Support HB 287 for Mandatory Daily Trap Checks

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Traps are indiscriminate, excluding no species. Montana has no required timeframe a trapper must check his or her traps.

Exceptions exist; traps for bobcats in lynx protection zones require a 48-hour trap check and wolf traps require a visual check every 48 hours. A 48-hour check for all others is recommended, but not required. Thirty-six states require 24 hour/daily trap checks.

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies says trappers should check their traps at least daily.

“The purpose of AFWA’s Furbearer Management and Best Management Practices Trapping Program is to improve regulated trapping by evaluating devices and techniques used for capture of furbearers and educating those who trap about the most humane, safe, selective, efficient and practical devices. When you set a trap line, you assume responsibilities”.

Averages of 55,000 animals are estimated trapped and killed in Montana yearly. Numbers are from trappers completing a voluntary survey. Less than half of trappers respond, so actual numbers are higher.

Non-targets, including rare and protected species, and accidental trapped pets are not included in the reports. One-hundred-four dogs were reported trapped in Montana in less than 30 months.

The maltreatment of our wildlife by lack of a daily trap check is a black eye to our state. The public is growing increasingly opposed to trapping. It is time Montana made necessary and reasonable improvements to trapping regulations and joined the rest of the country.

— Barbara Booher

Troy, Montana

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