Unless a severe blow to the head or some congenital brain disorder has rendered them incapable of feeling empathy, anyone who has witnessed the harrowing ordeal suffered by an animal caught in a leg-hold trap should be appalled and outraged that trapping is legal in a society that considers itself civilized.

The continuation of this hellish violation in a country governed by the people suggests that either most folks have brain damage, or the majority of the voting populace is blissfully unaware of the terrible anguish someone caught in a trap goes through.

They must never have heard the cries of shock and agony when an animal first feels the steel jaws of a trap lock onto his leg. They must never have looked into the weary eyes of a helpless captive who has been stuck for days and nights on end…


Sidestepping the indisputable cruelty issue, pro-trapping factions try to perpetuate the myth that this demonic practice is “sustainable,” but time and again entire populations are completely trapped out of an area, often within a single season. The winter after I found wolf tracks in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, all seven members of a pack who had filled a niche in and around that preserve were killed by trappers. Though wolves are extinct or endangered in most of the US, but 1500 are permissibly “harvested” in Alaska each year.

Leg-hold traps are now banned in 88 countries and a few enlightened US states. Yet in most states, as in Canada, this twisted tradition is not only legal, it’s practically enshrined as a sacred human right. Compassionate people everywhere must add their voice to the rising call to end this gratuitous torture for good.


Text excerpted from the chapter “Time to End a Twisted Tradition” in the book, Exposing the Big Game: Living Targets of a Dying Sport.

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson

Photo Copyright Jim Robertson



  1. Trapping is the cruelist of a list of inhumane anti wildlife practices used by “hunters”. It is time humans learn to treat both domesticated and wild animals with the respect of fellow living things.

  2. Whoever would think of doing this, has to be one cruel, cold, heartless Bastard. I hope u get caught in a trap & die a SLOW agonizing, death. No words could describe this horror!

  3. The blasé acceptance and even enjoyment of absolutely shameful subhuman activities never ceases to amaze and sadden me. They’ll sing a different tune when they become the hunted, reaping what they sowed as human beings with moral knowledge, having deliberately killed their empathy as well as other wonderful human qualities. All for the sake of fitting in with other wicked fools on their way to hell.

  4. So good, Jim. The photo breaks my heart.

    Just came across this if anyone is interested:

    INHUMANITY OF WOLF MANAGEMENT was on Rick Meril’s blog:

  5. Thank you Jim! Trapping is done by the lowest of the low-lifes. I just don’t understand why the public so apathetic and pathetic.

    “Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is–whether its victim is human or animal–we cannot expect things to be much better in this world… We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”
    – Rachel Carson (1907-1964), author of Silent Spring

  6. I am new to this blog and I understand the anger and frustration that pro-animal people feel toward those who trap, kill, hunt or otherwise abuse animals. There is no argument that humans have a great cpacity to harm and commit intense cruelty to others (human and non-human). However as pro-animal people we must stop the endless personal and hateful attacks on those whom we disagree with. We have to carefuly watch our language because when main stream people hear our words they are turned off by them. EX: “lowest of life forms”, “wicked fools on their way to hell”, “cold, heartless bastard”, etc,,,this kind of personal language turns people off. Instead lets work together to solve the problem of trapping animals instead of beating up (metaphorically) those who are doing it

      • I understand the emotional angst, but truly believe it is in our own best interest and even more so in the best interest of animals that we consider how outbursts and personal attacks appear to other people reading about animal abuse and abusers. If we want other people to relate to our cause we need cool minds to prevail.

    • People who torture and kill animals and/or humans for fun or entertainment are the lowest of the low-lifes. There is something seriously wrong with them and they are a threat to society as a whole. They need to be stopped and condemned by society for their actions. Playing nice with people like that does not work. Society needs to be awakened from their apathy and unfortunately cool, calm reasoning just doesn’t do the job.

  7. Yes, those traps are appalling.

    What’s your view of John Muir? I might be remembering wrongly, but wasn’t he a trapper whose quest to kill one particular wolf led to the start of the conservation movement? Whether or not that was Muir, I saw a documentary about him and the story was so ironic to my mind.

    • I believe you are confusing John Muir with Ernest Thompson Seton. So far as I know, Muir’s soul was unstained by the sin of trapping.

      • Thanks for clarifying this. When I googled Muir, I found no mention of trapping, which is why I said that I might have been mistaken about him. Indeed I was mistaken.

    • No, John Muir was not a trapper. He was actually an anti-hunter and one of the first proponents of environmentalism and animal rights. There is a Movie, “Grey Owl” (with Pierce Brosnan) that depicts a character like the one you must be thinking of.

    • Here’s a quote from Sierra Club founder, John Muir:

      “Surely a better time must be drawing nigh when godlike human beings will become truly humane, and learn to put their animal fellow mortals in their hearts instead of on their backs or in their dinners. In the meantime we may just as well as not learn to live clean, innocent lives instead of slimy, bloody ones. All hale, red-blooded boys are savage, fond of hunting and fishing. But when thoughtless childhood is past, the best rise the highest above all the bloody flesh and sport business…”

  8. Leg hold traps are totaly barbaric, and should be stopped. The agony these poor creatures go through must be horrific.
    Please, lets put a stop to it.

  9. Inhumane, torture, pain, despondent, horrible, barbaric, I’m sure there are other words out there to describe what trapping is. These are the ones I came up with.
    The sooner the better is right!

    • Personally, I can’t look at the photo of that poor bobcat without thinking trappers are “lowest of life forms”, “wicked fools on their way to hell”, or “cold, heartless bastards.” By the way, doggirl, this blog is for folks who care as passionately about non-human animals as they would about human victims of brutality. You are certainly welcome here, but trappers are no more welcome than a pedifile at a PTA meeting. If any of them stumble onto this site, they are likely to hear a few outbursts on behalf of animals.

  10. Pingback: Map with known trap locations in Montana | Exposing the Big Game

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