Game and Fish Department Enlarges Trapping Across New Mexico

No Mitigations for Endangered Mexican Wolves, Special Lands now Open Season, and Groups’ Trap Ban Request Tossed Aside

Santa Fe, NM. After years of waiting for the Game Commission to address trapping regulations, and a request to consider a ban on traps on public lands, the Game Commission will hold its public meeting on trapping regulations on Thursday, July 21st in remotely-situated Clayton, New Mexico.

The Game and Fish Department only reluctantly added a citizen’s alternative to prohibit traps on public land for the Commission to consider.  It came in response to several thousand public comments in support of the ban.  The Department signaled, however, to both the Commission and the public that it opposes the trapping-ban alternative.

“The Department of Game and Fish has monkey-wrenched the public’s process every step of the way,” stated Wendy Keefover of WildEarth Guardians. “First, it placed the public hearing on a weekday in a remote corner of the State so that it could reduce public attendance. Then the Agency encouraged the Commission to allow even more trapping with even less oversight.”

In June, WildEarth Guardians, the Sierra Club, and Animal Protection of New Mexico requested that the Game Commission consider a trapping ban on New Mexico’s public lands.  Instead of heeding the growing support for the ban, the wildlife agency recommended that:

1. The trapping ban in the Mexican gray wolf recovery area be lifted despite the fact that 14 highly-endangered Mexican Wolves have been trapped since 2002. Two wolves required full-leg amputations, while others lost digits.
2. Trapping be expanded year-round on other special lands, which previously enjoyed trapping prohibitions. Those areas include portions of the Wild Rivers Recreation Area of the Rio Grande, the Valle Vidal, a portion of the Vermejo Ranch, and the Valles Caldera National Preserve.
3. That Wildlife Management Areas be opened to trapping at the discretion of the Director of the Game and Fish Department.

In an effort to expand public support for a trap ban, the groups have formed a coalition called “”  With its network of petition gatherers and using social and electronic media, the coalition has generated well over 7,000 signatures, emails, and letters to the Game Commission in support of the trap ban.

“Despite all of our work, we anticipate a detrimental outcome by the Game Commission on Thursday for the wildlife, people, and pets of New Mexico. Game and Fish has stymied the public’ process, and the Game Commission, appointees of the Governor, ignore the will of the people.  It’s an ugly thing to witness,” she added.



View Groups’ 2009 Request to the Game Commission to Open Rules Re: Trapped Animals


Wendy Keefover | WildEarth Guardians | 505.988.9126, Ext. 1162








  1. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    Elections have consequences. It is unfortunate this TEABAG governor will do anything to appease hunters, trappers and Ranchers……When is her re-election?

  2. Phil Avatar

    Departments like the Game and Fish will use any and all sleezie tactics to make it look like their within the reasonable realm, but realistically it is not the case. These types of situations literally throw out the concept of “fairness”.

  3. skyrim Avatar

    Could things get any worse for our side? Talk about “special interests”. Damn, how many trappers are there in the whole of society? 30?
    I must be dreamin’

    1. jon Avatar

      Trappers in my opinion are the lowest of the low. The # of non trappers in new mexico by far outnumber the # if trappers. Trappers don’t care about people’s pets being trapped. Traps being allowed on public lands is a public safety issue. Why should people have to put up with what a tiny minority want? Trapping is something that should have vanished a lot time ago. Not only is it considered inhumane and barbaric by a lot, it’s something that should not be tolerated. Numerous mexican wolves have lost limbs because of trapping.

      1. Harley Avatar

        what part of the country do you come from and what do you do for a living? Just curious, hope you don’t mind my asking!

        1. Elk275 Avatar


          Jon lives in Maine with 2 small dogs. That is all we know about him; he is the mystery man. He is opaque;he is there one minute and gone the next minute. He is the “Jack of Hearts” as in Bob Dylan’s song “Rosemary, Lily and the Jack of Hearts”. Who is/was the Jack of Hearts.

          1. Harley Avatar

            well… we also know he seems to be very handy with looking up things on the internet too! 😉

          2. skyrim Avatar

            So Elk…… there a point to be made with the reference to the “2 small dogs”? I noticed that Harley’s question didn’t ask such….

          3. Harley Avatar

            ah skyrim, I think you are reading too much into it. I think his point was all we know is his pets and his approximate location. And if he meant more than that, I at least didn’t take it as such. I could care less if he has small dogs, big dogs, cats or birds. I’m just curious as to where he lives and what he does.

          4. Elk275 Avatar

            The only thing John has reveal about himself is that he has 2 Dachshunds
            that he takes for a walk and he lives in Maine. Harley was just curious about Jon.

    2. Nancy Avatar

      If I recall, trapping in Montana brings in about $100 grand in revenue to the state. A pathetic sum when you think about the thousands of animals suffering for a chance to be some human’s outerwear……….. is a good site to access if you’re interested in the numbers.

      The question is – how much of that revenue is plowed back into making sure those “trappers tow the line” so to speak, when it comes to the actual suffering animals have to go thru?

  4. Phil Avatar

    Harley and elk: Why do we really need to know anything about Jon? I am not here to disrespect any of you, but do we really know anything about anyone else on here? I do not know much about you elk or you Harley personally, just that you both post on here just like the rest of us do.

    P.S. Dachshunds are great dogs.

    1. Harley Avatar

      I was just curious is all, I didn’t mean any harm. And yes, Dachshunds are adorable!

  5. Rita K. Sharpe Avatar
    Rita K. Sharpe

    I thought this post was about the extended trapping in New Mexico and not about Jon.Basically, I think there are people who live in other States that come by and read about wild life news here.I find it informative and a good sourse of informaton on the places I have been and the places were I would like to go.The comments sometimes,however,one never really knows where they lead up to or where they whind up at.

    1. Harley Avatar

      A very good point.

  6. Wolfy Avatar

    Hi, I’m Wolfy and I’m a reformed trapper. Growing up, we were fed a steady diet of non-sense that hunters and trappers were necessary to maintain healthy wildlife populations. (Thx to Outdoor Life and Fur, Fish and Game) That all changed when I began to get acquainted with the trappers in my community. Most were social deviants that scoffed at the laws. A few were good people, but the majority were not the sort that I wanted to associate with. As for wildlife management, trapping is only popular when fur prices are high. And that hasn’t happened in a long time. Trappers target mostly animals with high value pelts. Akin to those that only hunt antlered deer. Neither has any real wildlife management value.

    1. Nancy Avatar

      Thanks for sharing Wolfy.

  7. Craig Avatar

    Do you realize there are not enough people who Trap to even matter? All of the Taxidermy I’ve done for 15 years and Hunting I have not known 1 single person who trapped or brought in a trapped animal …….PERIOD!! Last one I heard of was Claude Dallas and I think he gave it up.

    1. Phil Avatar

      The amount of animals killed by trappers does matter.

    2. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      If you’ve read very recently, fur prices are well up and moving higher along with most other commodities. It’s part of the Federal Reserves’ relentless effort to induce inflation to revive the economy. The result is a weak dollar strategy that hurts the buying power of lower and middle class Americans but greatly benefits commodity producers and exporters of everything from oil to crops, fish, furs, metals (both base and precious). Demand was already headed up for these due to growth and an increasing middle class in developing countries. The only offset to increasing profits from these activities is that some of them involve substantial oil consumption. Salmon prices are really moving up here — my 20 year old son working as a deck hand with his 24 year old skipper in last week’s Lynn Canal drift gillnet opening landed 21,000 lbs. of chum salmon @ $.85/lb., plus lesser amounts of four other salmon species.

      Granted, fur trapping is a pretty marginal economic activity in most cases, except perhaps for someone in suitable country, with little cost and no other winter employment options. I saw a report on fur prices that indicated they are well up and headed higher almost across the board with Montana, northern Idaho and eastern Washington bobcats recently averaging over $500 with some going over $1,000. Coyote, wolf and marten are also well up — coyote being the highest in decades.

      When will the boom end? Who knows, but if we settle into Japanese style deflation (going on 20 years) and the U.S. government keeps trying to pry us out with easy money and low interest rates, it could go on for a long time. We are unfortunately going to see a lot of big gold mining proposals with roads into some very wild but unprotected country.

    3. IDhiker Avatar

      The last I looked, Idaho had about 1000 trappers, of which about 800 were active. Montana had around 4000. I am not sure why Idaho would be so much less, even though Idaho’s population is so much larger. I believe the reported take of Montana’s trappers is about 50,000 animals each year, not including unwanted non-target species.

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Brian Ertz