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This is in response to the endorsement of trapping by The Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society. On August 24, 2006 in official correspondence to the U.S Forest Service, the Montana Chapter of TWS submitted for the public record about wilderness areas the following;

“Some predator control methods (particularly poisons and/or traps using baits) are difficult to use in a manner that accurately targets one particular species, let alone individual offending animals. Given that many of our threatened and endangered species (and other species of management concern) are predators and thus susceptible to baited control mechanisms, the use of such indiscriminate methods should be outright prohibited, but at the very least must be closely scrutinized on a case by case basis.”

Please tell me how recreational trapping outside of wilderness areas by anyone is more reliable in trapping the correct species? They are not. And we all know this. Just pay $20 and go put a potentially lethal weapon in the forest to injure or kill any living thing that happens to come by. I guess the only animals that matter live in the wilderness areas. The “incidental captures,” including people's dogs, don’t measure up for protection from “indiscriminate methods” of injury or death. I know my dog does not deserve to die from recreating in the forest. What about your dog?

In a two-page resolution on February 28, 2008, the “MT Chapter of The Wildlife Society agreed to promote the seven principles described in the North American Model of wildlife conservation as the proper tool for the discharge of wildlife policy; and recognizes hunting as a legitimate tool for wildlife management.” No mention of the word trapping in this entire resolution. And the fourth principle states, “The single most important element in the code was the requirement of non-commercial use, without waste, of all game killed. The concept of a sportsman can be summarized as one who, when hunting game:

• does so primarily for the pursuit or chase;

• affords game a “sporting” chance (fair chase);

• seeks knowledge of nature and the habits of animals;

• derives no financial profit from game killed;

• will inflict no unnecessary pain or suffering on game; and

• will not waste any game that is killed.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. I never realized I was being taught all these concepts by my dad, uncles, cousins, and friends at hunting camp. Trapping violates at least 4 or 5 of these 6 concepts. Don’t confuse hunting with trapping. I knew what I was going to kill when I hunted.

All hunters and dog owners should vote for I-177. Stop the unnecessary pain and suffering of targeted and non-targeted game animals by traps for profit that affords no fair chase.

— Richard Penhaligen, Butte, hunter and dog owner


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