Trapping Reform in Wyoming

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The Truth

A Trapper's Story

Since Wyoming Untrapped was founded, we have been privileged to make new friends who have mentored us through a learning curve that started from the ground up. We continue to learn more each day, and we hope our statements are always the truth as we understand it. We pride ourselves on the trust we have built on this dedicated journey, and we have nourished friendships and partnerships that we can trust as well. The letter below was written to WU by a longtime friend that we respect and trust. He shares from years of trapping experience…he knows the truth.

…As a man living the life of a trapper – now, I find solace in watching animal families, beaver, coyotes, wolves, you name it, go about their lives undisturbed by humans.

The following letter was written to Wyoming Untrapped by a respected and trusted friend. He shares from years of trapping experience...he knows the truth.

I admire you for pursuing the trapping and snaring issue. I probably should do more but am still thinking of the best way to do and say something…….

I think you are dead on target by what you state. Wildlife management, back in my day and before, attracted the hunters, trappers and fisherman – the “hands-on” kind of people that grew up in the most rural environments. That was my exposure to nature, guns, and traps being a significant influence. No other way to state it, “it was fun” to hunt, trap and fish – other kids and adults admired a successful sportsman, the family benefited from the food brought home and a kid/adult experienced a financial incentive by selling the byproducts and the proceeds were significant in those days – you could actually fill your gas tank with money left over!

I’m still in deep thought about another book to express my feelings. I’ve changed tremendously from those days. One question I would ask promoters of trapping and snaring – “would you be comfortable taking someone who has never trapped or snared along with you to check those devices? I don’t mean the sterilized version – get up early and check traps EACH morning. I’m talking the NORMAL version – put out a long trap and snare line and let them “sit” for several days or a week or more and then go visit the carnage. I can’t put it in words the carnage that I have witnessed – a trapper cannot help but cause indescribable pain, misery, and suffering to target and non-target animals (on land especially). Though some traps and snares are designed for instant or rapid death, more times than not it doesn’t work that way. In my life of trapping there were many, many times that I was thankful no one was around – in fact, I operated alone 99 percent of the time because I didn’t want anyone experiencing the events of the day. (I have never used snares – only as foot snares to capture bears or to test the Belise snare traps in France). Touting the modern version of traps and trap designs is fine but in reality, any improvements to foothold traps are negated IF you don’t check traps daily – the traps may be improved to cause less injury but NO trap or snare is designed to prevent pain, fear, and suffering by holding a wild animal by compression or depriving them of water – let alone taking away their freedom. At that point, a trapper is RESIGNED to the task of putting the animal out of their miserable situation.

Thank you for addressing this painful issue. Wildlife Services appears to be like all of our other cultural institutions – keep the “mountain man” exploitation gene alive! As a man living the life of a trapper – now, I find solace in watching animal families, beaver, coyotes, wolves, you name it, go about their lives undisturbed by humans. Looking back I’m sorry but I was a product of the times and environment I grew up in – I didn’t know different or any better. No excuses.

Please keep up the pressure and I sincerely hope I can do more…..

Bobcat image in YNP on the Madison River.
Courtesy of @suecedarholm


  • Alex Viechec

    I appreciate this reformed-trapper’s testimony. It is refreshing to hear some honest truth from that side, but really it just confirms what most of us know already, and the pro-trappers will just claim ‘fake news’ as usual. Oh, and pull the conservation card to justify their cruelty for fun. That’s what it ultimately comes down to.

    • Wyoming Untrapped

      We understand your viewpoint which could be right. However, the reality is that we have had very little push back from trappers on this testimony, or any accusations of fake news. When trappers begin to speak the “truth”, it is a “true” sign of a shift from the status quo. Along with fur sales, trapping is fading…that is the good news. Thanks for sharing…your feedback is invaluable.

  • Roger Stacey

    Thank God that people are finally coming to realize the horror of fur trapping. I’m not a trapper but my father was and I witnessed just how cruel trapping is. I remember a raccoon that had almost eaten it’s leg in two in it’s panic to be free. Later on in life I was hiking and saw a wild cat that somehow didn’t see me . He seemed so at peace in the early morning light.If only we could learn to experience the joy and peace that animals know. Some days later at that same spot I found a skinned carcass of what may have been the same animal. There was something ineffably sad about the pitiful remains of a creature that had loved life as much as any human being. With the many synthetic fabrics there is no justification for the taking of fur any longer. Trapping is still widespread but growing public awareness will bring about it’s demise. It can’t happen soon enough.

  • Debbie Turner

    Trapping is cruel. That’s not the reason God put them here. Please 🛑

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