Here’s a place where Footloose.org could do some new work-

Worlds of trappers, pet owners collide. Reports to the Idaho Statesman of injured dogs are three times higher this year. By Pete Zimowsky. Idaho Statesman

– – – – –

Because I mentioned Footloose, and Footloose’s E.D’s comment kind of got buried, I am moving it up to the body of this post. Ralph Maughan

Anja Heister [of Footloose] wrote:

During the past two trapping seasons – 2007-08 and 2008-09, Footloose Montana received 20 reports from people whose dogs were either injured or died in traps set by recreational and commercial trappers on public lands in MT! Contrary to what trappers and FWP want you to believe, trapping for fun is extremely loosely regulated: There is no trap check period required, instead, FWP merely recommends that trappers check their traps every 48 hours (whether they do it or not, is basically up to the trappers!).

Trappers don’t have to post signs in areas where they trap and so the public is left in the dark as to where traps are. Traps are indiscriminate and injure our wildlife in unimaginable ways. If the creatures caught in traps, are still alive when the trapper eventually returns, he either clubs them to death, strangulates them, shoots them in the head or stands on the animal’s chest “to compress inner organs, which leads to death.” This is what trappers don’t want you to know, but this is reality. Trappers currently play on the fear factor and want to make the public believe that without their glorious ‘public service,’ our towns and cities would be overrun with disease-ridden wild “pest” animals… This is nonsense to say the least, even our FWP Furbearer Coordinator, and avid trapper himself, Brian Giddings, admits that the link between recreational trapping (read: killing animals in traps for fun!), and controlling diseases in wildlife is not well understood.

Trapping is a barbaric activity (in all other instances, trappers would be persecuted for animal cruelty!), it is an outmoded way of doing business by making a few bucks from ripping the fur off our wildlife’s backs and finally, it is a commercialized exploitation of wild animals who belong to the public. Trappers set most of their traplines on public lands during furbearer trapping season, which is where the ‘conflicts’ between their harmful and killing devices and our companion dogs occur.

Footloose Montana works toward a ban of trapping on public lands through a citizen initiative. We are a Montana-grown, grassroots organization and we are in the process of establishing chapters/groups statewide.

Please help us by becoming a member, making a donation and spreading the word! Check out our website at: http://www.footloosemontana.org

Thanks!
Anja Heister
Executive Director

Tagged with:
 
avatar
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.

27 Responses to Worlds of trappers, pet owners collide in Boise area

  1. avatar John d. says:

    Let he/she who plants a trap, use it on themselves first.

  2. avatar RE Chizmar says:

    “Fish and Game doesn’t keep records of trapped-dog incidents” – what is this BS? In today’s computer world are you telling me some official can’t take 2 minutes to enter this type of data? or would documenting such activity accelerate this “feared” clash of the trapper vs. pet owners … or other who find this activity needless in today’s society?

  3. avatar RE Chizmar says:

    and what makes, as the president of the Idaho Trappers Association states, an individual who sets a trap to crush and hold an animal’s leg until it dies, “responsible.”

  4. Idaho Fish and Game doesn’t keep much of a record about the number of beaver trapped either.

    Most of Idaho would benefit greatly with a higher number of beaver ponds to keep water in the streams during the late summer, provide fish habitat, and raise the water table, permitting a larger riparian area.

    This is especially true in the areas where there is a lot of cattle grazing, although many of these are now so denuded there is nothing for the beaver to eat or build dams.

    • avatar Brian Ertz says:

      Beaver flood out forage Ralph ~ not conducive to the Livestock culture of death

      • avatar jerry b says:

        Brian….Has WWP ever done a study on the value of water stored behind beaver dams vs flooded areas and financial benefit to trappers? I would imagine that the value of stored water would be worth millions compared to the miniscule amount of lost grazing acreage and sold beaver pelts.

      • avatar Brian Ertz says:

        jerry b,

        i’ve not heard of a study on value to trappers – it’d be interesting.

        also, i have read studies demonstrating the benefit to fisheries that beaver dams have. many beaver ponds filter sediment, and also cool the water in streams (water leaks out of bottom of pond – i.e. cooler water) which is necessary for native fish like bull trout.

      • avatar jerry b says:

        I would imagine that it would also have an aquifer recharge affect

  5. avatar Pronghorn says:

    When trapping is under fire in strongholds like MT & ID, you know it’s the beginning of the end for this barbaric activity. This article is full of the usual bs from trappers–they’re providing a service, they’re highly regulated and all that garbage, and this gem… “As cruel as some people think traps are, nature is much more cruel, Clayton said. Nature thins animal populations by starvation and disease. ”
    What a pathetic, ignorant argument. Furthermore, trappers are the foxes guarding the henhouse in the state agencies.

  6. avatar jerry b says:

    Ralph’s statement…..”Most of Idaho would benefit greatly with a higher number of beaver ponds to keep water in the streams during the late summer, provide fish habitat, and raise the water table, permitting a larger riparian area.”
    Wonder what the benefit would be in $$ for this water storage as opposed to the amount of money trappers would make from beaver hides?
    Another benefit of increased beaver dams and wetlands would be natural fire breaks.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    Time to end trapping in the lower 48, period. It’s not 1890 anymore.

  8. avatar Anja Heister says:

    During the past two trapping seasons – 2007-08 and 2008-09, Footloose Montana received 20 reports from people whose dogs were either injured or died in traps set by recreational and commercial trappers on public lands in MT! Contrary to what trappers and FWP want you to believe, trapping for fun is extremely loosely regulated: There is no trap check period required, instead, FWP merely recommends that trappers check their traps every 48 hours (whether they do it or not, is basically up to the trappers!). Trappers don’t have to post signs in areas where they trap and so the public is left in the dark as to where traps are. Traps are indiscriminate and injure our wildlife in unimaginable ways. If the creatures caught in traps, are still alive when the trapper eventually returns, he either clubs them to death, strangulates them, shoots them in the head or stands on the animal’s chest “to compress inner organs, which leads to death.” This is waht trappers don’t want you to know but this is reality. Trappers currently play on the fear factor and want to make the public believe that without their glorious ‘public service,’ our towns and cities would be overrun with disease-ridden wild “pest” animals… This is nonsense to say the least, even our FWP Furbearer Coordinator, and avid trapper himself, Brian Giddings, admits that the link between recreational trapping (read: killing animals in traps for fun!), and controlling diseases in wildlife is not well understood.
    Trapping is a barbaric activity (in all other instances, trappers would be persecuted for animal cruelty!), it is an outmoded way of doing business by making a few bucks from ripping the fur off our wildlife’s backs and finally, it is a commercialized exploitation of wild animals who belong to the public. Trappers set most of their traplines on public lands during furbearer trapping season, which is where the ‘conflicts’ between their harmful and killing devices and our companion dogs occur.
    Footloose Montana works toward a ban of trapping on public lands through a citizen initiative. We are a Montana-grown, grassroots organization and we are in the process of establishing chapters/groups statewide.
    Please help us by becoming a member, making a donation and spreading the word! Check out our website at: http://www.footloosemontana.org

    Thanks!
    Anja Heister
    Executive Director

  9. avatar kt says:

    Around 10 years ago, IDFG was so eager to accommodate beaver trappers who were “incidentally” trapping river otters – that they put in place an official OTTER SEASON.

  10. avatar Jon Way says:

    The first downfall in trapping would be to end the commercial sale of furbearers pelts. Market hunting was banned for big game in the early 1900s, if it was done for all animals (furbearers) it would defeat any economic value of trapping. It is kind of odd that that is still allowed but not the sale of animal’s you eat.

  11. avatar Save bears says:

    Jon,

    Could you clarify you statement about not being able to sell hides from the animals we eat? Or have I misunderstood something here…

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      Save Bears,
      I meant that market hunting for animals we eat (deer, elk) is illegal but it is still legal to sell animals (coyote, fox, furbearers) for their furs (we don’t eat these animals). My simple statement just reflected the double standard on some animals vs. others. It really wasn’t an opinion either way.

      • avatar Ryan says:

        Jon,
        You can still sell the hides and horns off most big game species. (rules vary by state) I know several trappers that eat beavers and say they are very tasty.

        I think that there would still be guys who trapped even if the pelts were worthless (they aren’t worth much now, coyotes were averaged ~10.00 a pelt at the utah trappers sale this year) because its a way of life that they enjoy. I don’t personally trap anywhere with exception of traps as a kid trying to catch the coyotes that were killing the chickens. I did succeed in catching chickens and that was about it. Suprisingly most were no worse for the wear when caught in leg hold traps. I’d be all for mandatory trapline checks every 24-48 hours as thats the law in OR and WA.

  12. avatar bob jackson says:

    Yes, I eat beaver and I agree it is very succulent and tasty.

  13. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    I don’t know how else to say it, but if you encounter a trap while out skiing or hiking, just piss on it. Take a dump on it. One can contaminate the trap site to warn off animals, without disturbing the actual trap – which will get you into a lot of trouble if you are caught. A friend once told me she used to save urine in bottles, to pour over trap “sets” that some lowlife had set for fox, coyote, bobcat, or anything he could catch.

  14. avatar Jon Way says:

    Lynne,
    you could also simply use a stick to detonate it.

  15. avatar frank says:

    I believe she is saying that is illegal. I know it would be in my state.

  16. avatar Mike Post says:

    I am not in favor of trapping per se myself but the issue that is not getting discussed here is what are these domestic dogs doing running loose in these areas. Domestic dogs do more harm to wildlife, particularly to winter weakened animals, just by chasing them and burning off the critical calories needed for survival. These loose dogs can do a lot of the livestock damage that gets blamed on wolves and coyotes as well. Trapping and its issues are one thing, people not controlling their dogs is another. Many folks who find domestic dogs running wildlife in the woods put an end to it right then and there and that makes a trapping injury seem pale in comparison.

    • avatar Ryan says:

      Mike,
      Good Post, I wonder how many of the dogs that were caught were on a leash? I know that current laws in OR allow for dogs to be shot onsite that are running stock or wildgame.

  17. avatar JimT says:

    Ryan,

    What is the Oregon definition for “running”?

    There was this same standard in Vermont and NH, only they called it harassment of livestock and wildlife. Unfortunately, it was always presumed the burden of proof was on the dog’s owner to prove the dog wasn’t harassing the animals, which is bassackwards to me if you are going to allow FG folks as well as farmer, and land owner to shoot a dog and then claim it was chasing deer, and there is usually 100% acceptance of the FG decision unless the owner is carrying a video camera that shows the dog and the deer were merely in the same vincinity..which happens ALOT in rural and suburban Vermont and NH. When I was there, there were at least 6 or 7 cases of dogs being shot by people who claimed they were running deer; all the claims were accepted despite one dog being a 9 week old puppy who was merely walking in the woods near a deer herd, as the owner claimed. The lack of a review, the disparity in the proof standard appalled me. And keep in mind..it was legal to allow the dogs off lead in these areas…

    I am no fan of dogs that run free. I believe strongly in training, hell mandatory training, for all dogs so they don’t become a nuisance to humans and wildlife. Where we lived, there was a feeling that dogs should roam free, and that attitude once caused a fawn to run headlong into my wife’s car while being chased by a free roaming dog. The fawn died in my arms while my wife was weeping. If I had known whose dog it was, I would visited the person and had a chat about responsible dog ownership and training.

    As for trapping, it is equally casual in the East. No requirement to mark traps for hikers or walkers, no enforcement of any standards for checking traps. There were some loose requirements for not placing traps near designated hiking trails, but even that was not considered serious by the trappers. The Appalachian Trail runs through Norwich Vermont and Hanover NH where I used to live, and hikers and walkers found traps..luckily not so well hidden..within 25 feet of the defined trail. Frightening stuff if you have a dog..hell, if you go off trail to do nature’s business…

  18. avatar CJ ROLPHE says:

    How many of you so called “whats wrong with trapping” posters have ever had a dog caught in a trap. Well I have! It was practically in my own back yard (which is a pond) and the traps were set to catch muskrat! Some lady two doors down decided the muskrate were “eating her land”! What the trapper laid were about 7 different traps right next to the shoreline..I mean within a foot. You couldn’t see them and walking the shoreline was a common thing for my dogs. I happen to be there when it happened and I was able to get the damn thing off my dogs foot, but i can tell you it hurt like hell. If I had not been standing next to him, I do not know what could have happened. This was in a pond with houses all around it. The trapper caught a lot of muskrat and sold the pelts for 3.50 apiece. Thats how he and is wife make a living. Lovely! They put the traps in and don’t come back for 24 hours to get the dead animals. I was told by FG that it was not legal where it was done but by the time FG got out they were gone! We happened on it the last day. Now, the FG also told me that there are many areas THAT I HAVE WALKED MY DOGS IN that are legal for trapping. My dogs are not “roaming” free. I am with them! They are in a fenced yard at my house with a gate out to the pond area and yes they can run up and down beside the pond. When I go for a walk they are NOT LEASHED for a reason. That is their freedom time but they are controlled. Some of you may know the difference, others may not. I have never had a dog i walked on a leash unless i was in town. My dogs KNOW their limitations and if they don’t they are taught well and with respect and love. Trappers are an abortion. They do NOT DO IT FOR FUN (well i guess some are that sick) THEY DO IT FOR MONEY. I am a member of Footloose and I hope that everyone in the country that has ANY COMMON SENSE will join our cause. We are a nation of animal abusers (oh yes so is the world) and should be ashamed…this is America. This is not a country that needs to maim or kill a wild animal for food. And it is certainly NOT a country that needs traps set all over OUR LAND, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS PUBLIC!

  19. avatar CJ ROLPHE says:

    Oh by the way, I lived in Oregon. I had 5 acres and I got a new dog that figured out how to get under the fence to chase the cattle next door. The solution was real simple. The cattle owner had a electric fence (I had one too) so at the end where the dog got out we hooked his up (220 for the cows) Well the dog took at running dive at that fence and i can tell you he NEVER WENT NEAR THE FENCE LINE AGAIN! And yes, he could have been shot but as a responsible owner of that dog i made damn sure he was trained with love and the knowledge of what can happen when you don’t listen. Leashing is not control. Leashing is necessity in some areas but it is NOT CONTROL. Trust and respect of the dog and visa versa is the real control. I you stick you dog in the back yard and expect it to act respectful on a walk, forget it! It is not the dog that has a problem, it is you!!!

Calendar

March 2009
S M T W T F S
« Feb   Apr »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Quote

‎"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

%d bloggers like this: