MISSOULA, MT,10/28/16- Montana is about to embark on another season of broad recreational and commercial fur trapping on public land, and people, pets and wildlife are all at risk. Beaver trapping is already underway in most districts, and Otter, Mink, Muskrat, Swift Fox and more will open statewide November 1st. If I-177 fails to pass, Bobcat and Fisher will open December 1st. There has already been a trapped dog on public lands in the Kalispell area this week, and statistics show that non-target animals will suffer equally alongside the tens of thousands of animals that will be killed intentionally for their fur this trapping season.
It is also important to note that species like Coyote, Badger, Raccoon, Fox, and more are allowed to be trapped year-round without quota, and the trapping of these animals is not subject to trail-setback and other laws meant to protect public lands users because they are not managed under the furbearer program. Also, the number of dogs trapped every year in Montana indicates the trail-setbacks for furbearers are inadequate even when observed.
Many species legally being trapped this year are vulnerable to environmental pressures, have largely unknown populations, and can still legally be killed after quotas are reached during the grace period as long as the casualty is reported to FWP.
For those interested in supporting Montanans for Trap-Free Public Lands, its not too late to get informed or make a donation by visiting yeson177.org. For more information on trap-free public lands, please contact Footloose Montana’s Executive Director (Contact Info Below).