About the Study Guide

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The future of trapping depends on public acceptance. If the public thinks trappers are irresponsible or inhumane, all trapping could be outlawed.

Respect the furbearer

Learn as much as you can about furbearers by spending as much time as possible in the field. Preseason scouting can be enjoyable and helpful. Scouting gives you a chance to study furbearer population signs, activities, travel routes, and feeding areas. When you take the time to learn more about furbearers, you show your respect for this natural resource. You also are likely to improve your trapping results.

  • Never make more sets than you can handle. Too many sets can lead to sloppy trap tending. Having a few well-made sets results in better catches than having many poorly made sets.
  • Always bed your traps properly. This helps with humane treatment of the trapped furbearer.
  • Check traps at least once a day. Early morning is the best time to run your trapline. Many furbearing animals are more active at night and likeliest to be trapped at that time. Prompt collection of any trapped furbearers is humane and ethical.
  • Protect animal welfare by using the correct trap types and sizes, proper sets, and submersion sets whenever possible.
  • Stake foothold traps and cable devices so that your catch cannot become entangled in another object. Also clear the area near the trap, including trimming shrubbery or trees if the landowner permits you to do so.
  • Use as much of your catch as you can, including the fur, the meat (in some cases), and other usable parts.
  • Minimize your impact on wildlife habitats. Try not to destroy living plants to make sets. Don't drive your vehicle off-road where you might damage habitat.