MT Trapping Updates

FUR PRICES DOWN!!!
“That’s right – low, low fur prices.  Bottom of the barrel.  In most cases, fur will sell for far less than what you’ll spend to trap it.”
Why are fur prices going to be so low?  Two words.  China and Russia.  Those two countries basically control the modern world market for wild fur because their citizens purchase the vast majority of the garments produced with the fur we trap.” Prices for dead Coyote, Beaver, Pine Marten, Bobcat, Wolves and Fisher are expected to hold. Trappers are claiming they are simply stockpiling the rest.
Trapping Today’s 2015-2016 Fur Market Update


Photo courtesy Montana Trappers Association, “fur auction, small”.
Reproduced for educational purposes.

TRAPPING DISTRICT CLOSURES
Hopefully  our  monitoring the quota harvest reports  for Montana furbearers have helped spare more unnecessary trapping deaths for Otter and Bobcat.

Bobcat is now closed in Districts 1, 2, 3, i.e. Northwestern, Western and Southwestern Montana. District 3 closed 8 over quota. Historically, over half of the 7 districts, including these three have gone over quota. In 2013/14, i.e. 62 extra bobcats were reported killed in the Districts 1,2,3,5. We especially appreciate FWP taking a proactive stance and closing District 2. In 6 years, from the 2008 through the 2013/14 bobcat trapping season a minimum of 11,062 bobcats were killed in Montana.


It might not seem much to save even one, but it is everything to that one. We don’t know how many might have gotten killed over the quota. Thanks for making those calls and being the voice for Otters, too!

ANOTHER KILLING CONTEST
A repeat of last January predator trapping and hunting killing contest, sponsored by groups such as Montana Trapper’s Association (MTA), but this time instead of for a weekend, it ran from Jan 8 to Jan 17th. We did not accept the MTA request  that we post the flyer fearing it would only draw more attention, more participation to their killing contest. That does not mean we are not following up on  this. Note they do not call it a killing contest but that does not make it less so! More to come.

EXPOSURE OF CRUEL UGLY TRAPPING
The much awaited article,  America’s trapping boom relies on cruel and grisly tool,  by award winner journalist, Tom Knudson, sheds more light on what becomes of millions of animals, annually, and in particular Bobcat, here out West, in the disturbing significant world of trapping. “Every year, 150,000 trappers here capture and kill up to 7 million wild animals, more than any nation on earth. In all, more than 20 species are targeted for their fur, from foxes to raccoons, coyotes to river otters. But it is the spotted, marble-white fur of one animal that has sparked a Wild West-like trapping boom in recent years.” We were honored to help with Tom’s informative investigation and trust exposure and increased awareness will lead to an end of trapping. Be sure to check out the link to the video of the a leghold trap snapping shut on various items.


Credit: Max Whittaker for Reveal

EFFORTS TO PROTECT FISHER
The rare fisher is getting closer to federal protections under the ESA. Legally trapped still in Montana, other Fishers, too, here have fallen victim as “incidental” “non-targets”. In December of 2014, a Fisher was killed in a conibear trap set for Pine Marten in the Bitterroots. More info to come on how you can help. Click to read  “Northern Rockies Fishers One Step Closer to Endangered Species Act Protection.

PETS CONTINUE TO GET TRAPPED IN MONTANA
An Akita was recently caught for days in a leghold trap set for wolves near Alberton, Montana. The dog was reportedly missing for six days!  Solid ice had to be chipped away from the trap to free the dog. The trapper was cited for not checking his wolf traps for the required 48 hours but will he have to pay the vet bills? The dog will most likely lose its leg.

Searching for the perfect Christmas tree, Petty Creek, near Alberton, a Chihuahua,  Dutley, was caught in a leghold trap, and luckily was released quickly apparently uninjured.

A dog was caught in a snare while accompanied fortunately close by its owner. Ghost town in Drummond.

Trap reports for Bracket Creek area north of Bozeman, Flathead national forest, Pleasant Valley……..

For updates see Trap Alerts  on our website.
Pets have us to look out for them but what of the average 60,000 reported wildlife annually trapped and killed in Montana that legally cannot be rescued and helped?

ANIMAL PLANET DOCUMENTARY FOR TRAPPERS?
Just in, Montana Trappers Association says because “of your relentless attacks on trapping” they have signed to do a trapping documentary with Animal Planet.  Imagine what kind of planet animals would succumb to if trappers had their way. It’s incompatible for a show that features the wonderous animals we share this planet with and their sponsors to promote such cruelty and trapping myths.  More to come on what you can do.

DAILY HAPPENINGS
Like, follow us, and invite friends on Facebook and be sure to check out our website www.trapfreemt.org for ongoing educational information, updates and our online store to purchase, i.e. “Ranger” story of a wolf, t-shirts.

Please lend a hand, be our eyes and ears, promote TFMPL, collaborate with us and let us know you how you are willing to do more for wildlife! 

Thank you Friends of Trap Free Montana Public Lands

Coyote-Kill Contest: It’s getting uglier around the Malheur National Wildlife

“This morally suspect male-bonding event is ecologically indefensible”

Scott Slocum
White Bear Lake, MN

Jan 15, 2016 — It’s getting uglier around the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge this weekend. The Harney County Coyote Classic is coming to the area. Another destructive force. Spotlights and gunfire at night. Spin-offs into firefights? Best to stay far away.

Here’s some advice from Predator Defense on who to call:

“HERE’S HOW TO HELP: express your concern to County and State officials! Call the Harney County Sheriff’s Office at 541-573-6156 and urge them to either (a) cancel the coyote-killing contest, or (b) make the Wildlife Refuge out of bounds for coyote-hunt contestants. Call Oregon Governor Kate Brown at (503) 378-4582, or write at http://www.oregon.gov/gov/Pages/share-your-opinion.aspx and ask her to act.”

Also, check out the information from Predator Defense on the importance of coyotes to intact, healthy ecosystems; and the foolishness of indiscriminate killing–not just in contests like this, but in all of its misguided forms.

Coyote-hunting foes oppose Harney County event
The third annual Harney County Coyote Classic will take place near Burns and Crane this weekend as planned, despite the ongoing refuge occupation nearby, authorities said Wednesday as they warned…

Alberta coyote kill should be banned, says animal-rights group

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-coyote-kill-should-be-banned-says-animal-rights-group-1.3390001

An animal protection group has renewed calls to end killing contests in Alberta, like the one scheduled to take place this weekend.

“These inhumane contests glorify killing a species that is essential to ecosystems, and can actually create new, more significant conflicts between wildlife and people,” said Michael Howie of the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

Described as “reckless” and “inhumane” by critics, the 2015 contest prompted calls for the province to outlaw bounty hunts.

The organizer of this weekend’s coyote hunting contest said even death threats won’t stop him from hosting the tournament again this year.

The contest on Saturday offers a cash prize to the team of hunters that can kill the most coyotes in a single day.

“The science is clear,” Howie said in a statement issued Tuesday. “When coyotes are persecuted, their populations increase; when their social units or families are disrupted, conflict and depredation on livestock increases; and there is no argument — even if there is a healthy population size — to glorify the mass killing of sentient, ecologically significant animals.”

The organizer of the contest is a man named Paul, who asked that his last name not be used to protect his family from harassment. He said he has heard the critics and doesn’t agree with them.

“Coyotes are pests,” he said. “They’re legal to hunt any time of the year, with permission on farmers’ land.”

Howie said it is the Alberta government’s duty to manage land and wildlife habitat and regulate hunting and trapping.

“By allowing killing contests, Alberta’s leadership is showing a severe lack of stewardship,” Howie said, calling on Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and  Premier Rachel Notley to demand an end to such “inhumane” contests immediately.

A spokesperson for the environment minister’s office said the government is not planning to change the rules around hunting, noting when coyote populations are high they can threaten livestock and move into urban areas.

But the province does have the authority to restrict animal harvests if it is deemed necessary, the spokesperson said.

400,000 Coyotes Are Killed in the U.S. Each Year…

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400,000 Coyotes Are Killed in the U.S. Each Year… The Reason Why Will Make You Livid

At least 400,000 coyotes are killed each year in the United States. That’s an average of nearly 1,100 individuals a day.

So why isn’t the government doing something to stop it? Well, mainly because they have been orchestrating a discreet mass slaughter of coyotes for nearly a century.
Read more at http://blog.therainforestsite.com/killing-coyotes/#g4cx4aXjKm7uwMDO.99

Also, know that a “reality” show, in its third season, http://deaddogwalkin.com
is a testament to just how low society has stooped in its ongoing backslide to hitherto unattainable depths. Next stop? Hell itself.

Support Petition to Ban Coyote Killing Contests in NV!‏

Jim Robertson-wolf-copyright

From Project Coyote:

Coyotes in Nevada need your voice! On March 20th, the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners will vote to accept or reject a petition to ban coyote-killing contests in the state. You do not have to be a Nevada resident to express your support and have it count! Encourage the Commission to accept this petition; there are four ways to do so:

  1. Testify at the Commission meeting on Friday, March 20th. You do not need to be an “expert” or have detailed information! Since these contests involve the unnecessary destruction of a public “resource” (wildlife, including coyotes, belongs to everyone per NRS 501.100), your opinion and related comments are pertinent. Please see “talking points” below to guide your testimony and remember, anyone can testify – kids included (and encouraged).
  2. If you can’t make it to the meeting, email or write to the Commission at the address below to express your support for a ban and to encourage the Commission to accept the petition. See “talking points” for guidance on what to say.
  3. In addition to the above, submit letters to the editor of Nevada papers in support of a ban on coyote-killing contests. See “talking points” below, but as always, the more you personalize your letter, the more effective.
  4. Spread the word! Pass this alert on to others in Nevada and encourage them to take action.

    P.S.- read this recent article in the Reno Gazette-Journal about this issue.

Commission Meeting Information:
When:  Friday, March 20, 2015.
Meeting starts at 8:30am. Petition hearing should begin around 9:30-10:00am but arrive early to get a seat and to sign up to testify.
Where: TMCC, 7000 Dandini Blvd (Parr Blvd exit off 395), Sierra Building, Room 108 (auditorium), Reno.

There will also be a video conference connection in Las Vegas and Elko.

In Las Vegas:
College of S. Nevada, 3200 Cheyenne Ave., Main Building, Room 2638.

In Elko:
Great Basin College, 1500 College Parkway, High Tech Center, Room 137.

What to expect: The petition will be presented including a short summary of the issue and supporting documents. Those wishing to testify need to put their name on a yellow card (provided). Following public comment, the Commission will discuss the issue and make a decision.
Commissioner Contact Information (for sending letters and emails):
Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners
1100 Valley Road
Reno, NV 89512

Send email addressed to Commissioners to:
Suzanne Scourby sscourby@ndow.org and please cc info@projectcoyote.org (Project Coyote is tracking letters sent) and Governor Sandoval Hunt cthunt@gov.nv.gov

Talking Points (please personalize your letters!):

Please be sure to state that you encourage the Commissioners to accept the petition to ban coyote-killing contests in addition to outlining your arguments against such contests.

  • Coyote-killing contests are conducted for profit, entertainment, prizes, and simply for the “fun” of killing.  In December 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to close the loopholes that allowed the killing of wildlife for prizes and inducements – becoming the first in the nation to ban the practice for coyotes, foxes, bobcats and other species. Nevada should follow California’s lead.
  • Coyotes are often baited and lured with distress calls of pups or wounded prey, placing coyotes at an even greater and unfair disadvantage. Read more here.
  • No evidence exists showing that indiscriminate killing contests serve any effective wildlife management function. Coyote populations that are not exploited (e.g. hunted or trapped) form stable “extended family” social structures that naturally limit populations through defense of territory and the suppression of breeding by subordinate female members of the family group. Indiscriminate killing of coyotes disrupts this social stability resulting in increased reproduction and pup survival. Read more here.
  • Coyotes have been shown to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans, including the control of rodents and rabbits which compete with domestic livestock for forage and which are associated with diseases such as plague, hantavirus, tularemia and Lyme disease. Read more here.
  • Coyote-killing contests perpetuate a culture of violence and send the message to children that life has little value and that an entire species of animals is disposable.
  • Coyote-Killing contests put non-target wildlife, companion animals, and people at risk.
  • A ban on coyote-killing contests in Nevada will not restrict the ability to protect property including livestock, will not undermine Second Amendment gun ownership rights, nor will it limit hunting in any other way.

Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit

Killing Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes for Fun and Profit

 

Dead coyotes in a cage on top of a truck at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest

Standing in a West Texas sporting goods store parking lot on a recent Sunday morning, Margaret Lloyd felt like she’d wandered onto the set of a gory movie. The lot was packed with trucks full of dead coyotes, foxes and the occasional bobcat; one pickup had a cage welded to its bed, and it was crammed with carcasses. “It was one wave of fur, tails on top of ears and ears on top of tails,” she said. “It was just horrifying.”

Around back, participants in the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest were weighing their kill in a competition to see who had shot the biggest bobcat and the most coyotes, gray foxes and bobcats in a 23-hour period. Some $76,000 in prize money was at stake — more than $31,000 went to the team that bagged a 32 pound bobcat. Other jackpot winners were a four-man team that killed 63 foxes, a team that killed 8 bobcats, and another that killed 32 coyotes.

Photo of Geoff Nemnich of Coyote Craze with his sons

Lloyd, a retired lawyer who lives in Galveston, grew up in the South among hunters and says she’s not opposed to killing animals for food or to protect a herd.

“This is not hunting,” she said. “This is a blood sport, plain and simple.”

Contests like these — often called coyote calling contests, varmint hunts or predator hunts — have become popular events, especially in the Midwest and West. The website CoyoteContest.com lists 21 states with upcoming or recent killing contests, including Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, South Dakota and Utah.

The Big Bobcat competition in San Angelo, Texas started in 2008 with just 21 teams, but drew 380 teams to the contest last month. “They’re growing exponentially,” said Geoff Nemnich, a champion coyote hunter who is cashing in on the phenomenon. His website, Coyote Craze, exhorts visitors to “Feed Your Addiction” and offers videos of coyotes being dispatched by high-powered weapons, along with t-shirts that read “Coyotes Fear Me,” and depict dead coyotes hanging by their feet. “Almost every weekend you can find [a contest] somewhere within driving distance,” he said.

Dead coyotes at the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest

But as these contests proliferate, efforts to stop them are, too. In December, California Fish and Game Commission outlawed contests that award prizes for killing wildlife (the ban takes effect in April). Legislation to bar such contests passed the New Mexico state senate but died in the house. In Nevada, a petition to prohibit predator-killing contests is pending before the state Board of Wildlife Commissioners. And protesters blasting the events as indiscriminate slaughter have been demonstrating outside of contests and related events, like the Predator Masters convention in Arizona in January.

Wildlife defenders cite research that suggests killing adult coyotes may actually increase the population, since it allows more pups to survive. Predators like coyotes also fill an important role in the ecosystem by helping keep the population of rodents in check.

Jeremy Harrison, a fifth-generation rancher, organized the Big Bobcat contest in Texas. He said coyote contests do a public service by reducing the number of livestock predators and protecting the public from rabies. “This is not bashing baby seals in the head,” he said.

To those who are offended, he has simple advice: Butt out. “It’s none of their business. It has nothing to do with them,” he said. “It’s one of the best things about this beautiful state of Texas. We have 100 percent support from Texas and from the local people. If they don’t like it, they can just stay away from it.”

Opponents of these events call people like Harrison “thrill killers.” And there is a jarring sort of gleefulness that surrounds the slaughter — one Arizona group holds a Santa Slay hunt in December each year. Nemnich posts excerpts from his videos, which are sold at Cabela’s and similar stores, on YouTube. Set to stirring martial music, one sizzle reel shows coyote after coyote being called and then gunned down.

Photo of Margaret Lloyd

Nemnich, who said his videos portray hunting “in the best light possible”, encourages others not to post “distasteful” images because it will provoke animal rights groups or turn people who are neutral against hunting. “You don’t go and post a video of a coyote with his guts blown out on Facebook,” he said. “It just fuels the fire.”

Nemnich, who boasts on his website that two of his sons bagged their first coyotes at the age of five, said he gets a steady stream of hate mail. One message said his kids should be “gut shot” like the coyotes in the video. (“And I’m the barbarian?” he said.) He thinks the critics of coyote killing contests have a bigger agenda — to ban hunting altogether. “We’re killing animals for money and prizes. That’s the easiest way for them to get their foot in the door,” he said.

Both Nemnich and Harrison pointed out that the federal government kills thousands of coyotes each year. They said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services division uses much less “sportsmanlike” means, such as poisons and leg-hold traps.

Contests are completely legal, Nemnich said. “Some may consider it ethically wrong, but hunting has been around forever, it’s who we are out in this part of the country.”

Lloyd stopped to take pictures of the bobcat contest while driving from New Mexico back to Texas.

She said the spectacle was sickening, not a source of pride. With a breaking voice she said, “It was a sight and a situation that I’ll never shake for the rest of my life. I will never forget what I saw. A parking lot of absolute death at the hands of a civilized society.” She paused, and then corrected herself: “A supposedly civilized society.”

Photos of the winners of the West Texas Big Bobcat Contest, February 2014

Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein contributed to this story.

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that the Santa Slay event is in New Mexico. It takes place in Arizona.

– See more at: http://www.fairwarning.org/2015/03/mowing-down-coyotes-bobcats-and-foxes-for-fun-and-profit/#sthash.uqKtzwU2.dpuf

Critics try to ban coyote hunting contests

Jim Robertson-wolf-copyright

“They’re going to try it in every Western state,” he said. “These anti-hunters will stop at nothing.”…

http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2015/02/17/critics-try-ban-coyote-hunting-contests/23525621/

by Jeff DeLong, RGJ 6:25 a.m. PST February 17, 2015

Critics of coyote hunting contests hope to ban the controversial practice in Nevada, insisting it amounts to little more than wanton slaughter of wildlife.

Hunters counter that it is a legally protected sport that may help keep in check a soaring coyote population increasingly posing threats to livestock, pets and people.

Don Molde of Reno and Fred Voltz of Carson City have petitioned the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners for regulatory changes that would outlaw contests awarding cash or other prizes for killing coyotes.

Molde, of Nevadans for Responsible Wildlife Management, moved to change Nevada regulations after a “coyote calling contest” was conducted in the North Valleys outside Reno in December, generating controversy and drawing national media attention.

“Somebody has to do something. These contests are outrageous,” Molde said. “It is the willful killing of wildlife just for the fun of it. It’s just not right.”

Across the West, the coyote is classified as an unprotected animal. They can be hunted without a license or permit, shot on sight, and there’s no limit on the number that can be killed at one time.

Last December’s coyote call in the North Valleys was a small affair, with only 10 coyotes killed, according to organizers. Others are huge. During the 2013 World Coyote Calling Championship in Elko, 110 two-person hunting teams killed more than 300 coyotes.

Jason Schroeder, a heavy equipment mechanic who organized December’s contest, called controversy over the event unjustified and predicted efforts to ban such contests in Nevada will “never fly.”

“They are entitled to their opinion, and we’re entitled to ours,” Schroeder said. “The law says you can hunt coyotes on public land and that’s what we’ve done.”

Coyotes clearly pose a mounting problem, Schroeder said, adding that three dens of coyotes are now living on his Lemmon Valley property.

“Coyotes are moving out of the wild and into town,” he said. “Coyotes are biting people right now. They are attacking people’s animals.”

But hunting contests are not an effective method of controlling coyote populations, said Camille Fox, executive director of Project Coyote, the organization that successfully petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to ban coyote hunting contests. California law still allows hunters to shoot as many of the predators as they wish year-round but outlaws the awarding of prizes.

Fox points to studies indicating that coyote hunts have only short-lived effectiveness at best in controlling coyote populations due to the animal’s natural resiliency. Other non-lethal steps can protect livestock and other animals from coyotes, including better fencing and use of guard dogs, she said.

Hunt contests should be outlawed simply as a matter of decency, Fox said.

“Like dogfighting and cockfighting, killing contests are an archaic tradition that really should be left to the history books,” Fox said. “We’re increasingly seeing a backlash against these contests. I do think the American public is fairly outraged by this practice.”

Rick Gipson, who shot his first coyote at age 6, is observing the debate unfold from his home in Boise, Idaho. Gipson has participated in numerous coyote hunting contests over the years, including three world championships like the one held in Elko in 2013.

“The contests are getting larger and the take is getting larger but it’s not getting close to controlling them,” Gipson said, adding that the contests account for a only small percentage of coyotes being killed.

Coyotes are trapped, poisoned and shot from the air by government hunters, yet numbers continue to grow, Gipson said.

“These animals have survived persecution for 200 years and they’ve flourished,” Gipson said. “We’ve been doing this for decades and we’re not even coming close to slowing them down. They just keep coming.”

The successful ban in California and proposals now being discussed in Nevada and New Mexico are bound to be followed by other states, said Gipson, describing the effort as part of a larger anti-hunting agenda.

“They’re going to try it in every Western state,” he said. “These anti-hunters will stop at nothing.”

Fox acknowledges the proposed ban will likely face steep opposition in Nevada.

“It’s not going to be an easy process there,” she said.

Maybe so, said Molde, who said he wants the discussion to occur in any case.

“This board of wildlife commissioners is not going to get into this unless they are forced to,” Molde said. “Either way, we get them on the record.”

COYOTE CONTEST BAN PROPOSAL

WHAT: Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners.

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. March 20.

WHERE: Sierra Building, Room 198, Truckee Meadows Community College, 7000 Dandini, Blvd., Reno.

Another New Contest Hunt?

First the bad news–New Coyote Derby in announced in Montana

MT contest hunt

Then the terrific News! Bill to Ban Coyote Killing Contests in New Mexico Passes First Hurdle Today!

Today SB 253, a bill sponsored by New Mexico Senator Mark Moores and Representative Jeff Steinborn to ban coyote killing contests passed out of committee with a vote of 6-3.

This contest-hunt ban effort is work that WildEarth Guardians is doing with coalition partners Animal Protection Voters, @Southwest Environmental Center, and others who are committed to improving treatment of wildlife in New Mexico through changes in state legislation.