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Course Outline

To be an ethical trapper, you should:

  • Be conservation-minded, using cable devices only in areas with surplus animals.
  • Respect private property by always asking the landowner for permission to set cable devices on their property.
  • Check your cable devices frequently, preferably in the morning, to minimize the time an animal is in the cable device. Dispatch captured target animals humanely.
  • Trap responsibly by always using the most selective and humane methods, traps, and sets for your target. Always include your contact information on your sets.
  • Use all products from trapped wildlife to the extent possible, and dispose of unused carcasses and by-products properly.
  • Cooperate with state fish and wildlife agencies by assisting agency staff with data collection and other requests.
  • Promptly report any wildlife issues, such as disease, fish kills, and pollution.
  • Obey all trapping laws and regulations, and support their strict enforcement.
  • Train new trappers by becoming a mentor to help with the recruitment, growth, and development of new, ethical trappers.
  • Respect other trappers by not tampering with their equipment or sets.

Where Can I Learn More?

Learning to use cable devices correctly can be a complex and sometimes difficult process.

  • The best way to increase both your success and your confidence is to learn firsthand from an experienced trapper. For some people, this may be a close friend or a relative; for others, however, it may require contacting a local sporting club or trapper’s association to find a mentor.
  • Many additional resources are available online from the trapping industry, state wildlife agencies, and other conservation organizations.
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