Friday, January 27th, 2023
Friday, January 27th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Trapping always in the crosshairs

Steve PiattIn another month or so New York Outdoor News will produce its annual issue with a special focus on trapping, which just about any sportsman would see as a legitimate wildlife management tool. Fortunately the state of New York does, too, and each year thousands of trappers catch furbearers like beaver, mink, muskrat and fisher and control their numbers. In particular, their beaver-trapping efforts offer welcome relief to municipalities and private property owners who are well aware of the damage they can cause.

But not everyone feels the same way about trapping; trappers have a seemingly never-ending battle in defending their activities, as detractors ignore sound wildlife biology and logic in railing against trapping.

Here are some of trapping's biggest opponents, courtesy of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, which generated the list in a recent news release:

  • Sierra Club: Its own official statement boldly opposes any and all trapping, calling it "ecologically indsicriminate and unnecessarily inhumane." That was enough to earn the Sierra Club the No. 1 spot on the list.
  • PETA: No surprise here, since these whack jobs even have a problem with sportfishing.
  • Humane Society of the United States: Another radical group, this one labels trapping as wildlife abuse.
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Its website states its opposition to trapping, which is no surprise, since the ASPCA also opposes hunting.
  • Defenders of Wildlife: New Yorkers have dealt with these folks during their efforts to restore wolves to the Adirondacks. Not surprisingly, they oppose both trapping and hunting.
  • Born Free USA: Another group that's way out there in its beliefs, calling trapping barbaric but also going so far as to help cover veterinarian costs for wildlife caught in traps.
  • In Defense of Animals: This group works to raise funds used to oppose trapping, and even makes a push to get anti-trapping info into public libraries.
  • Animal Welfare Institute: Filed a lawsuit in 2008 to stop fox and coyote trapping in Maine under the guise of protecting Canada lynx.
  • Center for Biological Diversity: Much of their efforts have focused on the West, as its members worked to stop wolf trapping and hunting in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
  • Footloose Montana: Its name says it all; they've thus far have launched into the wolf-trapping fight and have also sought to end trapping on public lands. Not a group that's very popular with the locals who have seen elk and cattle numbers dwindle.

Fortunately, the state DEC sees trapping for exactly what it is: a viable wildlife management tool in New York that's vital in keeping furbearer numbers in check.

But it's a constant battle for trappers in New York and everywhere.

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