Four-year old grizzly steps in trap on Rocky Mountain Front, Montana-

Last year’s wolf trapping season in Idaho and Montana had a horrible by-catch ratio — animals other than wolves were trapped and many of them were injured or died.

Anti-wolf mania, as some would call it, continues. Now the first grizzly bear, a bear close to 500 pounds, stepped into a trap west of Dupuyer, Montana.  The trappers could not release the bear. Not surprisingly, the bear tried to go after one of them.  The bear was finally released with what were described as minor injuries to its paw — its toe joints.

Traps have laced the backcountry and frontcountry of Montana and Idaho again this year. Montana’s wolf trapping season has just opened and this kill-the-wolves frenzy could well continue until the story is  “4-year-old boy steps in trap, gets broken ankle.”

The proliferation of traps and snares could effectively shut the open country down due to the perception that cross country travel is not safe.

Here is the full story: Wolf trap nabs grizzly on Front Some bears entering dens later; FWP warns trappers to watch for tracks. By Karl Puckett Great Falls Tribune Staff Writer

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

14 Responses to First grizzly bear that ends up in a trap for a wolf

  1. Salle says:

    They also need to retrieve all their traps and snares after the season is up. Material for snares is pretty cheap and some just leave them out for dogs and everyone else to find them the hard way.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes. At least this incident ended fairly well for all involved. It’s dismaying that after the season is up, people can still be so cavalier about living creatures. They don’t even seem to have the foresight about a child or family pet getting caught in them! Maybe they can have someone go through and remove them when the season is over? Create a ‘job’ for someone – now there’s the ticket.

  2. Larry says:

    I wonder why it is that more often than not when I read a story about a non-target animal “accidently” caught in a trap, the story goes on to say it was released with minor injuries? I think back on a wolverine trapped I think near Salmon, Idaho. The story told how the trapper and F&G took it to a vet where one leg was amputated. Report then went on to say it was released and should do just fine according to F&G. That’s like saying except for the O-rings it was a perfect NASA flight. This is complete nonsense to allow indiscriminate take of wildlife. We used to let people drink alcohol and play with matches and cigarettes at 30,000 ft. Thankfully someone got that in focus. It is wrong that people change or cancel their outing plans because trapping season is on. We own the public lands and should be able to control this “anything goes” take of any animal stupidity.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Yes, Ida. Thanks. I think this is a really good news story from my point of view.

  3. Joseph C. Allen says:

    Another case of a non-targeted critter being caught in a trap…..It is the 21st century and time to ban trapping at least on public lands, period. This archaic practice is barbaric, inhumane, uncivilized and has no place in a modern society.

    • Larry says:

      So….how do we get this done? Several states have amended their constitution in favor of trapping. Short of the governor’s kid stepping in a trap barefoot it’s not going to happen. Common sense does not prevail.

  4. Joanne Favazza says:

    This culture is pathological and insane.

  5. Markus Jais says:

    Does anybody know if a wolverine or any cat species (Bobcat, Canady Lynx or Puma) has ever been caught in the traps for wolves?


    • Ralph Maughan says:


      Oh yes! Read this article from The Missoulian newspaper from about a year ago. Mountain lions caught in wolf traps

      • IDhiker says:

        Regarding one of the articles points that people will avoid the winter outdoors due to the vast numbers of traps, I couldn’t’ agree more.

        I never venture out from December 1st through the end of trapping season. I’ve already experienced my dogs in traps twice and have seen multitudes of ytraps and snares while hiking. Plus, I don’t enjoy seeing other animals in traps.

        I just don’t want to deal with it anymore so my wife and I hike our dogs on Mt. Sentinel on the east side of Missoula all winter as it is one of the safe places to go. I resent the fact that a small number of trappers take over the woods, but that’s the reality of it.

        I was and am really upset that in Idaho, where I went for forty years every March to the Salmon River, that the season there is so long that it closes my favorite month there, too.

      • Markus Jais says:

        Thanks for the link. Those traps really are dangerous.
        You cannot avoid killing other animals with those traps. It’s like the snares used in Africa to hunt antelopes and in the end you kill Leopards, etc.
        Or people put out poison in Europe to kill Red Foxes and in the end White-tailed Eagles or Imperial Eagles die.


December 2013


‎"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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