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Alpine, Wyoming Men Sited for Trapping Violations

Two Alpine men cited for trapping violations

Game and Fish investigation launched after Red Top resident’s dog was caught in snare.

Wyoming Game and Fish officials cited two men for setting game traps along Fall Creek Road that caught two pet dogs.

Alpine residents and roommates Harold Buckner, 51, and Richard Permann, 48, were hit with two charges each after an investigation wrapped up last week.

Game and Fish charged Buckner with trapping while his hunting privileges were suspended, according to the citation. He was also cited for attempting to take wildlife from a public roadway.

Permann was charged with attempting to take wildlife from a public roadway and with being an accessory before or after the fact to “trapping under suspension.”

The investigation of Buckner and Permann’s trapline, set in places less than 30 feet off Fall Creek Road, was spurred when Red Top Meadows resident April North was on a Nov. 22 walk in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, less than a half mile from her home, with four dogs.

Two of the pooches, Asha, North’s own dog, and Story, a friend’s pup, were caught in snare and foothold traps.

North, a St. John’s Medical Center physician, rushed one of the dogs to the vet after failing to remove the trap. Neither dog sustained serious injury.

North is glad Buckner and Permann are facing charges.

“Game and Fish did their due diligence and did a pretty thorough investigation,” she said.

“My goal is to have a little bit of closure along Fall Creek Road, where it would be closed to trapping,” North said. “This is a step toward that closure.”

Because trapping a pet is not illegal, the Alpine men did not face charges relating to snaring Story and Asha. Trappers who accidentally catch and injure a “game animal, game bird, protected animal or raptor” must notify law enforcement, according to the Game and Fish Commission’s fur-bearing rules. Pets, however, are not listed in the rule.

Roger Hayden, executive director of the newly formed Wyoming Untrapped, said his group is advocating for the closure of trapping areas in heavily used parts of Jackson Hole.

“We encourage the Forest Service to look into areas where there is a lot of recreation and there is a potential for this happening again,” Hayden said.

“My understanding is the Forest Service would need to make a significant case to propose a closure,” he said. “It’s a pretty big deal to close an area [to trapping].”

Buckner faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to a year in jail. If convicted, he could have his hunting privileges suspended up to six additional years. Permann could receive the same if convicted of being an accessory.

The men are scheduled to appear before Circuit Court Judge James Radda at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 30.

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