Two Iron Range men charged with setting 600-plus illegal traps

Wire snares are cable loops, usually set close to the ground and attached to a tree or branch that trap animals around the neck as they pass through the loop. (Photo by Greg Kaiser)

Two men from Minnesota’s Iron Range have been charged with illegally setting more than 600 wire snare traps in what Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials are calling one of the state’s biggest trapping cases, according to multiple reports.

Roderick Robert Kottom, 68, and Douglas Anthony Marana, 70, both of Chisholm in northeastern Minnesota, were charged Monday in St. Louis District Court with four counts of illegal trapping.

The case has been two years in the making, according to the reports, and records show Kottom has had trapping-related run-ins with the state going all the way back to 2004. Just months ago, in January,  investigators seized more than 600 illegal snares on trap lines set by Marana and Kottom — across St. Louis, Itasca, Koochiching and Lake counties. Reports say their traps snared a wolf, a deer, foxes, even dogs.

According to the reports, both were charged with illegally taking/possessing pine marten, otter, fisher or wolverine — a gross misdemeanor; using snares that were too big and failing to check traps daily — both misdemeanors; and untagged traps/snares — a petty misdemeanor. If convicted, the gross misdemeanor potentially carries both prison time — up to a year — and a fine of up to $3,000. The two are reportedly to appear in court again April 13.

For more on the story, see next week’s issue of Minnesota Outdoor News.

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