Exposing the Big Game

Forget Hunters' Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior

Exposing the Big Game

Brockton Animal Control officer rescues mother skunk from rat trap

BROCKTON, MASS. (WHDH) – A Brockton Animal Control officer rushed to the rescue of a mother skunk that got its foot stuck in a rat trap.

The officer was able to wrangle the animal on and release its foot and determine its injuries were minor.

The skunk was released back into the wild to be with her babies.

“The main goal of Animal Control is to help animals, domestic or wild, we do as much as we can to assist the public with any type of animal situation. This is just one of the many situations that may occur on our watch and we are happy to help,” the department wrote in a post on Facebook.


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Oregon Wildlife Commission Keeps Cruel Trapping Practices in Place




PORTLAND, Ore.— After a contentious 12-hour meeting, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission rejected conservation proposals to adopt a uniform 24-hour trap check time for all wildlife and to ban beaver trapping on federally managed public lands.

The commission also voted 6-1 last Friday to continue the state’s existing furbearer trapping and hunting regulations for the next two years. Oregon’s trapping policies currently allow animals to languish in traps anywhere from 48 hours to 30 days, depending on how they are categorized by statute or rule.

“It’s troubling that the commission upheld Oregon’s cruel, outdated and wasteful trapping program for the benefit of just 1,000 licensed trappers in the entire state,” said Quinn Read, Oregon policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This decision is completely out of step with Oregonians’ changing wildlife values. It’s time to relegate trapping to the dustbin of Oregon’s history.”

While the commission declined to adopt the conservation proposals, they voted unanimously to direct agency staff to review trap-check time requirements and identify proposals for rule changes by January 2021. The commission also supported the concept of forming a beaver working group and indicated its intent to define the roles and responsibilities of such a group at its July meeting.

The Center and its conservation allies advocated for two proposals to reform Oregon’s trapping program. The first proposal asked the commission to close federally managed public lands to commercial and recreational beaver trapping and hunting. Beavers and their dam-building activities are crucial to restoring riparian ecosystems and reducing the harms of climate change, yet beavers are still widely trapped and hunted across the state.

The second proposal asked the commission to adopt a more humane and consistent approach to trap check times by adopting a 24-hour trap-check time for all categories of native wildlife. This state’s current approach, which can leave traps unchecked for days or even weeks, imposes arbitrary suffering on different animals and is out of step with the majority of states that have adopted a daily or 24-hour trap-check requirement.

Oregon’s furbearer regulations govern the trapping of furbearers for their hides and pelts and accompanying reporting requirements. Under Oregon law furbearers include such animals as bobcats, muskrats, river otters, beavers and raccoons.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Letter: Stop using rusted traps

This letter is for the inhumane people of Aberdeen who are putting out 100-year-old, rusted, barbaric rat traps for stray cats.

I have now found three. One nice bay laying in the alley in the rain starved, his paws mangled, dead, trap still clamped to his paws.

Two others in a bush, the other caught in a tree. They were not strange, they were nice, big, healthy boys neglected by their owners and left to run loose.

I was able to rescue them, but they were in bad shape. It took me 45 minutes and tools to get one out of the rusted trap.

If this is your way, you have lost your way. If you have issues with cats, dogs, squirrels, rabbits — call the city. Those who put out traps deserve a front-row seat in hell.

Remember: people who hate cats will come back as mice in their next life.

Susan M. Schaeffer


Beavers Lose in Beaver Creek Park

from Footloose Montana

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Living up to its namesake, Beaver Creek Park, the largest county park in the country, has beaver. However, despite no cost offerings, those entrusted to the park’s management, are dead set the beaver are overpopulated and need to be trapped.

At 10,000 acres, Beaver Creek Park, is located 10 miles South of Havre, Montana in Hill county. It was designed for recreation. The park is 17 miles long by 1 mile wide with Beaver Creek running through it. There are 2 lakes for fishing, a 3.5 mile interpretative “Beaver Paw Nature Trail” and numerous camping opportunities. In the fall, cattle are put in the park.

An old-time trapper has trapped beaver in Beaver Creek for decades and at a reported kill rate of 180 beaver on average annually. He has simply grown too old to continue. That lead to Beaver Creek Park board member, Renelle Braatan, stepping up her ongoing wildlife advocacy on the board and for many months requesting the Park board and county Commissioners exploration into non-lethal alternatives to trapping beaver.

Dave Pauli with Humane Society of United States, out of Montana, proposed a grant to fully fund the installation and maintenance of beaver deceiver/s in 2-3 of the worst identified areas in the park for beaver activity. It would provide a cost effective non-lethal alternative demo site with potential added benefits to education, tourism, wildlife watching, and replication elsewhere.

In March, Trap Free Montana learned of the park happenings. We actively operated under the radar so as not to alert trappers and see this non-lethal opportunity turn into a perceived trapping war. Trap Free Montana conducted outreach to various beaver experts, encouraged and  read some exceptional letters to the park board and Commissioners, coordinated and participated in conference calls and recommended we try to have  certain diverse experts be available for the pending board meeting on May 4th.

Due to the approaching grant application deadline, and with our growing concern the grant proposal would be voted on at the upcoming meeting, Trap Free Montana, last minute, produced a sign on letter from our research. We included pertinent information written and reviewed by a handful of the very knowledgeable participants. We emailed it to the interested parties and dozens of our various random supporters mainly across Montana. We managed to quickly exceed our goal of 50 individuals signing on to the letter in time for it to be sent to the board and Commissioners prior to the meeting. Thank you to those who signed!

Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent little mattered even with the experts, Dave Pauli, Skip  Lisle, and Torrey Ritter who were on the call for the meeting for questions and answers Monday eve.  The Park board goal was not to eliminate conflicting beaver activity, even at no cost to them. Their goal was evident … to eliminate beaver!  Dave Pauli’s repeated past outreach to help to move the grant forward had been ignored. Instead, Commissioner Mark Peterson motioned to “decline the grant at this time.” Stating, there “needs to be a plan in place first.” His motion passed 5:3. Joining, Renelle Braatan, in opposing the motion were Commissioner McLean and Commissioner Wendland.

Other options for healthy ecosystem management including a no cost consultant and the formation of a natural resource committee were denied in the past. Trap Free Montana advocated for tree wrapping and were told park visitors do not want to see fences around the trees.

Wonder how attractive the park visitors would find drowned and crushed trapped beaver?

Renelle’s term on the board is now up. The Hill County Commissioners will almost certainly not re-appoint her so they can continue operating status quo, including trapping, and silence her once and for all. Given the pandemic and economic challenges, future grants may be harder to come by.

The Montana Trappers Association is based out of the nearby town of Havre. Annually, they hold their youth trapping camp in Beaver Creek Park. They are just biting at the bit to continue to teach little kids how to trap and destroy all these readily available beaver.

We thank Renelle Braatan, Dave Pauli, and the others involved, including locals, in their attempt to make positive change for beaver and Beaver Creek Park.

We are asking you, in your own words respectfully express how you feel about the Beaver Creek Park board and Hill County Commissioners decision to oppose even free offerings for effective conflict resolution and their decision to continue to destroy their namesake,  beaver.

Contact the Hill County Commissioners:

Chair. Mark Peterson – petersonm@hillcounty.us.  Note he opposed the grant proposal.

Vice Chair. Diane McLean – mcleand@hillcounty.us

Michael Wendland – wendlandm@hillcounty.us

Please thank the latter two for voting to support the grant proposal.

Contact Beaver Creek Park: 1-406-395-4565  bcpark@mtintouch.net

Write a review for Beaver Creek Park on the search engine

Write a review on Beaver Creek Campground

Comment online to the Havre Daily News article:
Park Board declines grant for non-lethal beaver trapping alternatives

Comment on the Beaver Creek Park facebook page

Leave a recommendation or not on this  Beaver Creek face book page

And let us know, too, if you have been a visitor to Beaver Creek Park.

Please send us a copy of any of your efforts!

Past Havre Daily News articles:
Is trapping the right way to manage beaver in Beaver Creek Park?

Park Board turns down offer for study on Beaver Creek Park

Letter to the Editor – Beavers in Beaver Creek Park – Enemy or ally?

Park board hears more on beavers in Beaver Creek Park

Disagreements arise about beaver trapping alternatives

Lands Council offers help on managing beavers in Beaver Creek Park

Thank you Friends of Trap Free Montana & Trap Free Montana Public Lands

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Fur Takes Major Hit Due to Coronavirus


This is a very difficult and challenging time for us all. However, there is a silver lining to the coronavirus.

In mid March, just days before the event was to begin, we watched, waited and advocated for the cancellation of the largest wild fur auction house in North America.

Almost 500,000 animal pelts were in the preliminary listing for sale in Toronto at the Fur Harvester’s (FHA) March Auction.

On March 16, as TFMPL was preparing to step it up, Canada, in response to the coronavirus, responsibly closed their doors, basically to non-Canadians, thereby forcing the cancellation of the Fur Harvester’s March auction.

The major purchasers of fur from our North American wildlife are China and Russia. Italy, Greece and South Korea are also players in the fur trade.

Why is this so significant?

In the fall of 2019, the 350 year old North American Fur Auctions, (NAFA), with proclaimed roots to Hudson Bay company, recognized as the world’s largest producer of wild fur, announced they would no longer be selling wild fur. In a letter to trappers, NAFA said their banking partners had decided to get out of the fur business. The names of the banks were not provided. According to the NAFA CEO, “the entire industry is still facing an unprecedented market correction and no sector is immune, including the auction houses.”

The Fur Harvesters Auction claimed NAFA’s problems were due to ranch fur and had nothing to do with wild fur. The cost for the production of ranch fur is now about double the profit. The prediction has been that the demand for wild fur would rise as the ranch fur market decreases.

Fur Harvesters Auction were provided a virtual monopoly on wild fur sales. Trappers were assured they would still get their money at the Fur Harvester’s auction. Some in the fur business actually give monetary advances to trappers.

The Fur Harvester’s Auction states, “The global fur market is always set at the International Auctions.” They go on to advise trappers “as the last remaining wild fur action house on the continent, the market will not be set until the conclusion of our March 24th /26th 2020 auction”. Now that has been cancelled. Postponed.

An expert told us all these pelts over time go stale reducing their value.

Even though, we know trappers say the number one reason they trap is for fun, trapping is market driven. With the downturn of fur prices over the years, trapping has been on the downward trend, too! Some have said it simply isn’t worth it anymore or is becoming more cost prohibitive. Heaven forbid!

*Photo courtesty: Montana Trappers Association Western States Fur Auction Feb 2018

You may be surprised to know in the past, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks responded to low bobcat prices by increasing their quota in order to spark interest again in trappers. Nowadays, bobcat remain one of the more lucrative animals to trap and kill. However, the days of recent highs of $1,000 for a bobcat pelt are a rarity. The bobcat average price has also dropped $200 to an average of $300 – $400.

Unfortunately, the popularity of coyote trim jackets, courtesy of Canada Goose, has caused coyote pelts to rise as well as the persecution on them.  This is further exacerbated in places like Montana where coyotes can be trapped, killed by any means, year round, unlimited, no annual $28 trapping license required of residents and no reporting either. This, of course, is reinforced by the powerful livestock industry. There were 50,000 coyotes at this cancelled auction, alone. These were just the ones accepted for sale. Many, probably most, are not. Western coyotes are the favorites.

Locally, fur auctions in Montana and fundraisers to embrace trapping have been cancelled due to the coronavirus restrictions.
Saga Furs, owned by the Finnish fur industry, just attempted to sell millions of ranch fur online and failed miserably. They are now claiming they are laying all staff off for three months.

We can’t help but wonder with this pandemic and the upcoming widespread financial ramifications to come, who all will wind up buying furs? Add to that the growing fashion designers, stores, cities, and states ending the selling of fur.

Prior to this year’s auction, the trapper owned Fur Harvesters, wrote, “FHA remains deeply committed to the trappers of North America on all levels.” Well we know that but now we’ll see.

Not long ago the fur industry was still estimated at $15 billion! 50,000 animals on average are reported trapped annually in Montana but along with the price of fur, that number has been declining. Millions of wildlife nationally have been estimated trapped in the US each year.

There are so many wrongs with trapping that there are multiple ways to attack it! We need your help though!

In this scary and uncertain time, we can’t wait to see the bottom fall out of this blood money! It can’t happen soon enough, friends!

*Images are the courtesy of Fur Harvesters Auction unless otherwise noted.

Thank you Friends of Trap Free Montana Public Lands and Trap Free Montana

Dog’s paw caught in trap at Silver Spring Township park


SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — A Sunday stroll turned scary for a pup named Sully after a trap snapped on his paw while he was climbing back onto the banks of the Conodoguinet Creek during a walk with his owner in Hidden Creek Park.

“It’s a small, about hand-size trap. I’m not a trap expert, but it looks like it’s for a small animal,” said Silver Spring Township Police Chief Christopher Raubenstine said.

Luckily, Sully isn’t exactly small and didn’t break anything from the trap, but a trap at all triggers worry.

“Our concern, obviously, is for everyone’s safety, whether they’re four legs or two,” Raubenstine said.

The township spent the next couple days on paw patrol, sweeping the park and found no other traps — just more questions about how it got there.

“This could be anything from a simple mistake to what they think is legitimate, to somebody with malicious thought,” Raubenstine said.

Despite the why, trapping is still not legal on public property. Traps have to be registered, which would have led to the offender immediately but the evidence was washed away.

“A passerby helped the owner free the dog and out of anger, disgust — whatever — threw the trap out of the creek,” Raubenstine said.

Whether it was an honest mistake or demented deed, police are monitoring the situation.

“We just want to make sure it’s a one and done thing, and we don’t have to worry about it again,” Raubenstine said.

If you have any information about how the or why the trap was placed, you’re asked to call Silver Spring’s non-emergency line at (717) 697-0607.

Minnesota put on notice over incidental trapping of lynx

The group believes that Minnesota is not following the Endangered Species Act.

An environmental group has put the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on notice that it plans to sue the agency for failing to protect Canada lynx from trappers.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a 60-day notice on Wnesday as required by federal law before it can file a lawsuit to try to force the state to follow the Endangered Species Act. The notice says the state has failed to comply with a 2008 federal court order that’s meant to protect lynx from being caught by trappers seeking other species.
The group says state and federal agencies have documented captures of 16 lynx over the past decade in traps that were set for other species in northern Minnesota, including six that resulted in deaths of the rare cats.
The center cites a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report that puts Minnesota’s Lynx population at between 50 and 200. The DNR says the number present at any given time is not known, but genetic analysis in recent years has identified nearly 100 individual lynx in the state.
DNR Deputy Commissioner Barb Naramore said her agency believes it’s in “full compliance” with the Endangered Species Act and the 2008 court order.

Gallatin County communities rally around cat found suffering from possible trapping


Vet says “Trapper” may have to lose both legs
Posted: 7:21 PM, Nov 27, 2019
Updated: 1:24 PM, Nov 28, 2019

A cat caught in a man-made trap in Gallatin County is bringing out the best of the community.

“When animals are left to their own devices, you never know what they are going to get themselves into,” says Dr. Holly Cruger, DVM at Foothills Veterinary Hospital.

It all started with the little guy, found on a back porch off of Thorpe Road near Belgrade, dragging his back legs.

“He came in, he had some pretty open wounds that looked like he was tied up or trapped on his back legs, which is where I think we got the name, Trapper,” Dr. Cruger says. “Tiny Tails has taken on this case to do everything we can to make sure that he’s got the best chance he can have.”

A Gallatin County Animal Control officer took the cat to Foothill Veterinary Hospital in Bozeman, where he spent the night.

“One of the infections was so deep, I did not think that it would even have the chance to heal,” Dr. Cruger says.

And that surgery? Already, the cat has had to lose one of his legs.

“He’s in better shape today than he was yesterday,” says Diana Stafford, director and founder of Tiny Tails K-9 Rescue in Manhattan.

Stafford and her volunteers are working to help build Trapper’s road to recovery.

“We try to do our best to make sure that our community animals get health care when they need health care,” Stafford says.

Diana’s group is made up of all volunteers, working to foot Trapper’s medical bill.

But the community, well, the cat’s story reached them quickly, raising around $1,500 in a single day.

“Our community is amazing,” Stafford says. “We do a lot of crying. All of our volunteers do. There’s only so much we can do.”

The veterinarian watching over Trapper says he has a difficult road ahead and could lose his other rear leg.

Yet, Stafford, Dr. Cruger and the community are rooting for him.

“If you see an animal in need, please, please tell someone,” Dr. Cruger says.

“Everybody loves an underdog and this little guy, this little cat is right now an underdog,” Stafford says.

Tiny Tails is already planning a series of fundraisers to help animals like Trapper with their own financial needs.

You can find a full schedule and list of upcoming events on their website.

Fisher, marten trapping season later this year

The Minnesota season for fisher and marten trapping is later than usual this year. (file / News Tribune)
The Minnesota season for fisher and marten trapping is later than usual this year. (file / News Tribune)

A reminder to trappers that the Minnesota season for fishers and martens has been moved a few weeks later than usual. The season previously started the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but this year is set for Dec. 21-29.

The limit is two combined. The first registration date is Dec. 31.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials said the change was supported by the Minnesota Trappers Association.

Dogs caught in traps meant for wildlife spurs workshop

JACKSON, Wyo. — Multiple incidents of domestic dogs inadvertently caught in leghold traps intended for wildlife has local advocacy group Wyoming Untrapped warning dog owners and scheduling another informative Trap Release Workshop for this weekend.

Last week, a friend was walking Natalie Tanaka’s dog Roswell up Darby Canyon. They came upon a fox that was caught in a trap. While investigating, Roswell also became ensnared in another trap nearby. Roswell was so panicked he bit his human, who could not get the trap released. A sheriff’s deputy was called and he could not get the dog loose by himself until backup arrived.

Some 45 minutes later, Roswell was freed and pronounced mostly unharmed by a local vet. Just some soft tissue damage. Roswell’s human friend is undergoing antibiotic treatment for the dog bites.

“I appreciate the assistance of all of those who helped. I’m thankful my pup will be okay,” Tanaka told Wyoming Untrapped. “I understand rural life. However, I don’t believe in the inhumane treatment of animals. Traps are nasty, excruciatingly painful, and slow. The tortured animal has to be in pain for days before humans are legally required to go see what’s in the trap. We can do better than this barbaric practice.”

The trap was set legally.

In the days following Roswell’s close call, two more dogs in eastern Idaho were caught in leg snares in Tetonia and Victor.

Lisa Rob, director of Wyoming Untrapped, said, “Due to several pet trapping events in just a week, WU has received several requests to host another Trap Release Workshop.”

The workshop will take place Saturday, November 23, from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Teton County Library in Jackson. Carter Niemeyer, retired Fish and Wildlife Director of the wolf recovery, will direct the workshop and share his experiences. He will demonstrate how to release an animal from a variety of traps.