Anti-trapping organizations are adapting

Full disclosure, I first set traps to catch muskrat almost 50 years ago and I’m still a trapper.

Besides being a trapper, at least according to most animal welfare extremists, I’m a cruel, heartless individual who is at the peak of happiness when drenched in animal blood and watching raccoons, coyotes, beavers and other animals being slowly tortured to death.

The anti-trapping crowd may believe that but, thankfully, few others do. The organized groups that once led legislative agendas trying for outright bans on trapping in many states have generally (not totally) lost – time and again.

They’ve not changed their minds, they’ve changed their tactics.

Instead of going for total bans, they now push “tiny” changes through the regulatory process. The regulations change only the size of traps, or the times trappers can be active. They restrict the types of bait allowed or the time of day trappers need to check their catches. Each time they nibble around the edges of trapping restrictions, they win a little and trappers lose a little.

One of the ploys now being used by the antis is promoting restrictions on trapping activity in areas where there’s the slightest chance endangered or threatened species might be found.

Several years ago, a friend of mine who works for the Michigan DNR encountered a wolverine near where he works in east-central Michigan. No one, to my knowledge, has seen one since, but had that been today, you can bet the anti-trapping groups would be in court challenging current trapping regulations that could accidentally capture a wayward wolverine.

Across the upper portion of the USA, lynx seem to be moving down from Canada in increasing numbers and anti-trapping groups are using this as a ploy to start court battles aimed at eliminating the tools, times and methods northern trappers have been using for more than a century.

They’ve learned to use the courts instead of the legislatures to fight their battles.

I encourage everyone, whether you set traps or not, to support state and national trapping groups that are always at the forefront to fight back the antis. The antis will never be satisfied. All sportsmen should be ever vigilant.

Categories: Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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