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Not condemning off the bat. I've just never heard the defense of trapping from a sportsman's perspective, i.e., from the perspective of someone who doesn't need to do it for survival or subsistence, or for the purpose of training himself to do so in preparation for that potential need. Seems to me, at first blush (not having heard the argument in defense) that it's not very sporting, and I find it hard to justify causing intense pain to an animal for hours or days on end without a survival requirement. I'm open to the defense, if anyone cares to provide one. It could be that there are facts about it that I have wrong, and once I hear the correction I will feel differently about it.

PS I come to this from the point of view of a hunter whose goal it is to humanely take game, minimizing the suffering of the game animal to whatever extent practical.

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Hawkeye, I feel the the same as you about the suffering of the animals caught in traps.
I think those that trap,do so for profit, not for sport.
I kill all fish that I catch before filleting or skinning.
Catfish require a big knife between the eyes to the brain. Bass and perch, just a sharp knife.
You gotta have a big heart!!!!!!!!


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At first blush I can understand how those unfamiliar with trapping might think it to be less than humane, however very little pain is experienced by the animal. Blood flow is reduced to the extremity that is caught in the trap leaving the animal with a numb foot for the period of time that it is in the trap. This, of course, only applies in a foothold land trapping situation. In water trapping the object of the game is to drown the animal that is trapped as quickly as possible using one of many set-ups that facilitate this outcome. Both snares and body grip traps are killer set-ups that put the animal down within seconds. The justification for trapping from the conservationist's viewpoint is simple. There exists no other way to effectively control the populations of most furbearing animals while at the same time utilizing the valuable and beautiful furs that they produce. In other words, hunting, in most cases, has very little impact on furbearers. Only trapping within scientifically sound parameters is capable of keeping in check the various species of furbearing animals.

As to killing your fish before you clean them - well I don't drag the coyotes around behind my boat with a line hooked to their face, throw them in a box for a few hours, then drag them out and suffocate them for a while before shoving a knife in their forehead like you do with those fish.

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To start, furbearers are little used if not trapped... Trapping does not compete with other hunting for targets, except foxes, coyotes, wolves and coon. On the other hand, furbearers do compete with hunting... Coons are big time bad news on duck and upland gamebird nests. Foxes eat more than their share. Not trapping allows more predators to have more effect on game. Furbearers carry some bad bugs and the denser the population of them the worse the bugs and the greater potential for bad human problems.

Furbearers provide a ton of change for kids and guys willing to work for their spare change. It is anything but lucrative.

Much fur is caught in drowning sets to minimize suffering, trap and fur theft, losses due to "wring-offs", and other critters and birds. Others are often caught in snares or conibears which kill quickly.

Having caught well over 1,000 'rats a year trapping in eastern WA during college and up to 164 coyotes ('78-'79) a year I got to see a lot of stuff I did well... and some not so much. I have a scar from a great blue heron objecting to being held by a tiny little trap... and others...

Several years running my father and I trapped together for spring rats in the wasteways of eastern WA. We each went our own way in the morning but met at noonish for lunch. We had thick slices of cold cheese and sardines on pilot bread and usually split a quart of my mother's jarred peaches for desert.

It was not about money or who caught the most rats, though there was much banter about those topics, it was about being out there. Or literally sleeping under the stars on clear nights and listening to the ducks whistling by overhead... which my father could not hear after too many rounds sent downrange. And I laughed at how deaf he was... unaware how soon I would be in the same club.

Foxes, and the bigger dogs caught in leghold traps get pinched and it probably does hurt for a while. I have seen foxes tear into a group of ducklings and give their sensitivities no consideration... I at least try to get back around to traps regularly.

I have trapped many otters on Kodiak and the birds there tear up the hides soon after the animal dies and there is no value to a hide the birds found first.
art without apology for sending many thousand souls on their way


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Thanks for the thoughtful replies. Some things to think about.

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Natty Bumppo, I'm still composing my defense to your question. Because it is a perfectly valid question and a very good one. My MIL is the biggest anti I have ever met, but my wife is the complete opposite (imagine that: sitting around the thanksgiving table, especially when it comes to talk about elk hunting).
Trapping is as old as time itself, yet it has evolved more towards the apex of being better trappers using much better equipment. In today's society, standards, laws, regulations and 'tools of the trade' are light years from say 100 years or 2000 years ago (and I think that is the hang up of people browsing history w/o knowing or being involved with the present situtation). Yet, I can only promise one thing...when trapping is banned, there will be a severe erosion of our hunting privileges through time (and fishing shall follow).


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Point well taken about the fish. You win.


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Gear groups infighting is exactly what the PETAphiles hope to establish. They have done a fair job so far. Bad-mouthing trappers, archers, and bait fishermen to start will turn to more mainstream pursuits over time. It works against us, and well.


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First off, these are just my personal thoughts, opinions and experiences in the realm of trapping. Bias towards the cause? You bet I am. But, I am also a big hunter of all types� game animals and when I get a fishing pole in my hands�watch out.
A long time ago, trapping was unregulated, so we did see drastic decreases in furbearer populations. There was a big market for furs, with large companies with international connections involved. But, the same can be said for the bison and Passenger pigeons, during this time period as well. It was a free for all. Jump forward to today, we are �supervised� by regulations, laws, licenses, quotes (some federal, most state), reporting catch rates and so forth. In that respect, the controls are in place to manage the resource.
When it comes to trapping specifically the anti�s three biggest arguments are: pain and suffering to the caught animal, catching non targets and this idea the wearing furs of animals is some human immorality. All of the traps I use have special features to them to minimize this idea that captured animals are suffering. My leg holds for coyotes, fox and bobcats have an off set jaw. What that means, is that there is a 3/8� space between the jaws when they are closed. So basically, the jaws hold the foot in place w/o applying a lot of pressure to the leg bone. My smaller leg holds for raccoons, skunks, and opossums have a very small offset, but their main feature is that they are double jawed. There is the main jaw in top and another jaw right below it (on each side). What that does is reduce the pinching force over several surfaces coming together which displace that overall weight the leg would feel. (You can also purchase traps that have rubber along the steel jaws this cushions the leg, too). I also have species specific raccoon leg hold traps, that only they can get into. They have to reach into a small hole and pull a trigger. Only raccoons have that ability, dogs, cats, skunks and so forth do not. Those traps are very specific. I have conibears of all different sizes that I use, but they are all from one manufacture. I personally believe they are the very best ever made, for two reasons: One, the safety�s on the springs will not move until you physically rotate them out of the way. Two, the conibear design pretty much looks the same through all the manufactures, and they all function the same way. The ones I use are built a little differently to where when the springs open, the jaws have sort of a reverse offset to them. It�s kind of like a powerstroke of killing power and that is exactly what these traps are supposed to do. Everything is instantaneous with them, and I am fine with that. I have snares for the bigger furbearers, but all of these have deer stops on them. My preference, my choice. That way if a deer or elk places a foot into the snare, it closes to a certain point, but no more. They can just step right out, yet the loop is small enough to collar a coyote. I�ve also got squirrel snares, for gophers I have traps that kill them and of course live traps for skunks, coons and such.
MY point in that long ass discussion is not to brag about what I have for trapping equipment, but rather the modern features and designs. We see the 150 year old bear traps and old wolf traps and those had pointed teeth that line the jaws and extrapolate that to modern trapped, and that is so unfair to the modern trapper. Those old style traps may look good above your fireplace, but they are illegal to set in the wild. Also, with the leg holds, I think the animal does struggle with it for a while, and then typically settles down. Plus every warm blooded animal comes with endorphins, that�s the afterglow response we have to an organism. But, endorphins also block pain. So at anyrate, I don�t believe there is some great amount of pain or suffering involved, if much at all. And most states, if not all require each trap be check every 24 hours�that is the law.
With nontargets, it occasionally may happen, but not very often. The reason for this is that the trappers of today are very consciences about using the correct trap for the specific species they want to trap, in the species specific habitat, using the correct scent or lure and placement, plus being very vigilant of signs of nontargets. Great credit goes to trapper education programs and the instructors�no different then the hunter education programs and those instructors. The anti�s want the general public to believe that trappers are some sloven beasts that just carpet bomb the landscape with traps and that is a complete and utter lie. Our trappers are ethical sportsmen that manage game resources, where the surplus animals are removed and utilized, while maintaining a more natural balance between predator and prey species in our modern world.
Story time again, I know an older farmer in Kansas who has been running a trapline every winter probably since he was a kid. But, when his daughters were born, he started saving just the money he made on pelts for their college education. When those girls each graduated from high school, they were smart enough to receive some scholarships, but he had socked away enough money to cover all of their other expenses for 4 years each, just from trapping. True story, I know the man and his family well. Let�s say he did not utilize that natural resource the way he did. Well nature does have a way of regulating the surplus animals and it will cycle them from high to low populations in short order. I�m not saying nature is at times wasteful, but if a trapper could benefit and there is a market for those pelts, why then let those pelt go to waste, because that surplus WILL die off anyway. Trapping is a viable management tool, no different then hunting or fishing. I�m not 100% for sure, but with the current state of our economy, I think people are going to be dusting off their traps for the extra income�may not be much, but some don�t have much now. I haven�t always looked at trapping in that light, because for me it�s kind of like the old say that goes: �even the worst day of hunting (fishing or trapping), is better then the best day at the office�. I just enjoy bringing together a trap line that I can ethically and responsibly run.
My biggest grip is against the states that have banned trapping. Colorado is screwed! Massachusetts is another. Here again, people have to remember that trapping is a wildlife management tool, which will work in conjunction with other wildlife management tools. If the citizens of Colo are having problems with an over abundance of fur bearers tearing up their property or harassing their livestock, then you have to go back to the polls and get that law changed. Massachusetts, your raccoon rabies is at an epidemic level; your kids are not even safe to play outside. Now trapping alone definitely is not a cure all�never has been. But, I can promise it will help in its own right. As it stands, the only traps you can use are live traps, and that is ridiculous. On the market right now are a number of different raccoon specific leg hold traps that are small, portable, and discrete and all they do catch is raccoons, period. Your state should allow your trappers at the very least, to use those. Because that warm fuzzy feeling the majority is getting for voting a ban on all leg holds, I hope isn�t the onset of rabies itself.
The original question posed is how you defend trappers as being some kind of sportsmen and women for what we participate in. I think they possess a great measure of personal ethics coupled with a great sense of responsibility and stewardship. A sportsman to me supports and shoulders the financial responsibility it takes to manage our wildlife and fisheries habitats. No where in the world will you find that great of a commitment then here in the United States. Hunters, fishermen and trappers all contribute great financial sums through license sale, taxes on gear and equipment, tags, stamps, permits on and on to support what we love for the enjoyment of all. Those monies are plowed directly back into the huge spectrum of wildlife and fisheries management in our country. Even belonging to organizations like DU, PF, QU, RMEF, (too many to list or remember) contribute matching funds for habitat projects. The nonhunter probably contributes very little if any and of course the anti�s never will. That is the bed rock definition, in my opinion, of being a true sportsmen and sportswomen.
That�s what was on my mind and I will leave all of you with a couple of websites:

This one explains best management practices(BMP's)applied to trapping here in the USA
http://trappered.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=32

This one is from the Fur Institute of Canada. One of the main things they do is research on about every trap out there, for a bunch reasons, the big one being apart of the EU where a lot of Canadian furs are exported to Europe. But this is a list of traps so far approved in Canada. Its kind of interesting to me (because some of mine are not on the list ;~(, but my conibears are)

http://www.fur.ca/index-e/trap_rese..._research&page=traps_certified_traps

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"How do you justify trapping"

Been thinking about this and decided I want to change my answer... I do not justify trapping. There is simply no need to defend something as basic as using renewable resources.
art


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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
"How do you justify trapping"

Been thinking about this and decided I want to change my answer... I do not justify trapping. There is simply no need to defend something as basic as using renewable resources.
art


Dang it Sitka, I spent three hours thinking and writing a novel about this topic and you said it perfectly in two sentences... smile

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Sitka nailed it. I used to trap Beaver as a kid. Its how I bought clothes for school. The farmers loved it because beavers were a huge problem and considered a nuisance. I got the occasional mink. The best part was nearly everything is used by someone. Pelts and glands being the most popular. Paid pretty well for the time. I could get anywhere from 30-80 bucks a beaver back when minimum wage was $3.25 an hour. An nobody could get a job.

Well worth a 15 year olds time to run a line once or twice a day every day.

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Some of my friends around Anahuac, Tx. trap nutria. Any idea how much those pelts are worth? Just wondering!
Hurricane Ike took our great two story cabin at Jacks Pass on the Trinity river.


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I have no clue on nutria pelts (yet by early next week I will find out for you). But if you would like to get after them, here is about the very best website for overall information.

http://icwdm.org/handbook/rodents/ro_b71.pdf

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I justify it the same way I justify sex.

If you think it's not sporting you may not have tried to get a coyote to put his paw on the two square inches out there that you have in mind - time after time..

I have done some of everything discussed on this board and know trappers to be the cognoscenti of the outdoor world.

Effective trapping is most humane.

It is the hardest way I have ever made a buck but I am quite proud to be a member of the fraternity.


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I haven't read through all the replies, so I will no doubt be repeating a few things.

There are alot of hunters that are against trapping, I think its because they are just ignorant as to how its done.

Forget the pictures you see of the steel trap with the teeth, they are not used, and are illegal. the modern trapper uses an offset jaw, meaning they do not close all the way. Another myth is that trapped animals will chew their leg off, HOGWASH. if a trapper is having this happen, its his fault, and he needs to set his traps up properly. a trap needs to have plenty of swivel action so the animal cannot get tangled up and apply pressure, causing cutting and a possible broken leg. Any trapper that is not a slob has his traps set up to keep the animal as comfortable as possible.contrary to popular belief, the trap is not designed to slam home with such a force that it will break bone,or even cut the skin. if it were I would have no hands left! yes, I catch my hand in traps every year, it isn't a major ordeal, never broke anything or even bleed.

As a management tool, trapping is very humane. How you may ask? well, have you ever seen mange?distemper?rabies? trust me, trapping is a much more humane than mother natures way of population control.and these horrible diseases will take hold if population numbers go unchecked. As a trapper, I do not go out with the ambition of wiping out an area, for one it would be impossible, two, where would I go next year? for me and every trapper I know, we take a certain amount from an area and move on. Doing this actually helps the overall population, sure it isn't good for the ones who get killed, but the ones that are left have less competition for food and territory, which leads to a healthier overall population.

As for not being "sporting" have you ever tried narrowing the most cunning animals (which preditors are) world down to a two inch trap pan?

Trappers have more knowledge of all game and their habit's and habitat. they understand all game the way most big game hunters can only dream of.

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Great post rosco! Good solid info.


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You guys did a great job defending trapping, so here's a few more little tidbits to think about. Oh...to all you non-trappers...trapping is a "way of life"/"life style" for alot of us. It's in our blood to be so connected to the outdoors, we don't take it lightly.

Trappers stand on the wall folks, their like the Marine Corp of the outdoorsmen. Trappers are out in front fighting the battle daily for our rights to pursue game, since trapping is viewed as not being "politicaly correct", it is by far the #1 target of the antis. Once trappers are out of the way, guess who gets to invest tons of money and time in holding the antis off? So to that, I ask that all sportsmen support trappers.

Yotes/bobcats like fawns, bobcats love turkeys, coon/skunk/possum/fox are egg eaters. If you want to see a difference on your land in game, then let a trapper "skim" off some furbearers, it will make a difference. Yes, a few folks call fox/cats/yotes....and some coon hunt with dogs....but a trap is there for 24hrs. not a couple.

As far as damage to an animal by a trap, I'll say this...you wouldn't hunt a rabbit with a 7mag, dove with 3.5" turkey loads, tree rats with a 300 RUM. Same with a trapper, he wants the animal to be there when he arrives, this means the animal has to have some sense of comfort. If the animal is comfortable, he will struggle less which means there is less of a chance of damage. Most animals struggle at first then calm down until the trapper arrives. If I can use binos to check a set and the animal is unaware of me, 90% of the time they will be curled up asleep. My point being that trappers match the size and style trap to the animal and situation.

These are just a few things for you folks to think about. We must all stand together and support one another to protect what we love. Outdoorsmen deal in reality...antis deal in feelings. The antis are nuts and will never be satisfied!!!!!

Thanks for asking the question and hope that our comments are helpful.


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I don't justify anything. It's legal and I do it. Beside, the fur industry is rather huge.


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There is a quote that sums up the challenge that trapping offers. A gun hunter knows what woods his quarry will be in. A bow hunter knows what trail his quarry will take, but a trapper knows where his quarry will place his foot.

As others have said, keeping the furbearer population in check keeps down the incidence of distemper, rabies, mange and more that I am not aware of.

I trap beaver on a few farms for the farmers. They want every beaver gone because they have lost calves to giardosis or beaver fever. In return, I am given permission to rabbit hunt with my beagles on their property.

Since I started trapping, I am much more aware of all the sign I see in the woods, from tracks to scat to markings left behind. It has made me a better woodsman.


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Have them call Jessica Simpson, bet she has some good things to say about Yotes now.

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Originally Posted by The_Real_Hawkeye

PS I come to this from the point of view of a hunter whose goal it is to humanely take game, minimizing the suffering of the game animal to whatever extent practical.


...so do most trappers! That's why the industry here has nearly all converted to quick kill traps wherever practical - beaver, muskrat, fisher, otter etc. are all taken with conibears or similar quick kill body grip traps. Where they are still used in Canada, leghold traps must be padded jaw or offset jaw type, and must be checked regularly. Unfortunately there is only one alternative for fox and coyote - power snare. But power snares can be hard on other wildlife and dogs, so in some ways padded foot hold traps are safer and more humane.
In the end, the only justification for trapping is whether or not you feel it is ethical to harvest wildlife at all. For me' I'd rather wear fur than all the petrochemical synthetics ever made. Furs are environmentally perfect garments. Natural, organic, renewable, beautiful, and Warm.
One other point. The harvest of wild furs makes the environment where they are taken valuable in our modern economy. Valueless wild landscapes are much more vulnerable to "conversion" - and there are NO fur animals in a grain field or housing development.

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ranger1, +100000

Sitka, +200000

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My Grandfather was a Trapper in the Great State of Ga. This was a way of life for him! I remember when I was a kid I would run his trap lines with him! This was before all the New Humane traps came along. I do remember him telling me that a Coon would bit his foot off when in a trap! You name it he trapped it. I know that Rabies were a great problem in 1930 and trapping was one way to cut the numbers. Their is a real art to trapping and it's almost a thing of the past. My Grandfather trapped for 40 years and I don't ever remember him telling me that he ran out of anything to trap! Boy I wish he was around to trap these Coyotes we have now!



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Hawkeye,as an outdoorsman you should give it a try.I think you would find it very challenging and sporting.

Plus you would become a much better outdoors for it.Trappers are typically much more connected and aware while in the woods than the average hunter.

I don't need to justify trapping any more than I do hunting or fishing.They're all honorable pursuits.

Thanks for your interest and questions about trapping.

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Like Art, I see no neeed to justify it.When young,we trapped muskrat,fox and a few mink and coons.Fox had a bounty on them.This was the only money us kids got on a dairy farm.Usually about $50 for the winter.Darn lot of money back in the 50's.
No differt than PD shoting or cyote hunting.
I have seen a lot of animals killed with rifle and arrow suffer a heck of a lot more


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I don't have to justify it to anyone......any idea why quail have disappeared from many areas? How about rabbits? Care about facts at all? Predators have thrived and when left unchecked by trapping will wipe out game species.

Now I'll assume you're open to learning.....tell me I'm right: ever see the new leg hold traps and what an animal looks like when you walk up on one caught in it? Usually sleeping and able to be released TOTALLY UNHARMED if not the target species. And the other type of trap legal where I live: body grip trap......know what happens to animals that get caught in one of those? INSTANTANEOUS DEATH.

You do us all a great injustice by masquerading as a "sportsmen". Get a clue.

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How do I justify trapping? Like anything else. Man was put in charge of the world, animals included to use as he sees fit. If that doesn't work science will tell you that numbers need to be kept in check for healthy populations. Without writing a book on the topic, if all animals are not in check the balance in disrupted and something suffers unnecessarily be it through over-predation, starvation or disease. Humans are at the top of the food chain because we can think and use tools. So it is up to us to make sure the balance is struck. Some animals are almost impossible to harvest without trapping. Ever hunt a beaver or mink? Good luck without a trap. And don't even get me started on the real fur v synthetic fur or so disgustingly called friendly fur debate. PETA, ELF and ALF ought to have a bounty on them.


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Originally Posted by ranger1
At first blush I can understand how those unfamiliar with trapping might think it to be less than humane, however very little pain is experienced by the animal. Blood flow is reduced to the extremity that is caught in the trap leaving the animal with a numb foot for the period of time that it is in the trap. This, of course, only applies in a foothold land trapping situation. In water trapping the object of the game is to drown the animal that is trapped as quickly as possible using one of many set-ups that facilitate this outcome. Both snares and body grip traps are killer set-ups that put the animal down within seconds. The justification for trapping from the conservationist's viewpoint is simple. There exists no other way to effectively control the populations of most furbearing animals while at the same time utilizing the valuable and beautiful furs that they produce. In other words, hunting, in most cases, has very little impact on furbearers. Only trapping within scientifically sound parameters is capable of keeping in check the various species of furbearing animals.

As to killing your fish before you clean them - well I don't drag the coyotes around behind my boat with a line hooked to their face, throw them in a box for a few hours, then drag them out and suffocate them for a while before shoving a knife in their forehead like you do with those fish.
Exactly what I was thinking. Ignorance is what has almost ruined trapping. It isn't cruel by any means. What people fail to realize is that animals are not capable of thinking like humans. No matter how smart you think your dog is it does not feel pain like people do or are they capable of the complex thought process associated with it like people are.


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I use conibears, kills them harder and deader, they're not hanging on to this life for but a minute. I, for the most part don't see much sport in shooting a deer at under 100 yards with a 3 to 9 leupold but I do it 6 times a year. I don't do for survival, neather one, I do it because I enjoy useing the out doors.Have you found many full set of bones? Fish, fur or fowl, most all meet a violent death if you want to look at it that way. One more thing, when prices are up, what a kick in the ass.


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If your reading this, try trapperman.com. They don't let PETA in.


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Originally Posted by oldtrapper
I justify it the same way I justify sex.

If you think it's not sporting you may not have tried to get a coyote to put his paw on the two square inches out there that you have in mind - time after time..

I have done some of everything discussed on this board and know trappers to be the cognoscenti of the outdoor world.

Effective trapping is most humane.

It is the hardest way I have ever made a buck but I am quite proud to be a member of the fraternity.


X2
And I am very proud to know the there are trappers like those on this thread who are willing and able to articulate the case for trapping so thoroughly. You have done it extremely well. It is the kind of information that needs to be available to the non-trapping public so they vote based on facts and not on emotion.

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Originally Posted by The_Real_Hawkeye
Not condemning off the bat. I've just never heard the defense of trapping from a sportsman's perspective, i.e., from the perspective of someone who doesn't need to do it for survival or subsistence, or for the purpose of training himself to do so in preparation for that potential need. Seems to me, at first blush (not having heard the argument in defense) that it's not very sporting, and I find it hard to justify causing intense pain to an animal for hours or days on end without a survival requirement. I'm open to the defense, if anyone cares to provide one. It could be that there are facts about it that I have wrong, and once I hear the correction I will feel differently about it.

PS I come to this from the point of view of a hunter whose goal it is to humanely take game, minimizing the suffering of the game animal to whatever extent practical.
I have thought of this question a week after reading it. Trapping isn't a sport, it's about gathering a resource or controlling a problem. That doesn't mean you can't be proud of it. To quote Steelhead "[bleep] a retard may not be sporting, but it is still fun." comes to mind.


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I have thought about this for TWO weeks and hunting is no sport by this definition either, because it is about gathering a resource or controlling a problem. I never had any penchant for mixing and matching mucous membranes with retards but have enjoyed shooting a few cerebrally challenged gophers ---that were a problem.

Sport exists in the mind of the perp.


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Sport exists in the mind of the perp. Roger that.


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People will use this resource the way it's been used for hundreds of years. The market may not look to be needed that much in the US but a lot of the furs get shippped outside. The demand will be there for a very long time. In mid winter it's good for the soul to get out and about. Playing on a web site all day is not for everyone nor is trapping. You could stir the pot by askig how do you justify your own sport.

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Hawkeye,
Although I have never trapped myself, good friends of mine did when I was younger. When you live in the country there are not many ways to earn money when you are a kid. Trapping is a way to get fresh air, a cardio workout, and some money.
Much better than sitting around playing video games or selling drugs on the corner IMO.
My mother in law trapped muskrats when she was a girl.
We still call a trapper to get rid of pesky beavers who dam up the creek and flood our property. It is more efficient to trap fox and coyotes than to try and hunt them. Less richochets too! grin
I see a lot of dead animals on the side of the road but I am not calling on the anti-trappers to stop driving their cars around to save the critters.
Years ago there was a young woman who heard about a trap (shooting) seminar and was going to protest it, but when she found out it was in the evening, she decided it wasn't worth killing all those bugs to drive over there at night! True story! grin grin grin
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Trapping is a way to manage the fur bearing pop. Hunting does the same thing for the deer herd. Just imagine what would happen to those numbers if we couldn't hunt!. I don't trap but I respect those that do!

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Originally Posted by The_Real_Hawkeye
Not condemning off the bat. I've just never heard the defense of trapping from a sportsman's perspective, i.e., from the perspective of someone who doesn't need to do it for survival or subsistence, or for the purpose of training himself to do so in preparation for that potential need. Seems to me, at first blush (not having heard the argument in defense) that it's not very sporting, and I find it hard to justify causing intense pain to an animal for hours or days on end without a survival requirement. I'm open to the defense, if anyone cares to provide one. It could be that there are facts about it that I have wrong, and once I hear the correction I will feel differently about it.

PS I come to this from the point of view of a hunter whose goal it is to humanely take game, minimizing the suffering of the game animal to whatever extent practical.


It prevents over population of some species that can have an adverse effect on people, other animals and the environment.
Muskrats overpopulate and die in huge numbers at times. This then spreads and may kill the majority of rats in a area the size of a county or larger. Beaver also tend to do this as well. Both also damage stream banks, earthen dams, beaver cut peoples trees. Etc.
The Skunk is prime source of rabies as is the Raccoon. So keeping the numbers down helps reduce rabies outbreaks, pet quarantines (can't take your dog out of your county) etc.
And trapping helps pay the bills when the fur price is high enough to make money at it.

Over population of Coyotes is hard on deer, Antelope, domestic sheep and anything else they can kill and eat. Cats, dogs etc. Wolves kill game animals for fun and force others (like Moose) from their winter range where they then perish. This is most common in places like Northern Canada and AK.

I don't hunt or trap for sport really. I eat better if I hunt than if I don't and it provides exercise. You seem to be trying to set a trap for someone who "sport traps".If you don't liek trapping don't read Fur, Fish and Game. Some folks are compelled to trap just as others are compelled to hunt.

Trapping is a game management tool just like hunting.
Yeah, you can use all sorts of killer or immobilize without killing traps. But for some things the leg hold works best. Its actually better for beaver and muskrat in many situations if you know how. Snares or leghold is about the only option for the Coyote. Cats can be caught in almost anything but the live traps that are in use often damage the fur and can cost the hunter/trapper 100s of dollars (on 1 cat) if the price is high.
If you worry about animals suffering think about the "natural" hunters like the wolf. Typically they bite the flank on a running animal and the guts fall out or are pulled out by the next wolf to strike. They then scamper off to kill something else or eat it as it slowly dies of blood loss and shock. Depends on if they are hungry or just partying.
The concern voiced by the animal rights types is just a way to attack the activity. They don't want you harming the furry woodland creatures at all so just like gun control if they win the sportsman loses. When they get done with trappers they will start on someone else and sooner or later they will be knocking on your door for something so quit following their line of thought they are not your friend.
People will attack the trapper but will eat steaks, wear leather shoes and have leather seats in their Caddy SUV.
Never mind the misery the cattle endure over months to supply hamburger and leather.
Its all Bull*hit intended to infringe *your* liberty in some form or another in the name of some cause that makes someone a LOT of money by skimming donations via large salaries. Ever see PETA paying to feed starving elk or deer? Ever see them spend money to improve habitat? They just want to keep the bleeding heart dollars rolling in. The animals are just a means to an end.
So the next time you see some bleeding heart ad on TV think about the dollars rolling in. Like PT Barnum said, there is one born every second and there is always someone with a way to relieve the sucker of his extra cash...

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If I could effectively hunt enough (impossible) I wouldn't have to trap.

You do realize they have traps that kill right away right ?

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The question is loaded. It declares as a premise that trappers are unjust.

The word "sportsman" is defined in Websters as "a man who is interested in or takes part in sports, esp. in hunting and fishing." The definition is void of any moral or ethical connotation. The antis would have you believe differently. They abuse the word for emotional effect. "So, you kill animals and you declare yourself a SPORTSMAN..justify that!" Huh??

"Trapper" is defined as "a person who traps; esp one who traps furbearing animals for their skins." Again, the definition is void of any moral or ethical connotation.

The word "justification" is defined as "1) to show to be just, right, or in accord with reason; vindicate 2) to supply good or lawful grounds for; warrant 3) to free from blame; declare guiltless; absolve." Ahh, there it is! Look at all those uncomfortable words that are immediately associated with "trapping." Insert hunting, fishing, Hummers..anything you are opposed to will do, it results in the same emotional effect, which is a compelling urge on the part of the reader to "defend" his or her actions.

It's a clever play on words and emotions. If you answer the question, you admit that trapping requires justification, when in reality it requires no justification at all.

Which reminds me, I still have a weasel in my freezer that needs skinning :-)





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Quite simply, I don't feel the need to justify trapping at all. It is a needed management tool. Russ

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Sitka is like that, grin !

Edited to add: I see a 'sporting' element when it comes to praticing and learning woodmanship. Involves a different kind of capture or kill though.

Ethical trappers strive to make the catch as humane as possible. At least it is directly more humane to take a surplus, than would be parvo, rabies, tuberculosis, mange, starvation, distemper, road kills and so forth. Which by the way usually involves greater numbers within the effected species.

I would also like to see some kind of enviro impact data from PETA, HSUS and the other flakes, how many furbearers are 'displaced' by their wearing of synthetic clothing.

e.g. How many muskrats are displaced by snythetics, a shopping mall, parking lot, suburb, office site, etc.

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Why do I have to justify anything? How do you justify not trapping? Your question by it's very nature is loaded and prejudiced. How do you justify buying supermarket food? How do you justify having a television? How do you justify football? What about having a beer? justify that. Justify buying a cup of coffe from starbucks? The answer in nutshell, because it's fun, It's a great way to be in tune with the world around you. It's a great way to control the predator population. It's a great way to control the varmit population. It's a great way to spend time with your kids in the outdoors. It teaches them to be responsible, timely and thorough. It gives them a work ethic and helps ground them in reality. It teaches them about life and death. It's profitable and enjoyable. If you want an example of real pain and suffering turn on your TV and watch Spongebob or Ed, Ed and Eddie. That's cruel.


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Originally Posted by rosco1
I haven't read through all the replies, so I will no doubt be repeating a few things.

There are alot of hunters that are against trapping, I think its because they are just ignorant as to how its done.

Forget the pictures you see of the steel trap with the teeth, they are not used, and are illegal. the modern trapper uses an offset jaw, meaning they do not close all the way. Another myth is that trapped animals will chew their leg off, HOGWASH. if a trapper is having this happen, its his fault, and he needs to set his traps up properly. a trap needs to have plenty of swivel action so the animal cannot get tangled up and apply pressure, causing cutting and a possible broken leg. Any trapper that is not a slob has his traps set up to keep the animal as comfortable as possible.contrary to popular belief, the trap is not designed to slam home with such a force that it will break bone,or even cut the skin. if it were I would have no hands left! yes, I catch my hand in traps every year, it isn't a major ordeal, never broke anything or even bleed.

As a management tool, trapping is very humane. How you may ask? well, have you ever seen mange?distemper?rabies? trust me, trapping is a much more humane than mother natures way of population control.and these horrible diseases will take hold if population numbers go unchecked. As a trapper, I do not go out with the ambition of wiping out an area, for one it would be impossible, two, where would I go next year? for me and every trapper I know, we take a certain amount from an area and move on. Doing this actually helps the overall population, sure it isn't good for the ones who get killed, but the ones that are left have less competition for food and territory, which leads to a healthier overall population.

As for not being "sporting" have you ever tried narrowing the most cunning animals (which preditors are) world down to a two inch trap pan?

Trappers have more knowledge of all game and their habit's and habitat. they understand all game the way most big game hunters can only dream of.


I could not agree more with this statement; natures way of dealing with disease is not pretty at all. There are no "animals pharmacies" in the woods for these animals to visit when they get a stuffy nose or worse. I grew up watching my Dad trap as a wildlife officer. The damage that muskrats can do to a farmers pond is unbelievable or the dmage done to crops by raccoons is equal to the damage done by bears or deer damage. Watching foxes suffer from the mange is heart wretching enough and you just want to end their suffering with a bullet.
Dad's trapping was also part of his job and back then, a bounty was placed on the furs by the state. That extra money helped put food on the table and clothes on our backs. I didn't forget that then and I still haven't forgot it! Trapping to me is no different then hunting, just different tools but the ethics with the sport still determine if we are sportsmen or just another group of cave dwellers. I like to believe that my respect for the trapper is one of ethical belief.


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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
"How do you justify trapping"

Been thinking about this and decided I want to change my answer... I do not justify trapping. There is simply no need to defend something as basic as using renewable resources.
art


EXACTLY - your a fing genuis. It is the natural order.


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Aw shucks! But yeah, you must be right! wink
art (stubs toe in dirt and looks all modest and stuff)


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Come on, be honest. Being a f'ing genius is pretty standard stuff amongst trappers. ;-{>


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You have a point... wink


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well i will not try to justify trapping but my trapping consit of problem removal i use lef hold traps for predators but my favorit it the god old snare they are cheap and i can put them out everywhere and forget about them my thought when the critters cost me money i will take care of that problem but shoo iam a member of the nra and think we should keep out guns to protect us against corrupt government also. will also state when i pay property tax on this place it noneof you business how i control my predators and problem animals be it a house cat or puma or crow

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I think 1912 just proved you two wrong... whistle

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Originally Posted by ranger1
I think 1912 just proved you two wrong... whistle



Eloquently spoken isn't he? I hope he ain't breeding.

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I think he is pretty sharp for 98 years old.


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Originally Posted by Sitka deer
"How do you justify trapping"

I do not justify trapping.
There is simply no need to defend something as basic as using a renewable resources.
art


+1


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Originally Posted by greenbelly
I use conibears, kills them harder and deader, they're not hanging on to this life for but a minute. I, for the most part don't see much sport in shooting a deer at under 100 yards with a 3 to 9 leupold but I do it 6 times a year. I don't do for survival, neather one, I do it because I enjoy useing the out doors.Have you found many full set of bones? Fish, fur or fowl, most all meet a violent death if you want to look at it that way. One more thing, when prices are up, what a kick in the ass.


Agreed 100%. Mother nature is a real bitch. Ever see a wolf or coyote hamstring a deer and eat it hind end forward while it's still alive. And they say a critter in a leg hold is cruel.


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I trap in wa, state. Mostly for beaver damage controll. Using conabear traps that kill instantly,
I have a nucence license, But I also trap for sport . There is allot of knowledge and pitting yourself against a very cunning animal that makes it very enjoyable.
Besides coyoties are far from indangerd...

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Originally Posted by oldtrapper
I have thought about this for TWO weeks and hunting is no sport by this definition either, because it is about gathering a resource or controlling a problem. I never had any penchant for mixing and matching mucous membranes with retards but have enjoyed shooting a few cerebrally challenged gophers ---that were a problem.

Sport exists in the mind of the perp.


A little late responding to this (okay, a lot late), but I have been trapping for almost 40 years. I think I may have given the wrong impression. My point was that primal, basic things can be rewarding without having to justify them as "sporting".


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Great! We both justify it the same way we justify sex. ;-{>


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