoy a night’s sleep. The rattling hunter is ON SITE, ACTIVELY PURSUING his game.

    “Trappers are no different than loggers or miners because these activities utilize public RENEWABLE resources to make a profit.”

    Since when is mining is a renewable resource?

    “…foothold trappers, large body-gripping trappers, and snarers probably should check their sets every other day because of the exposure and nature of their traps.”

    Keyword: “probably.” As I understand it, in Montana there is no mandatory trap check; only a recommendation. Gotta love those recommendations.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  36. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack Ray:
    Why does the amount of money trappers contribute need to be as much as that contributed by hunters? At least there is a contribution, plus there are fewer trappers than hunters and fishermen. Why should fewer people have to pay as much as many more people? I don’t have any “hard data” right on hand, but all trappers in MT must buy a conservation license and a general trapping license to trap furbearers.

    Also, illegal and irresponsible “trapping” isn’t really trapping at all: It’s poaching. These individuals who break the law aren’t representative of the other trappers out there, just like a criminal isn’t a good representative of society. There are people who break the law in all situations.

    As for how fast an animal will die, a .22 may not kill an animal in seconds if it was a poor shot. Trapping causes much less suffering than the naturally-caused deaths that are common in the wild. Predators like cats may keep their prey alive for hours, slowly torturing it. I saw a video of a mountain lion bringing down a deer. This lasted 30 minutes, and was very brutal. A canid with mange will be in a living hell for weeks, scratching out its own fur and eventually dying a slow and painful death. Animals that are hit by cars can continue to suffer for hours, even days after being hit. A trap that kills in minutes is much more quick and the suffering is minimized.

  37. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G, why haven’t you addressed my comments above?

    Bob G Says: “Why does the amount of money trappers contribute need to be as much as that contributed by hunters?”

    Who said that? I never said that.

    “At least there is a contribution, plus there are fewer trappers than hunters and fishermen. Why should fewer people have to pay as much as many more people?”

    Who said that? I never said that.

    “Also, illegal and irresponsible “trapping” isn’t really trapping at all: It’s poaching.”

    Total bullshit. Illegal and irresponsible trapping most certainly IS trapping. You have a way of twisting words.

    “As for how fast an animal will die, a .22 may not kill an animal in seconds if it was a poor shot. Trapping causes much less suffering than the naturally-caused deaths that are common in the wild. Predators like cats may keep their prey alive for hours, slowly torturing it. I saw a video of a mountain lion bringing down a deer. This lasted 30 minutes, and was very brutal. A canid with mange will be in a living hell for weeks, scratching out its own fur and eventually dying a slow and painful death. Animals that are hit by cars can continue to suffer for hours, even days after being hit. A trap that kills in minutes is much more quick and the suffering is minimized.”

    Excellent rationalization for trapping: they’re going to die anyway, and possibly die a slow and painful death so we trappers are just doing ’em a favor by killing them now.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  38. avatar Fox says:

    Because trappers are a minority, they don’t contribute much if anything to the conservation of wild animals and their habitat… Trappers’ interest is to make $$ off an animal’s skin everything else is secondary to them…
    As for the tiresome and untrue claim that trappers help animals by preventing death through starvation or through other natural causes: Trapping of animals is an example of how populations of wild animals are being manipulated for humans to “harvest” so-called “surplus” animals (“optimum yield “or “maximum sustainable yield”). Without trapping, growth and recruitment of a population are balanced by natural mortality; therefore the average growth rate of a population at carrying capacity is zero. Trapping however, reduces the number of animals in a population but the loss also increases the growth rate. The increase in the population’s growth is the consequence of higher birth rates and lower death rates, which result from decreased competition for food and other resources… Consequently, the accelerated growth rate provides a surplus of animals beyond the number required for replacing the losses – a surplus that may be harvested…
    The above means that trappers cause more animals to die because trapping artificially increases the number of animals who in turn, are then potentially killed by predators or die of starvation or other causes, which is what trappers pretend to prevent… quite the opposite!
    As for the ethics of such claims, it is a complete smokescreen to defend trapping by appealing to its “humane service.” Trappers increase the aggregate amount of suffering by increasing the number of animals who potentially die… Animals starve in traps because trappers either don’t bother to check their traps or forget the location where they placed traps; trapped animals are completely helpless in defending themselves when they’re attacked by predators, trapped animals die of hypothermia or of being bludgeoned etc. Does that sound humane to anyone?
    As for the pine marten trapping that Bob G is so proud of: I’ve seen pine martens hanging off branches with one foot caught in the trap… Clever as they are, trappers place traps on branches away from the trunk so that the animal captured in the trap falls off the branch without being able to hold on to the tree. An animal can hang there for days and nights as there is no trap check period required in MT!!! Does this sound humane to anyone?

  39. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Excellent post, Fox. It’s a keeper. Thank you very much.

    Bob G, do you want me to email you a photo of a moose with it’s muzzle caught in a snare? How do you think that felt as the moose tried to pull away but the snare just got tighter and tighter? The moose, panicked, couldn’t open it’s mouth and had to breath through it’s nose. And how about the flesh wound caused by the snare? Ain’t trapping great? I don’t think so.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  40. avatar Catbestland says:

    I can’t even imagine the mindset of anyone who would, in this day and age, intentionally choose trapping as a source of income or as a sport. Is it that a trapper CAN’T do anything else?

  41. avatar jerry b says:

    Catbestland…
    Their minds don’t exist in “this day and age”. Their sense of values were frozen in time…like 100 years ago. No conscience and disengaged from the reality of cruelty and suffering. Sadly,
    I’d bet many were abused as children and you know how that cycle repeats.

  42. avatar Bob G says:

    I don’t particularly like snares because they are very indiscriminate, and I can imagine what the moose pictures look like.

    The traps I use for marten are CONIBEARS, or BODY-GRIPPING traps that do not catch marten by the feet but around the body. Obviously “Fox” missed that part or is misinformed.
    Mack Bray, I must have misunderstood your comments about the contributions of trappers. I thought you were insinuating that trappers should pay as much as hunters. My fault, and I’ll try to read further postings more thoroughly. The only reason I included the examples of animals suffering from natural causes was because you asked me to give an example of “maximum suffering”, or “worse case scenario”.
    I forgot to respond to your comments about trapping as a form of hunting. I clearly stated that trapping is ARGUABLY a form of hunting. That is my opinion, and one can reasonably infer this from the definition of hunting. You may not see any “pursuit” in trapping, but as someone who has trapped (I am assuming you have never trapped, correct me if I am wrong) I can see trapping as a pursuit of game. I have talked to other hunters, and even several conservation-minded professors who are of the same opinion. Perhaps trappers do go home to wait for their sets to produce, but they pursue their animals in different ways than sport-hunters. They pursue them by getting out into the outdoors, searching for good furbearer habitat, investigating furbearer sign, and calculating where and how to set their traps. Tis isn’t a fact, but is my opinion and is definitely arguable. But people’s opinions and views matter, and if some people think this way (which I know they do) then it is arguable.

    Footloose asserts that many more pets are killed or caught in traps than the six reported to FWP. I find it strange that the owners of the caught pets didn’t report these incidents to FWP. FWP could prosecute the POACHER if the dog was caught in an illegal set. Even if the set was legal, the pet-owner could still contact FWP with the trappers info. FWP would then call the trapper and inform them of the incident. If I had caught a pet in one of my sets (which I never have), I would want to know about it. As a responsible and ethical trapper I would either move this dangerous set, or pull it. If the dog was injured, I would feel responsible and would pay for vet expenses. I also think that the pet owner should be responsible for keeping their dog under control and in the owner’s immediate vicinity (unless it is a hunting dog). In Flathead County there is now a mandatory leash law for dogs on all public lands. Pet owners may not like it, but it would eliminate most pet-trap incidents (unless the trap was set illegally).

  43. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerry B:
    I was not abused as a child. I find it insulting that you would insinuate such things about trappers when you don’t even know them. That is called prejudging, and it is the kind of thinking that spawns false stereotypes.

  44. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G Says: “I don’t particularly like snares because they are very indiscriminate, and I can imagine what the moose pictures look like.”

    Ah, now the truth comes out. Bob G doesn’t particularly like snares. But hey, it’s legal.

    I don’t like *any* form of trapping because all traps are all indiscriminate and cruel to wildlife, in my opinion.

    “In most forms of trapping, there is minimal suffering of the animal.”

    Keywords: “most forms” and “minimal suffering.” How ’bout those other forms, the ones that don’t minimize suffering of the animal. And what forms would those be? Snares? MT Goose Hunter and/or Bob G, would you care to describe maximal suffering for us? Give us a worse case scenario. And I’m speaking of a trapping worse case scenario.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  45. avatar Bob G says:

    Fox and Mack:
    I don’t think that trapping “saves” animals from natural deaths. I think that is a weak argument, and I never said that. Also, marten hang away from the tree so they cannot be reached by scavengers and rodents that would damage the pelt. Like I say, my conibears kill in minutes, so no animal is left writhing on the end of the chain for days.

    Fox, you say that trappers don’t contribute much. I’d be interested to hear how you contribute to wildlife conservation. Also, I am not only interested in the animal’s skin and money. I make no profit from my trapping. I don’t even break even because of gas costs. Money is not the reason I trap. I trap because I enjoy the sport of trapping, like being outdoors, and like to spend time with my family through trapping.

    Interesting fact: Wolverine trapping actually contributes to population growth and success of juveniles. According to an FWP wolverine biologists, when trappers trap adult male wolverines, they increase the chance of success for dispersing juveniles. These old boar wolverines contribute to a large percentage of juvenile mortality (because they are territorial and cannabalistic (this can be seen in Glacier Park’s wolverine tracking program)). Trappers usually take only adult males, so they may be giving juveniles (the critical next generation of wolverines) a better chance for survival.

  46. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack:
    What exactly are you asking for when you say maximum suffering in traps? Do you mean my marten trapping, snaring, or what? Am I supposed to give you an anecdote, or just make up a scenario?
    And I didn’t intend to hide the fact that I don’t particularly like snares. I think that trappers who use snares should at least post signs in the vicinity, and I think only professionals should use them. Also, I think it would be reasonable to ban them on public land near high-use areas.

    I also dislike large conibears (220’s, 330’s) because they are highly dangerous and are terrifically lethal. I think these should be regulated much more strictly (such as elevated or water sets only). These big conibears are the traps that errant pets will get into and be killed.

    Clarification: I do not use these large body-gripping traps, I only use small 110 conibears.

  47. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    “Wolverine trapping actually contributes to population growth” Why then is Montana the only state that allows trapping for them and they cut the quota by two this season? By banning trapping for them, are you saying that the other states are trying to keep the populations down?
    I read every wolverine comment submitted(135) when an attempt was made last August to establish a moratorium on trapping them. Only ONE called for continued trapping. That was from a trapper. There were numerous comments submitted by top wolverine ecologists(no affiliation with MFWP) that stressed the importance of a moratorium.
    There was a study initiated in the Pioneers in which they radio collared several wolverines and were in the process of studying their mating and migration habits. Unfortunately the trappers eliminated most of the population so the study couldn’t continue. Are you saying that was their method of increasing wolverine numbers?
    MFWP has a long time”good ole boy” relationship with the trappers and neither them or the Game Commission has the courage to stand for what’s right, based on science.

  48. avatar Fox says:

    Bob G wrote “Interesting fact: Wolverine trapping actually contributes to population growth and success of juveniles.”
    Is that the reason why wolverine were considered to be placed on th endangered species?

    “According to an FWP wolverine biologists, when trappers trap adult male wolverines, they increase the chance of success for dispersing juveniles. ”
    Ww! I wasn’t aware that they’re manufacturing traps now that can distinguish between male and female victims who step into them…Gosh, I’m so behind technological advances…
    “Trappers usually take only adult males, so they may be giving juveniles…”
    In the Pioneer Mountain study, trappers killed a pregnant wolverine….
    “I trap because I enjoy the sport of trapping, like being outdoors, and like to spend time with my family through trapping.”
    Shame on you all!

  49. avatar Bob G says:

    I did not mean to say that trapping male wolverines increases the overall population, I said that it increases the success rate of juvenile wolverines. This was cited by an FWP wildlife biologist. And yes, traps do not discriminate between male and female wolverines. However, males are more aggressive and have larger territories to roam, so the chances of a male wolverine intersecting a trap are greater. I talked recently to a region 1 FWP furbearer biologist, and he suggested that there be a subquota for female wolverines. If this was implemented, the wolverine season would close after 1 female was caught. Female wolveroines are the most important members of the population and should be protected. The limited harvest of males, however, causes no long-term overall population reduction, and is beneficial to juveniles.

    I would hesitate to put much stock in “top ecologists” that are unaffiliated with FWP because they are not privy to track, harvest, and radio survey information done by FWP. I would like to see what data these “ecologists” have based their assertions on. I really doubt its anything substantial, but feel free to prove me wrong.

    “Shame on you” Fox for judging others (my family) without knowing them. Just because you believe trapping is wrong and we don’t doesn’t mean we are evil. Also, Fox, did you miss my question addressed to you in previous commentary? (What do you do to contribute to wildlife conservation?)

  50. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G wrote: “In most forms of trapping, there is minimal suffering of the animal.”

    Keywords: “most forms” and “minimal suffering.” How ’bout those other forms, the ones that don’t minimize suffering of the animal. And what forms would those be? Snares? MT Goose Hunter and/or Bob G, would you care to describe maximal suffering for us? Give us a worse case scenario. And I’m speaking of a trapping worse case scenario.

    “What exactly are you asking for when you say maximum suffering in traps? Do you mean my marten trapping, snaring, or what? Am I supposed to give you an anecdote, or just make up a scenario?”

    This is my third attempt – I don’t know how to make it more clear… What is the worst case, maximal suffering trapping scenario you’ve ever seen, heard or read of?

    “I clearly stated that trapping is ARGUABLY a form of hunting.”

    I argue that trapping is not hunting in any sense of the word. A hunter actively seeks his/her specific target animal and if and when it’s found, an attempt is made to kill it. Trappers set their traps and walk away. They haven’t hunted game; they haven’t found game; they haven’t killed their target on the spot; they’re relying on their robot traps, on auto-pilot 24/7.

    “Trapping, fishing, and hunting are one and the same.”

    Bullshit. I’ve never fished for cutthroat and accidentally caught a sea bass. I’ve never hunted for elk and accidentally killed an elephant. How many trappers have ever set their traps for X and end up killing or injuring a golden or bald eagle? How many trappers have accidentally killed or injured non-target animals?

    Yeah, I know. You’re going to say “Well, I’ve never trapped any non-target game. I just use I only use small 110 conibears.”

    You’re not the only trapper out there, you know.

    Do you want me to send you a picture of a bloody ermine, alive but in a conibear almost as large as its body?

    Bob G, do you want me to email you a photo of a moose with it’s muzzle caught in a snare? How do you think that felt as the moose tried to pull away but the snare just got tighter and tighter? The moose, panicked, couldn’t open it’s mouth and had to breath through it’s nose. And how about the flesh wound caused by the snare?

    Tell me, Bob G, are snares EVER set to trap moose?

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  51. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    Here’s your quote….”Wolverine trapping actually contributes to population growth and success of juveniles” You got caught! Admit it. Aren’t you the same guy that tried to post using two names? No wonder you group has no credibility.
    You’re not addressing a group of trappers here.
    I’m sure most trappers buy into your BS and believe you. Hell, they believe anything they’re told to believe…they wouldn’t even question a statement like that and would march before the Commission spewing out that garbage.
    You failed to tell me why Montana is the only state that allows trapping of wolverines . If trapping them is beneficial, I’m sure Washington, Idaho, Wyoming etc would have a trapping season.
    In case you want to educate yourself, check out research done by the feds and biologists from other states with wolverine populations. It doesn’t surprise me that MFWP has a biologist or two saying that trapping increases populations. I’m sure they also don’t believe in global warming.
    Enough time wasted with this issue.

  52. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack:
    “Bullshit. I’ve never fished for cutthroat and accidentally caught a sea bass. I’ve never hunted for elk and accidentally killed an elephant. ”
    These statements are absurd. Obviously sea bass don’t live in the same environment as cutthroat. Elephants don’t live with elk. That was a poor analogy. Nontarget animals that trappers catch are present in the same environment the target animals are in. When you are cutthroat fishing, do you ever accidentally catch a whitefish or bull trout? This would be a more applicable analogy.
    Yes, trappers do catch non-target animals. Most of the nontargets caught are unprotected (like squirrels), but some of these nontargets are protected (eagles) or game animals (deer). Mistakes, happen, especially with snares. However, much of the people who catch these nontargets are not setting traps legally, and are poachers.
    I have already stated why I think trapping is a pursuit of game, and will not restate it here.

    I’m not sure why you want to hear a “worst-case scenario” (as I’m sure you can think of such a scenario yourself), but I will offer one up. I heard an account of an unlicensed trapper who set a snare in the ditch of a county road. A farmer’s range cattle moved across the road frequently, and one of these cows was caught by a leg in the snare. The POACHER did not attach a “break-away lock” (the snare breaks if a certain number of pounds of pressure is applied to it (a cow would obviously be able to break a typical 40-lb. break-away)). The snare cut into the cow’s leg, and the cow was so bad off that the farmer had to put it down (although it was still used for meat). The poacher was never caught because he hadn’t tagged his snare.

    I did not try to post two names. I am using a public computer where other users leave info, and some of this info was auto-filled into my first several commentaries. (the computer automatically supplies the information). I am not stupid enough to try to deceive someone by intentionally using two names on the same email address.
    The wolverine info, is like I said, supplied by a FWP wildlife biologist and backed by facts. Why shouldn’t I believe this info is true?

    Obviously, MT is the only state that allows trapping for wolverines because their is a sustainable population in MT.
    As I’ve said twice, trapping doesn’t increase the population, it increases survival rates of the critical juvenile wolverine population.


    Bob G. As this site’s webmaster, I can see everyone’s email address and IP number. Whether by accident or intent, your first two comments were under different names. I look for that so as to avoid confusion or the occasional person who tries to create a lot of apparent support for their views by using multiple screen names
    . Ralph Maughan

  53. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack:

    I don’t want to see your pictures unless you can give me some background information on where the sets were that caught these animals, and if they were legal sets. As you know, one can find a picture of just about anything that suits their cause on the internet.
    Obviously snares are never intended to trap moose by the TRAPPERS who set them.

  54. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Let’s see, trappers and/or poachers – how about we just say TRAPS catch all sorts of non-target game such as moose, bald eagles, golden eagles, deer, cows, squirrels, dogs, whoops, dogs aren’t game, they’re domesticated…

    Would you agree, Bob G, that TRAPS catch all of the above and more?

    Bob G, you’re really into semantics, aren’t you? A poacher who uses traps IS a trapper; he/she’s a poaching trapper. Can we agree?

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  55. avatar Bob G says:

    I would agree that traps or snares do catch all of the above. If you want to call a person who sets traps illegally a “poaching trapper”, fine by me. I was just trying to be consistent and true to my beliefs.

  56. avatar Bob G says:

    Many people feel that a mandatory trapper education class would lead to fewer incidents between traps and pets, and ifewer non-target species would be taken. I think mandatory trapper ed is an excellent idea. This way a trapper will at least have to have had some trapping experience before trapping by his/her self. I also think an additional class for snaring and bodygrip trap education would be another good step towards minimizing conflicts because these are the devices that can cause the most conflicts.

  57. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G, you’re trying to make a reasoned argument, and I appreciate that.

    To continue my analogy, I’ve never hunted for white-wing dove and accidentally shot an eagle. I’ve never hunted for deer and accidentally shot a cow. I’ve never hunted for elk and accidentally shot a coyote. Blah, blah, blah. You get the picture.

    I think a reasonable person can see that trapping is indiscriminate in that a far greater percentage of non-target game is taken, as compared to conventional hunting. I think a reasonable person can see that trapping is cruel in that a wild animal is restrained for X amount of time, until it is killed by the trapper and that during this time, the trapped animal is susceptible to being killed by predators, losing a limb or chewing a limb off, frostbite of the limb, dehydration, terror, and so on.

    My idea of trapper education: trapping is is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned.

  58. avatar Bob G says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Mack, and I appreciate your thoughtful and calculated comments. You are much more civil than many people in your postings because you don’t let your emotions spill out wildly into your writing. This really adds to your ethos.

    As I’ve said before, only some forms of trapping are indiscriminate. These forms just need to be regulated more thoroughly, and the trappers who practice these need to be educated better.

    I’ve said before that my animals aren’t restrained, they are killed quickly and with minimal suffering. However some poaching trappers, and snares may cause prolonged suffering if used incorrectly.

    “My idea of trapper education: trapping is is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned.”

    This doesn’t really make sense, but if you’re saying trapper ed is bad: at least that education will produce a more aware and ethical trapper.

  59. avatar Catbestland says:

    Bob G,

    He is saying that the trapper should be educated to the fact that trapping is a cruel and nasty activity and should be banned. This is what trappers need to learn.

  60. avatar Buffaloed says:

    My father’s dog was caught in a trap set for coyotes near Emmett, Idaho along a trail a couple of years ago that he took her for a walk on everyday presumably leaving numerous dog tracks. The trap was not marked and my dad destroyed the trap.

  61. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G said “As I’ve said before, only some forms of trapping are indiscriminate.”

    You’re wrong, Bob G. I can show you pics of an ermine in a leghold that’s almost as big as the ermine; I can show you a pic of a deer fawn in a leghold, I can show your a pic of a bald eagle in a leghold, etc.

    My idea of trapper education: trapping is is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned.

    “This doesn’t really make sense, but if you’re saying trapper ed is bad: at least that education will produce a more aware and ethical trapper.”

    Cat’s right; it makes perfect sense.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  62. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    Why does the Montana Trappers Assn consistantly fight against mandatory trapper education if it will produce a more aware and more ethical trapper?
    Why are they opposed to increased setbacks?
    AND why are they against mandatory trap check times?
    They have fought against any change in regulations for years. It’s just a shame that we have such a spineless MFWP and a Game Commission that does nothing but kiss their ass.

  63. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    You ready to admit the fact you were “trying” to use two different names ??

  64. avatar JB says:

    “You’re wrong, Bob G. I can show you pics of an ermine in a leghold that’s almost as big as the ermine; I can show you a pic of a deer fawn in a leghold, I can show your a pic of a bald eagle in a leghold, etc.”

    Mack, I *think* Bob’s point was that, if properly done, trapping CAN BE selective (it often isn’t, especially when people who don’t know what they’re doing set the traps). The trap itself is no more selective than a gun; it is the skill with which it is placed that determines if it will catch the target species. You won’t, for instance, catch a coyote in a conibear set for a beaver (I’m exaggerating here, but you get the idea).

    In my opinion, in addition to mandatory 24-hour trap checks and education, trappers should also be required to use padded-jaw or “soft catch” leg-hold traps.

  65. avatar Catbestland says:

    JB or anyone,

    Do you know if TTD’s (Tranquilizing Trapping devices) are still being used? They were usually padded ledhold snares with pouches of tranquilizer attached to them. When the wolf began to chew on the trap to free himself, he would receive a dose of the tranquilizer. I think they were used when trapping wolves to relocate them.

  66. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    JB said “Mack, I *think* Bob’s point was that, if properly done, trapping CAN BE selective (it often isn’t, especially when people who don’t know what they’re doing set the traps).”

    I think yours or Bob’s point is moot: trapping can be selective but it often isn’t.

    My money says trapping is an activity that is *far* more indiscriminate than conventional hunting.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  67. avatar Bob G says:

    The trapper association is seriously considering mandatory trapper education. If this was implemented, FWP would take a much larger role (in the class). The trapper’s association is also willing to compromise on wolverine trapping as well. I’ve mentioned female subquotas before.
    Also, the trapper association has rejected the tentative wolf trapping regs because they are impractical and unfair to trappers.
    So, the association is willing to compromise.

    I’m not sure why additional setbacks are needed (for traps other than snares and large body-grippers in MT) because the ones in the regulations are fairly reasonable.

    I’ve already stated why the 24-hr trap check would be unfair and uncalled for in earlier postings.

  68. avatar Bob G says:

    Buffaloed:
    I am sorry about your dad’s bad experience with traps. If the trap wasn’t tagged, it was an illegal set, and your dad had every right to destroy it (in my mind). Obviously the individual who set the trap wasn’t observative, educated, or responsible.

  69. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G says “I’ve already stated why the 24-hr trap check would be unfair and uncalled for in earlier postings.”

    “A 24 hour trap check would be unfair to many trappers. As a marten trapper I run 20+ mile long ski lines a fair distance from home. It would be impossible for me and other longliners to check traps every day.”

    Unfair to trappers or unfair to wildlife? Bullshit. Shorten your lines. Don’t run as many traps.

    I’m hearing a LOT about “illegal sets.” Sounds like there’s a LOT of trappers that are poaching.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  70. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack:
    Why should I have to shorten my lines? What is wrong with my ski lines? I’ve already stated that the marten I catch die quickly, with minimal suffering.

  71. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack: I’d be interested to know if you hunt, and if so, what you hunt for. If you are not opposed to hunting, why do you SEEM to be opposed to trapping that causes suffering comparable to that of an animal harvested by firearm or arrow? Hunters (not only trappers) also can cause undue suffering if they shoot an animal in the gut or foot.

  72. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    Some info for you about wolverines.

    Wolverines are threatened by the isolation of their populations, trapping (which is still legal in Montana) and the disturbance of denning areas by snowmobiles and other recreational activities. The wolverine exists at extremely low numbers and reproduces very slowly, resulting in populations that are particularly vulnerable to these threats, especially females.

    New scientific evidence indicates that maintaining a stable wolverine population requires providing two acres of protected wolverine habitat for every acre of habitat where trapping occurs – i.e., a 2:1 ratio. However, a recent study in Montana documented a 1:9 ratio of protected vs. trapped wolverine habitat in that state. Consistent with this analysis, another recent study of a wolverine population in the Pioneer Mountains of western Montana indicated a 30 percent annual decline due to trapping mortality.

    I agree additional setbacks won’t work because the trappers will disregard the law. Most of the pets that are trapped are within the buffer and no ID on the trap.
    “A 24 hour trap check is “unfair”….bet the trapped animal wouldn’t think it’s unfair.
    Also, they’re not trapping wolves because of public opinion. A spokesman for your group( Ed Hebbe) stated…”trapping wolves now would be like a trainwreck waiting to happen” You can check that out in the Great Falls Tribune.
    You keep digging yourself a hole……If the wolverine population is sustainable and trapping helps increase juvenile populations….why the hell would your organization even consider a compromise? Eventually they’d be zero wolverines.
    Geez…do you folks have any form of a moral compass?

  73. avatar JB says:

    Cat:
    I *believe* these are only used for purposes of trapping and relocating (i.e. by government trappers); I don’t think these are used by private trappers.

    Mack:
    Mack, you stated that traps often are not selective. The question (in my mind) is how often–or more precisely, what percentage of traps set are not selective (i.e. catch non-targets)? In other words, how big of a problem is non-target catch? The point of trapper education would be to reduce non-target catch by educating trappers on how/where/when to set traps in order to target certain species. If non-target catch is a pervasive problem (as you argue) then trapper education has the potential to vastly reduce the problem–which is a good thing, right? 🙂

    I understand and respect your view that trapping is cruel. I don’t trap, and I don’t relish the idea of animals needlessly suffering–that’s why I support education programs, padded-jaw traps, and a 24 hour trap check.

  74. avatar Catbestland says:

    JB

    Yes, I am aware that the TTD’s were used for trapping and relocating wolves. I am just wondering if they are still used and if they are the preferred method for relocation or is there a newer, better machine out there?

  75. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerryb:
    Thanks for this interesting wolverine data. As I’ve said, I think female subquotas are a good idea to limit #’s of females taken. Perhaps there is a 9:1 ratio of land able to be trapped vs. trap free land for wolverines, but this doesn’t mean that all of the trappable land is being used to trap wolverines. I also think that wolverine trapping should not be allowed in small, isolated populations (like the pioneers) because trapping could dramatically reduce the population in these areas. However, in areas that have good populations of wolverines, and are contiguous to other populations trapping is sustainable.

    As for your statement “bet the trapped animal wouldn’t think it’s unfair”, an animal doesn’t have the capacity to “think” something is unfair. It doesn’t matter anyway, because in my trap the animal wouldn’t be left alive long wondering.
    Just because you think trapping is wrong doesn’t give you the right to say that trappers “have no moral compass”. This sort of prejudging leads to false, unsubstantiated stereotypes.

  76. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    I have the “right” to say anything, just as you have the right to twist facts that try to legitimize trapping.
    Let’s try again…..Why did the trappers decide against trapping wolves?
    Why hasn’t the Montana Trappers Assn been pro-active about trapping wolverines in small isolated populations (like the Pioneers) Trappers killed one of the females that was collared and was being used for research. You guys just don’t get it, do you?
    Your quote….”in my trap the animal wouldn’t be left alive long wondering” “my trapline is 20+ miles and I can’t check them every day” That’s your reason for not having a 24 hour trap check. Hell, let the animal suffer. Amazing! Talk about being disengaged from the civilized world!

  77. avatar JB says:

    Cat:

    Sorry; misunderstood your original post. I don’t know the answer, though I do know that they don’t do much trapping and relocating these days. If wolves are a problem…well, you know the solution.

  78. avatar Bob G says:

    The trappers decided against wolf trapping because they thought the tentative wolf regs were impractical and unfair to trappers.
    The trappers association probably hasn’t been proactive about protecting these small wolverine populations because in the past FWP has recommended that wolverine trapping be allowed in these areas. Now that new info and problems are coming out (like the female killed in the Pioneers), the seasons in these areas will probably be closed, or a female subquota implemented.

    You are right, you do have the right to say whatever you want.

    “That’s your reason for not having a 24 hour trap check. Hell, let the animal suffer. ”
    Jerry, I don’t know what I have to do to make you understand this. Read carefully: The animals I catch die almost immediately. Whether I leave them for a day or a week, they would not suffer more or less either way. The animals are not spoiled or wasted if left for a week because they will be preserved frozen from the cold.

  79. avatar Catbestland says:

    Bob G,

    If you don’t check the traps for a day or a week, how do you know that the animals you catch die instantly?????

  80. avatar Bob G says:

    Studies undertaken in Canada have shown that body-gripping traps like the 110’s I use kill within minutes. I could get more specific info on this if needed, but it is basically common knowlege.
    I can tell that the animals die quickly because when I find an animal in one of my traps the set is hardly disturbed, and the animal has not damaged itself or become tangled in the trap chain or tree branches. This shows that the animal died quickly (an animal alive in a trap will go berserk, and tear up the set. It will also commonly injure it’s pelt by twisting or chewing). The absence of the destruction usually caused by a caught animal tells me that the animal died swiftly and without suffering.

  81. avatar JB says:

    Bob,

    You had me right up until you used the words “without suffering.” Call it “minimal” suffering if you will, but to suggest that one does not suffer when one is being squeezed to death is simply ludicrous.

  82. avatar Catbestland says:

    “Studies undertaken in Canada” Oh let me guess; studies done by trappers? Studies done by trap manufacturers? Remember the “studies show that More doctors smoke Camels” commercial????

  83. avatar Heather says:

    “Whether I leave them for a day or a week, they would not suffer more or less either way. The animals are not spoiled or wasted if left for a week because they will be preserved frozen from the cold.”
    Bob G: I cannot believe you do not check your traps for a week, because the animals will be “preserved frozen from the cold.” That is the most inhumane thing I have ever heard. It is obvious animals can feel pain. It is obvious they suffer. and it is very obvious that you do not care. What kind of civilized human being are you???

  84. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob G says: “Mack: I’d be interested to know if you hunt, and if so, what you hunt for. If you are not opposed to hunting, why do you SEEM to be opposed to trapping that causes suffering comparable to that of an animal harvested by firearm or arrow? Hunters (not only trappers) also can cause undue suffering if they shoot an animal in the gut or foot.”

    Yes, I’m an elk hunter. And you’re right, a bad shot can cause horrific suffering. I know it sounds like rationalization, and perhaps it is, and I don’t have any hard data, but I would think that the percentage of animals that do not have a quick death in traps and suffer greatly is far higher than those that suffer because of a bad shot.

    I don’t like bow hunting. Unless I’m mistaken, the percentage of non-kill hits is something like 40%+ and this means a lot of animals suffer.

    “I can tell that the animals die quickly because when I find an animal in one of my traps the set is hardly disturbed, and the animal has not damaged itself or become tangled in the trap chain or tree branches. This shows that the animal died quickly (an animal alive in a trap will go berserk, and tear up the set. It will also commonly injure it’s pelt by twisting or chewing). The absence of the destruction usually caused by a caught animal tells me that the animal died swiftly and without suffering.”

    This is very revealing – you speak of an animal injuring its pelt by twisting or chewing. That fact that you use the word “pelt” reflects your trapper mentality. The animals you speak of, those caught alive in traps and that go beserk and tear up the set (making more work for the poor trapper), the ones that commonly injure not its pelt but it’s TOE, TOES, FOOT, FEET, LEG or LEGS or other parts of it’s body, those are the ones that suffer not to mention the non-target species that suffer.

    JB’s right; call it “minimal” suffering if you will, but to suggest that an animal does not suffer when it is being squeezed to death is simply ludicrous.

    Trapping is a cruel and nasty activity that should be banned, in my opinion.

  85. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    Your quote: “the trappers decided against wolf trapping because they thought the tentative wolf regs were unpractical and unfair to trappers”.
    From the Great Falls Tribune, Dec 24, 2007….In a position that surprized the Commission, the Montana Trappers Association opposed trapping wolves. In an interview, their spokesman, Edward J Hebbe lll said, “TRAPPING THEM LIKELY WOULD BE SO CONTROVERSIAL THAT IT COULD HARM THE IMAGE OF TRAPPING IN GENERAL”. IT’S A TRAINWRECK WAITING TO HAPPEN”, Hebbe said.
    So Bob G….is it no wonder trappers have no credibility?…they habitually misrepresent the facts and twist the truth. Your dialogue here has been a wonderful example of that.
    Like I said before….you people just don’t get it.

  86. avatar jerry b says:

    This is worth reading again…From New West 2-15-08

    A Montana Trapper Confesses

    By Taz Alago, New West Unfiltered, 2-15-08

    A Montana trapper has publicly confessed to animal abuse. In a guest opinion recently printed in The Missoulian (http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2008/02/11/opinion/guest/guest11.txt), Montana Trappers Association member Dennis “Foothold” Schutz wrote, “We trappers do cause pain and suffering to animals and apologize to no one.” While this is a change from the fur trapper’s usual claim that trapping is humane, the admission was obviously not made in a mood of contrition.

    “Foothold” Schutz exults in his candor. He’s bragging, like Michael Vick and his buddies probably bragged about how they killed their fighting dogs. He justifies his cruelty by saying, “We are predators, period,” ignoring the fact that most human predators in the USA hunt with guns or other methods that kill quickly and precisely, death occurring in seconds or minutes rather than hours or days. Hunters select and kill an individual animal, not any creature that comes within range. Wounded animals are pursued and killed, not left to suffer.

    This trapper’s candor exposes the attitude of trappers to animals. While most sportsmen take pride in a clean kill and their skill in stalking, trappers are indifferent to how their victims die. Nor do they care, aside for the inconvenience it may cause them, how many untargeted animals die in their traps. In a country that has been outraged by the cruelties of the dog-fighting racket, it is strange that this agony inflicted on wild animals is still overlooked.

    Mr. Schutz’s connection of trapping with our American freedoms is distorted. Many of our ancestors did come here to escape oppression or better themselves, but not to beat up animals. The necessity of living off the land is long past. What was a way of life for some is now just a hobby, a sport, a diversion. Fur trapping is not an occupation any more, and Americans have changed the way they look at animals. Just as we now see racial discrimination as unjust and unfair, so we see have come to see animal abuse as foul and unethical. When people harvest “renewable natural resources” by means of wasteful and cruel means, it is no longer a “right.” When a few individuals claim they have a “freedom” to abuse and torture animals, they are wrong.

    What stands out most about trappers is their failure to grant animals any dignity, compassion or understanding. If they saw the endless hours of agony a trapped animal endures, if they saw the casual brutality with which a trapper kills and discards unwanted victims, and if they saw the smug contempt with which the trapper beats and suffocates his “prey” to death, most Westerners would vote to outlaw this savagery.

  87. avatar Bob G says:

    I amend “suffering” to minimal suffering. You are all right, any time an animal is killed, whether by hunting, fishing, or trapping there is suffering involved.

    Heather:
    Obviously you have not gotten the context of what I was saying. The animals are already dead, and they are preserved after death by cold so there is no rotting or spoiling of the animal. Please read all preceding comments before you write something.

    Mack: “..but I would think that the percentage of animals that do not have a quick death in traps and suffer greatly is far higher than those that suffer because of a bad shot.”

    I would agree with you Mack, that the “percentage of animals
    that do not have a quick death in traps” is higher in trapping. However, the overall NUMBER of animals that are wounded and die from poor marksmanship is much greater than the number trappers cause undue suffering (just because there are so many more hunters than trappers).

    “That fact that you use the word “pelt” reflects your trapper mentality.”-What’s your point, Mack? I am a trapper.

    Please answer this question, Mack: “If you are not opposed to hunting, why do you SEEM to be opposed to trapping that causes suffering comparable to that of an animal harvested by firearm?”

    Jerry: Yes, Mr. Hebbe may have stated that “TRAPPING THEM LIKELY WOULD BE SO CONTROVERSIAL THAT IT COULD HARM THE IMAGE OF TRAPPING IN GENERAL”. IT’S A TRAINWRECK WAITING TO HAPPEN”. This doesn’t mean that this is the only reason the Association is opposed to wolf trapping. As a member of the Association, I am undeniably more informed than you on the opinions and views of the Association. All I’m saying is that some in the Association think the regs are impractical and unfair to trappers.

  88. avatar Bob G says:

    Catbestland: Who else would undertake studies about traps than trappers or researchers funded by trappers? Body-grip traps are known to kill very quickly. If you can find some info to the contrary, than tell me!

  89. avatar Bob G says:

    “this trapper’s candor exposes the attitude of trappers to animals. While most sportsmen take pride in a clean kill and their skill in stalking, trappers are indifferent to how their victims die. Nor do they care, aside for the inconvenience it may cause them, how many untargeted animals die in their traps.”

    Trappers also “take pride in” a quick, clean kill. As I’ve already, stated, minimal suffering of the trapped animal is important to me and other trappers. That is why I use quick-kill traps. I also care a great deal how many nontarget animals I kill because if I was catching nontargets, this would tell me one of my methods was not working. I would obviously be very remorseful if I caught an animal like an eagle or an ungulate (for examlples). I definitely would care, and so would all the responsible trappers that I know.

    “f they saw the endless hours of agony a trapped animal endures, if they saw the casual brutality with which a trapper kills and discards unwanted victims, and if they saw the smug contempt with which the trapper beats and suffocates his “prey” to death, most Westerners would vote to outlaw this savagery.”

    As I’ve already made clear, many forms of trapping do not allow “endless hours of agony” to the animal. Also, if I kill an “unwanted victim” I would either report it (if it was dead or severely injured), or release it (if it was unharmed). Additionally, just as with an animal I have harvested by hunting, I have full respect for the animal I kill, and I am definitely never “smug” or “contemptful” of the animal.

  90. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    Must be an interesting meeting when Mr Hebbe and Mr. Schutz are present. One seems to care about “public perception” and the other has the “in your face, we torture animals, so what..the public can go to hell attitude”.
    Behind which of these would you say the majority of MTA aligns themselves?

  91. avatar Sally Roberts says:

    I take issue with this statement:
    “Trappers also “take pride in” a quick, clean kill. As I’ve already, stated, minimal suffering of the trapped animal is important to me and other trappers.”
    What about the trappers who send their dogs in on trapped animals be it a coyote, a bear, a bobcat, or now even a wolf? Check out the Wind River Baits and Lures catalog (I can’t remember the exact name)–they are out of Dubois, WY. It has very graphic images of dogs attacking trapped animals–all in the name of sporting fun.

  92. avatar Catbestland says:

    Bob G,

    Here is only one article discussing the test confirming the cruelty of trapping. There are dozens more.
    http://www.api4animals.org/articles.php?more=1&p=971

  93. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerry B:

    I would say that members of the MTA would align more with Mr. Hebbe, although some of them (unlike Mr. Hebbe) think trapping wolves would be a good thing because it would be a “victory” for trappers. At a recent meeting of the NW MTA members, all expressed distaste for Mr. Schutz poor essay on his reasons for trapping. Few agree with his viewpoints stated in his editorial.

    Sally Roberts:
    Sending dogs after trapped animals would be unethical, irresponsible, and illegal in MT. Regs say the animal should be dispatched “quickly and humanely” (which is obviously not the case when dogs are allowed to kill trapped animals). Maybe Wind River Baits do this, but they are DEFINITELY not representative of MT Trappers, or any other trappers in general. Just because one person(s) in a group does something unethical and despicable doesn’t mean all others from this group engage in the same activities. “Take issue” with those people, not me or the other responsible trappers in MT.

  94. avatar Bob G says:

    Catbestland: This article only discussed tests involving foothold traps. There were no tests cited about body-gripping traps. Also, the people criticizing these tests are European, and are not necessarily a good authority on anything to do with trapping/traps because little trapping occurs in Europe (as your article cites).

  95. avatar Bob G says:

    Catbestland:
    All this article says is that trap-testing standards were not set. Whatever group that is writing the article added their own biased skepticisms of trap test procedures. Like I said, If you know of a study that PROVES BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS ARE CRUEL OR DON’T KILL QUICKLY, please bring it to my attention!

  96. avatar SmokyMtMan says:

    Trapping is legal, and it always will be. It has been legal for 400 years now.

    I don’t understand all this debate back and forth. The truth is simple: killing animals will cause some animals pain and stress. This is true of trapping, and it’s true of hunting. So what?

    You are killing animals; arguing over the methods strikes me as a waste of time. I don’t trap or hunt, nor do I hold either activity against any man.

    Why worry about either? Neither activity will ever be illegal, and both activities’ end result is the same: kill animals.

    What is even more amusing is that the participants in this thread are all so steadfastly resolute in their own opinions, no one is listening to anyone other than themselves.

    So why bother?

  97. avatar jerry b says:

    SmokyMan
    Your statement..”trapping is legal and always will be” leaves the impression that you “are steadfastly resolute in your opinion”. Most here who represent both sides of the issue know that you don’t have a clue what the hell you’re talking about.
    Legality depends upon which state you live in.
    Hint….check out Arizona, Colorado, California, Washington for starters.

  98. avatar Bob G says:

    Smokey:

    I tend to agree with you on your first several statements, but I think that Myself and Mack B have both endeavored to answer questions directed towards us and have been open to information brought forth by others.

  99. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    This may be of interest to you since trapping is allowed in areas of Montana which contain lynx and there is a record of lynx being trapped here.

    Federal judge orders Minnesota DNR to act to protect threatened Canada lynx.

    By DAN BROWNING, Star Tribune

    Last update: March 31, 2008 – 5:43 PM
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    Trapping and snaring in the range of the Canada lynx is a violation of the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge said in a ruling published today.

    U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis ordered the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to “promptly take all action necessary to [ensure] no further taking of threatened Canada Lynx.”

    Davis said the DNR must apply for a special permit regulating incidental takings of Canada lynx by the end of April. He said the department must also develop a proposal to “restrict, modify or eliminate” incidental Canada lynx takings in Minnesota.

    “The court will hold an evidentiary hearing, if necessary, to determine the appropriateness of said proposal,” Davis said.

    The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed in September 2006 by the Animal Protection Institute and Center for Biological Diversity. According to the plaintiffs, trappers have injured or killed at least 13 Canada lynx from 2002 to 2005. No such takings were reported for the winter of 2006, but it’s unknown whether any were taken this past winter, Davis said.

    “Given the fact that 13 takings have been reported since 2002, and that the DNR has not taken substantial steps to further protect lynx from takings, the court finds it likely that additional takings may occur unless further regulations are implemented,” he wrote in a 20-page order.

    Davis granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in the case, concluding that the DNR “has violated and remains in violation Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act by authorizing trapping and snaring within the range of Canada Lynx in Minnesota.”

    Dan Browning • 612-673-4493

  100. avatar Heather says:

    “Heather:
    Obviously you have not gotten the context of what I was saying. The animals are already dead, and they are preserved after death by cold so there is no rotting or spoiling of the animal. Please read all preceding comments before you write something.”
    Bob G or whatever your name is, it is interesting when people try to insult my intelligence when my viewpoint is true and rational. The truth is that many of the animals in your traps die a LONG death due to starvation, elements, thirst, pain, trauma. that is the truth. Own up to it big man.

  101. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerry B:
    This article is very interesting. I am a conservationist first and a trapper second, and when it is determined that trapping isn’t sustainable for an animal, I am all for protecting the animal. If the DNR says lynx can no longer be trapped in Minnesota (as it is in MT), then I fully respect that.

    Heather:
    I still don’t know what your “viewpoint” is, so why don’t you explain it again more explicitly. As I’ve said (many times), Heather: I use only body-gripping traps that kill quickly and with minimal suffering. The animals die swiftly from chest compression (by the trap) and suffocation. I have only had one animal that has ever struggled and died a slow death in one of my traps (the animal was caught by just the lower body). That’s a pretty good average for hundreds of pine marten over a seven-year period.

    “That is the most inhumane thing I have ever heard. It is obvious animals can feel pain. It is obvious they suffer.”–Heather, please try to understand: “INHUMANE” AND “SUFFERING” APPLIES TO AN ANIMAL THAT IS STILL ALIVE! LEAVING A *DEAD* ANIMAL FOR A WEEK IS NOT INHUMANE BECAUSE IT IS ALREADY DEAD, AND A DEAD ANIMAL CAN’T FEEL PAIN! So. again: Please read all preceding comments before you write something.

  102. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerry B:
    How many lynx have been “incidentally” taken and killed by trappers in MT? I doubt it would be substantial. As you may know, FWP track surveys have found lynx numbers to be steadily increasing, and reports from other outdoorsmen of lynx sightings/track sightings is becoming more and more frequent. I often see lynx tracks passing through out on the trapline. For those trapping bobcat, I’m sure it is hard to keep lynx away from their sets (which are designed for a cat).

    One of my good friends caught a lynx in one of his bobcat traps several years ago. The animal was sitting patiently waiting for him, but when he came close the animal got scared and aggressive. My friend threw his coat over the animal (a brave move, let me tell you!), and held the animal down while he released it from the trap. The foothold he was using had “offset” jaws, or jaws that are wider and less damaging to the animal’s foot. The foot was completely undamaged (the cat in fact took a swipe at my friend with that very paw), and my friend released the animal safely. Two weeks later he saw the track of this lynx, walking along a ridge near his line. Obviously the cat was just fine, and now a little smarter.

  103. avatar jerry b says:

    Bob G
    The reason that lynx trapping is not allowed is because there is NOT a substainable population. Hence they are considered a “threatened species in need of protection”. It has been illegal to trap them in Minnesota, in fact in all states including Montana, however, “incidental” catch, as has been mentioned numerous times in this dialogue, is the problem and trappers continue to roll the dice when it comes to areas frequented by endangered or threatened species.
    My hats off to your friend for the effort in releasing the cat, unfortunately I believe that his actions are not the norm.
    I’d be interested to know where lynx numbers are increasing because after spending time in the Swan recently, my understanding is that there are fewer lynx, partly because of incidental catch and partly because of habitat destruction thanks to Plum Creek.
    Now that action is being taken in both Minnesota and Maine against incidental catch, I’d say it’s a possibility that MFWP may face the same court action. I’m not even sure that MFWP has an “incidental take permit ” from the USFWS that covers threatened species….Are you aware of any permit?
    There have been 2 or 3 “documented” cases of lynx being trapped in the last couple of years here in Montana. Of course it’s the “undocumented” ones that pose a problem.

  104. avatar Catbestland says:

    Bob G,

    You obviously did not read the entire article or you would have seen the section on tests that have been conducted and the fact that these traps are considered so cruel that there is an international movement to ban them. Regardless here is another link. YOU MUST READ THE WHOLE THING. http://www.bancrueltraps.com/

  105. avatar Bob G says:

    Catbestland;
    You are missing my focus here. I am aware that some groups think that trapping is cruel (like bancrueltraps.org). That is not the discussion (for me). Whether or not traps causing undue suffering (particularly bodygrip traps) is what I’m asking about. So, for the third time: If you know of a study that PROVES BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS ARE CRUEL OR DON’T KILL QUICKLY, please bring it to my attention!
    I don’t really care about your “trapping is cruel” websites because most trapping isn’t, and these sites just express opinions anyway!

  106. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerryb:
    You are right that lynx populations aren’t sustainable for harvest in all the lower forty-eight. Maybe I didn’t make it clear I understood that. However, (and rather irrelevant) lynx trapping is allowed in Alaska.

    Furbearer track studies undertaken by FWP in the upper South Fork and Middle Fork of the Flathead have suggested a dramatic increase in lynx numbers. Of course, lynx population trends could be and are different in other areas. As a trapper in the Flathead area, I have seen more lynx tracks recently (since before ’96) than ever. This winter we came across five sets of lynx tracks in three widely separated backcountry ski lines. Its nice to know they are out there and improving. Talking with other backcountry/marten trappers, similar trends have been seen. Of course, lynx populations are highly dependent on the snowshoe hare populations, the lynx’s main prey, so fluctuations of lynx numbers for different years are common. Right now there are a LOT of snowshoe hares. Their tracks were littered all over on our traplines.
    I also think that development and intrusive human presence (i.e. construction, logging, etc.) are HUGE factors for fewer lynx numbers in growing or highly populated areas (like the Swan). Compared to these threats, the one or two lynx caught and killed in traps mean little.
    As for the Swan, the new subdivisions coming in thanks to Plum Creek, land section trading, homes, roads, and the sheer numbers of hunters in the fall, have probably forced the Swan lynx out of more populated areas and into the Bob Marshall/upper South Fork, or the Mission Mountains wilderness.

  107. avatar Bob G says:

    Jerryb:
    I am not aware of any incidental take “permits” in Montana for lynx. All I know is that caught lynx must be reported to FWP immediately if not releasable. This measure was brought about in Minnesota because, as the article says, 13 lynx were killed or injured from traps in ONE YEAR! Obviously action needs to be taken in MN if that many threatened/endangered species are being taken each year. MT has fewer incidental catches of lynx, and much more land area than MN. The lynx taken in MN may have severely damaged their lynx popuation. However, MT has a strong and growing (in some areas) lynx population, and few incidental catches. If incidental lynx catches became a problem in MT, then I would be all for these “permits”, and other restrictive measures on SOME forms of trapping in the lynx’s range (SOME bcause as I’ve said before, most trapping is highly discriminate, and some trapping (like water trapping) would be no threat to lynx at all).

    Another note on the Swan area: Mission mtn. and swan valley Grizzlies are also declining, or have moved out. Is this because of trappers as well?

  108. avatar Catbestland says:

    Bob G

    OK this comes form the California League of Women Voters study on the matter.

    recent report of the Department of Fish and Game, studies were cited that enumerate targeted versus untargeted captures by body-gripping traps. It was found, for example, that in Colusa County, where 26 target muskrats were caught, 19 nontargeted animals were also caught by body-gripping traps; in San Diego County, 42 target bobcats were caught, while 91 nontarget animals were caught by the same method. http://ca.lwv.org/lwvc.files/nov98/id/prop4.html

    That’s a lot of non target animals killed. And there is a lot more information in that article. Why are the studies done by trappers and trapping manufactures acceptable to you and studies done by wildlife organizations are NOT???? If these traps are not cruel, why do you think wildlife organizations apose them????

  109. avatar Pronghorn says:

    “If you know of a study that PROVES BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS ARE CRUEL OR DON’T KILL QUICKLY, please bring it to my attention!”

    Let’s see YOU produce the study that refutes the idea that animals NEVER enter traps in such a way to miss the lethal spot, that they NEVER languish and suffer. Several years ago when a domestic dog was caught in a Conibear in the Bitterroot (Bear Creek drainage?) it took something like an hour for the dog to suffocate and die. I googled Conibear body-gripping trap prolonged death and found plenty.

  110. avatar Bob G says:

    Catbestland:
    As this study cited in the proposition was undertaken by california fish&game, I’m sure the numbers are valid. However, the information did not specify the TYPES of non-target animals caught in these studies. For example, I would guess that many of the non-target animals caught in the muskrat-trapping test were mink. Many trappers desire both mink and muskrat, and both can be caught and killed quickly with the same size/type of trap. If a trapper sets a set for muskrat and gets a mink, although it is technically “non-target”, the trapper will be equally happy with it. What I’m trying to say is that not all technically “non-target” species are undesirable, or not sought after, by the trapper. The really important data from these studies would be the numbers of nontargets that are protected, endangered, or domestic that were caught.

    The only parts of this article/proposition that said trapping was cruel were those in support of the proposition. No facts were cited about the cruelty of body-gripping OR leghold traps.

    Some Wildlife organizations oppose trapping from a moralistic standpoint. That means they think it is wrong to kill ANY animal, not just the ones in traps. Most of these organizations (except perhaps Footloose) do not like hunting either.

  111. avatar Bob G says:

    Pronghorn:
    I can’t produce a study that would say traps ALWAYS kill quickly because some traps (like snares and legholds) aren’t meant to kill, or at least kill quickly. Even body-gripping traps aren’t perfect. Occasionally an animal will be caught in a bad place. However, body-gripping traps DO offer the means of the quickest kill with minimal suffering. As I wrote earlier, I’ve only caught ONE animal in seven years after hundreds of marten that was caught in a non-lethal way in my conibears. That’s a DAMN good average, and probably better than most HUNTERS (who occasionally cause an animal undue suffering through a poor shot) can say!

    As for the dog who was caught in the trap, it probably took so long to die because the trap was not suited for an animal of that size/body composition. I am sorry for that dog’s suffering, and the owner’s loss. I would be interested to know what size conibear the dog was caught in, and why the owner didn’t go for help if it took the animal that long to die.

    All:
    If you know of a study that PROVES BODY-GRIPPING TRAPS ARE CRUEL OR DON’T KILL QUICKLY, please bring it to my attention!

  112. avatar Bob G says:

    Check out
    “Catch Efficiency and Selectivity of Various Traps and Sets Used for Capturing American Martens
    Brian J. Naylor, Milan Novak
    Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 489-496”
    For one study on the kill efficiency of conibears.

  113. avatar SmalltownID says:

    I had two dogs this year get into traps. My wire-hair stepped in a typical coil spring and my weimraner got in a conibear. Neither one of them were very fun. The trapper who had set out the line of conibears said he has never had anything live through their jaws until our dog. Of course, none of the animals he caught had 3 men prying the jaws open soon afterwards. Fortunately both dogs were ok and everyone’s fingers remained intact after the jaws clamped back down on them after the dog was released. 🙂 Now I know how to get dogs out of them.

  114. avatar Bob G says:

    Smalltown:
    I’m sorry about your bad experiences with traps and your pets. I hope neither of the dogs was injured. It sounds like you had communications with the trapper. Did he seem concerned, and did he later pull or move his traps from the area? I know as a responsible trapper and pet owner that I would immediately pull my traps to stop further conflict in high-use areas.

    I’m glad you were able to release the dog from the conibear, as this is the hardest trap to open. Please tell us how you opened the trap, and maybe a little more about the incident.

  115. avatar kim kaiser says:

    just in case it happens again, here is a method to release the trap, if your dog is cauught in one of teh conebear things i just found it on the net,
    http://www.terrierman.com/traprelease.htm

  116. avatar jerry b says:

    Excellent instructions on releasing your pet from traps and also info on what Oregon is doing to ban trapping.

    http://trapfreeoregon.org/

  117. avatar Heather says:

    Bob G.:
    “Heather:
    I still don’t know what your “viewpoint” is, so why don’t you explain it again more explicitly. As I’ve said (many times), Heather: I use only body-gripping traps that kill quickly and with minimal suffering.”
    No I dont think you are getting my viewpoint because you are a trapper. and trappers need to justify themselves to do what they do. just because you say something many times does not make you right. hate to say it, but there are different viewpoints besides yours. minimal suffering is too much. trapping is inhumne, cruel and needs to be banned. Just the words “body gripping trap”. wow. how about you put yourself in one and see if you think it is unfair. You’ve already told us your viewpoint that animals dont’ think, just short of dont feel, but you caught yourself didn’t you? At one time and perhaps now as well, some people believe black slaves couldn’t think either…

  118. avatar Bob G says:

    Heather:
    I see now, you are just opposed to trapping because animals are killed. Apparently you were talking about trapping in general as “inhumane and cruel”, not leaving the dead animal preserved for a week. Please try to make your comments more clear and EXPLICIT. Let’s just agree to disagree about whether trapping is right or wrong.
    I wouldn’t fit in a body-gripping trap, and anyway, I am a human, not an unthinking animal.

    As for the argument that trapping is somehow equivalent morally to slavery, that is simply ludicrous. The slaves were PEOPLE, sentient (meaning able to reason) beings mistreated by other humans. Animals are not humans, and trapping is not an infringement of any person’s civil rights. Sorry to break it to you, but humans are more valuable and important than animals. It sickens me when people yammer on about animal rights while unfortunate human children remain poverty-stricken and hopeless in the U.S. and abroad. Get your priorities straight, and help where it is really needed!

  119. avatar Heather says:

    Bob G.
    don’t tell me what to say. I say what I want.
    just as you do.
    I certainly dont need or WANT your coaching.
    As for the sorry “get your priorities straight” argument – if you could possibly comprehend that abuse to animals is the same as abuse to people this world would get better. People seem to think the two are separate. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
    (Disclaimer: I feel that hunting for food is one’s own perogative. Abuse of an animal should not be. I am talking of animal abuse here, not hunting for food. Hunting for elk is a much better scenario than the millions and billions of farm factory animals suffering away in factory farms but that is a different story). Bob: There is a heck of lot of time spent on trying to prevent human abuse but what has changed? Do you think possibly the two are related? And what have you done for the human condition? hmm? Do you donate to United Way? ( I worked in the social work field for over 10 years. I think I’ve done my part.) Ponder for a bit and let me know what you come up with.
    “quality time with my children in the outdoors” showing them how to bludgeon a live animal. Give me break.
    I’ve spent many many hours in the woods observing, and respecting what I see. Teaching my son how to do the same. He has been taught to see animals as beings of equal value to humans. If he wants to hunt someday that will be up to him. At least that is for food. You just trap for money. I dont have the need to kill animals for the hell of it, or its pelt. As you say, you dont even make money on trapping because of gas prices etc. How many times have I heard that sorry excuse. Cry me a river, Bob.

  120. avatar kim kaiser says:

    HEy Bob G.. there is a big ole bear trap in a antique store that unless you tip out at oh,, say 500 lbs, i am quite sure we could get you in there,, just to see if it still works,!!

    guess i just dont get the we are more important thing,, how? ignorance and arrogance has to drive that thinking,,, we have certainly destroyed over time way more than we have contributed, unless you consider what we contribute to ourselves as important, and how much easier we have made our lives at the expense of the wild kingdom,, (plant and animal)

  121. avatar Bob G says:

    “abuse to animals is the same as abuse to people”..”animals as beings of equal value to humans”

    This makes me sick. When someone holds the life of an unthinking animal in higher value than that of a fellow human being, there is something seriously wrong. I will not respect the opinions of anyone who has these views because they are out of touch with reality.

    Elk hunting and big game hunting are no longer “hunting for the meat”. Yes, the meat is utilized, but big game is now about hunting for sport, enjoyment, and trophy (except in the case of Native American subsistence hunters).

    I don’t think animal abuse and human condition are related in any way, and even if little results have been seen from human welfare programs, they are still highly worthy causes, and can help better the lives of thousands of PEOPLE.

    As for my contributions, I am only 17 years old, so I haven’t had the time to do as much social work or donate as much as you SAY you have. I have donated to many humanitarian causes including “Invisible Children” and the United Way. Also, I make annual contributions to the food bank. I do this because human life and dignity is much more important to me than wild animals (however much I love them).

    I feel sorry for your son.

    Kim:

    Bear traps aren’t body-grip traps! Although I agree with you that humans have exploited the natural world in the past, I disagree that animals are equal in importance to humans. There is surely nothing about “protecting the inalienable rights” of animals in the Declaration of Independence!

  122. avatar Bob G says:

    This commentary seems to have generated into nothing but opinions and wild accusations. If someone has a CONCRETE issue to discuss about trapping, please bring it up. Otherwise, I’m done.

  123. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Hey, Bob, get a dictionary; sentient does not mean “able to reason” as you claim. It means being conscious; experiencing sensation or feeling; being conscious of one’s existence. Your pine martens are conscious of their existence; your cluster fly is not.

    All the pine martens you’ve killed are sentient beings and they also feel the pain of your conibear TRAPS and why does this happen? Because you think it’s a great “sport.” You don’t eat them. You don’t even make enough off their skins to pay for gas. I’m no longer going to call them “pelts” because they’re SKINS.

    Bob G says “How many lynx have been “incidentally” taken and killed by trappers in MT? I doubt it would be substantial.”

    In other words, you don’t know and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks doesn’t know either.

    “For those trapping bobcat, I’m sure it is hard to keep lynx away from their sets (which are designed for a cat).”

    How much is a lynx skin worth on the black market, Bob G? How much is a bobcat skin worth on today’s market? I don’t know, but I would think that those lynx “incidentally” taken are prized by trappers and I surmise that the skins are sold on the black market for far more than bobcat skins.

    “One of my good friends caught a lynx in one of his bobcat traps several years ago. The animal was sitting patiently waiting for him, but when he came close the animal got scared and aggressive.”

    “The animal was sitting patiently waiting for him…” You’re telling us that this non-sentient, unable to reason lynx was “waiting” for your trapper buddy? What the hell kind of thinking is that? Your thinking is bizarre, absolutely bizarre.

    “…some traps (like snares and legholds) aren’t meant to kill, or at least kill quickly.”

  124. avatar Bob G says:

    There are several definitions of “sentient”. I used one of them.

    “All the pine martens you’ve killed are sentient beings and they also feel the pain of your conibear TRAPS and why does this happen? Because you think it’s a great “sport.” You don’t eat them. You don’t even make enough off their skins to pay for gas.”
    I hate to point out, Mack, but you are SUPPOSEDLY an elk hunter. Are elk sentient beings? You cause them some pain when you shoot one. Why do you hunt elk? I’ll wager it’s for the sport, and if you deny that you are probably lying. Do you break even when you go elk hunting? Hell no! I don’t see what your problem is. You’re just a bland hypocrite!

    “How much is a lynx skin worth on the black market”

    Mack, you are amusingly uninformed! There is no black market for lynx, as it is legal to take lynx in Canada and Alaska. A Montanan who took an illegal lynx would not be able to sell the hide to any of the fur auctions because the fur “agents” who work with the auction (through whom a trapper MUST send his hide) do not accept illegally taken furs (they would know the lynx fur was illegal because it wouldn’t have a legal “pelt tag”. There is no incentive for a Montanan to otherwise sell a lynx hide. It wouldn’t be worth his trouble because people can get Canadian or Alaskan lynx legally and cheaper.
    A bobcat skin is worth anywhere from $100-300.

    “The animal was sitting patiently waiting for him…” You’re telling us that this non-sentient, unable to reason lynx was “waiting” for your trapper buddy? What the hell kind of thinking is that? Your thinking is bizarre, absolutely bizarre.”

    You changed your tune about this anecdote, didn’t you?
    All I was saying is that the lynx had heard him approaching from a distance, and was sitting there expecting my friend. The animal was calm until the trapper entered the lynx’s “personal space”.

    I don’t know how many lynx have been taken, but FWP does know the REPORTED number. As you said yourself, probably only one or two. If you look at MN, they have had 13 REPORTED lynx incidentally taken. Obviously incidental take is a much larger and widespread problem there.

    I’ll ask again, Mack:
    “Please answer this question, Mack: If you are not opposed to hunting, why do you SEEM to be opposed to trapping that causes suffering comparable to that of an animal harvested by firearm?”

  125. avatar Bob G says:

    Mack:
    Sorry, I confused some of your comments with jerryb”s earlier ones on lynx. You didn’t say anything about the probable incidental lynx take, that was jerry.

  126. avatar Ken says:

    I am a former hunter, fisherman and trapper. I killed animals for 23 years before I woke up. Other than lethal injection, there is no real humane way to kill animals – though some are more cruel than others. Just the fact that you are killing an animal that is vulnerable and less powerful than yourself is inhumane. Oh ya, those new “humane” style traps still injure torture and kill wildlife and pets. If we really aim to manage a species, may I suggest Homosapien – the most out of control species on the planet.
    The reason I am writing though, is because I think your TV add stinks. You are making a case for one cruel sport in spite of another. Get some clips form the video “Cull of the Wild, The Truth Behind Trapping”. Be true about what you want to say to the public. Stop trying to win the hunter vote in spite of the truth. It is cruel and unethical to kill defenseless wildlife for pleasure (few of us are starving or freezing to death) whether it is by way of hunting, trapping or fishing. A great percentage of wildlife get wounded from hunting which has got to be just a cruel as trapping.
    Thank you for all your effort. This ban will happen – it’s just a matter of when.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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