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Old November 29, 2012, 04:18 PM   #1
MLeake
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Check traps, please

Just a quick reminder, if you have traps set, please check them daily.

One of my dogs got loose the other day, and my wife could not find her. Turned out she wandered into a Department of Conservation hunting area, and found a couple bobcat jaw traps. Got caught by her left front paw in one, and her right rear in another.

She spent three days in those traps, before the trapper came by to check his line.

I'm not trying to make a huge stink - it isn't his fault my dog got into his trap line, and his girlfriend found my wife's number on our dog's tag, and called my wife.

BUT, whether it's somebody's dog, or a bobcat, or a coyote, it's really bad form to let any animal spend multiple days caught in a trap. If you are going to set traps, please check them.
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:37 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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I agree.

My FIL almost wound up in jail when one of my MILs favorite cats ended up in a trap. That trapper was so scared I wouldn't be surprised if he never set another one.

Is the dog OK?
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Old November 29, 2012, 04:38 PM   #3
buck460XVR
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In Wisconsin traps must be checked daily. Even if it were not the law, ethically it should be done daily. Good reason for you to raise a big stink. If one is trapping for pelts as in the case of your bobcat trapper, not checking your sets for three days generally would mean the pelt is wrecked. Hope the dog is okay.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:04 PM   #4
MLeake
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Dog is surprisingly well. Temps dropped to about 12 during the nights she was trapped, so she must have shivered herself silly. When my wife got her home (by way of the vet, of course - my wife is an RN and former vet tech and pre-vet major, so she's very health-conscious), the dog was so tired that she dropped on one of the dog beds in the kitchen, and didn't try to go upstairs to the bedroom for about a day.

I am pleasantly surprised, too, that she didn't get eaten while trapped - especially since she was caught in two traps, so she couldn't even pivot - and there are obviously bobcats in the area, not to mention at least two coyote packs, plus the occasional wandering cougar.

Insult to injury, according to the trapper's girlfriend, the trapper almost shot the dog, because when he approached her she hackled up and growled. The girlfriend intervened and sweet-talked the dog; they both realized how friendly she actually is once they got her unhooked, and the girlfriend told my wife it was difficult to give the dog up, after being around her for only a couple hours.

While I am not going to blame the guy for having trapped the dog, I would have gone ballistic if he'd shot my trapped dog. What about calling Animal Control or the Sheriff's department, or DOC? Seriously, there would have been very bad blood if that had happened...

As usual, this kind of thing happens when I'm in Afghanistan.

But the dog is home, healthy, and happy. My wife is happy - which is her normal state. She cried every day that dog was missing, which was made worse by the fact that I am not home.

I'll be home in a couple weeks, though. The wife and the dogs are due to get spoiled a bit.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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You've been gone a while, I'm sure the wife has plans for you too.
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Old November 30, 2012, 01:54 AM   #6
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I have not trapped in years but it sounds the same. I checked every day and worked nights so that way I did not have to check until about 9:00 AM. That way I could release all the dogs that people let run all over the place before they went to work. I caught one lady's English Sheepdog twice. We were not friends. One morning I saw it hit along a road. I could have predicted that coming. I have always had dogs, but I kept them home where they belonged. Maybe you should try that. I released dogs and some cats with a snare stick but you are really taking a chance with uncollard dogs and scruffy cats. Cats are a high carrier of rabies in this state.
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:45 PM   #7
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Um, keep yer dogs on yer land, bottom line. Rental neighbors got a dog runs my steers, told him he best keep it locked up or I was gonna kill it. Well that dog isnt around anymore, he calls 911 gets a ticket too for letting his dog run loose. Hate to do that but I dont need a steer breaking a leg, it is worth a bit of cash to me.

Its up to you to take care of your own pets, not the trapper, you are lucky he didnt shoot it and leave it there. Many would have.
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Old November 30, 2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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I have dogs and like mine a lot, I even carry insurance on them. I understand that sometimes they get out. We even pad lock our kennels and once in a while they still figure out how to escape, so I understand it happens. But blaming the trapper is not the right thing. If he had shot your dog I would feel bad for you, but he trapper can only do so much. most are not worth getting bit over.
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Old November 30, 2012, 04:25 PM   #9
MLeake
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For one thing, I said in the OP that it was our fault the dog got into the trap, not the trapper's, so Thanks Captain Obvious awards to the last few posters. The dogs being loose was a sore spot between me and the wife, in fact. She believed, for whatever reason, they would stay on our acreage, and a friendly neighbor's adjoining land. I think she accepts my argument, now. I plan to install invisible fence when I get home, to prevent future repeats.

That does not relieve the trapper of the moral obligation to check live traps much more frequently. In some states, that obligation is legal as well as moral - I am not sure about Missouri, because I don't trap. Friends from other states do, and have apprised me of some of their regs as an FYI.

For another thing, the dogs are collared, tagged, and microchipped.

Last, grubbylabs, he didn't have to risk getting bit - he could have just called Animal Control. Shooting a trapped dog would have been unnecessary and, as noted, the traps were on public land, not the trapper's property.
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Old November 30, 2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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I am not sure about where you live but around here, getting animal control to do any thing other than collect a pay check is pretty tough. Let alone go get a dog in a rural area.

It usually does not make a difference if it is public or not, we had a similar situation here not long ago and a dog was shot while in a trap. The dog was found a while later, the dog owner and a few of the community were out to lynch the trapper but the county and city said their was nothing they could do, the trapper was legally in the right.

I am not trying to sound confrontational about it, so please don't take me the wrong way. I know how people get about their dogs, I sell and train enough of them.

I just don't want people passing blame where it is not deserved. Dogs behave very differently when they are lost, injured or trapped let a lone when they are all three at once. I would not want someone to get bit by one of my dogs. I would rather see any of my dogs put down than a person bit.
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:12 PM   #11
buck460XVR
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Quote:
we had a similar situation here not long ago and a dog was shot while in a trap. The dog was found a while later, the dog owner and a few of the community were out to lynch the trapper but the county and city said their was nothing they could do, the trapper was legally in the right.
......around here, you shoot someone's dog, it better have it's teeth on your throat and not be stuck in your traps. There are huge fines and even prison sentences in the local paper every month about this kinda animal abuse. A good friend of mine works at the local vet's office and they treat dogs than have been shot as a crime and they and the local autorities go out of their way to find the person responsible. If that dog stuck in your trap has a collar and a tag on it, it is someone's pet and there are many ways to safely release that animal without getting bit. It ain't rocket science. If the dog is already dead, due to exposure or it being a conibear, you best call a warden or animal control to verify it. You also best hope the owner is happy enough to get their dog back, that they don't make you pay for the vet bills.
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:44 PM   #12
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buck460XVR, where do you live?

Wyoming law (W.S. 11-31-301) spells out that any dog at large is a public nuisance. Thew owner can be fined and the dog can be shot.

I have had dogs escape and it isn't a good feeling. I am glad the OP got his dog back and it is OK, I am sure he didn't need the worry it was causing his family. His deployment is more than enough worry for them already.

That being said, I strongly feel that a dog owner has the responsibility to keep his animal at home at ALL TIMES! (I have been guilty of breaking this rule before), but I would never have thought to blame anyone else for my negligence.

Glad it all worked out.
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Old November 30, 2012, 06:46 PM   #13
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......around here, you shoot someone's dog, it better have it's teeth on your throat and not be stuck in your traps. There are huge fines and even prison sentences in the local paper every month about this kinda animal abuse. A good friend of mine works at the local vet's office and they treat dogs than have been shot as a crime and they and the local autorities go out of their way to find the person responsible. If that dog stuck in your trap has a collar and a tag on it, it is someone's pet and there are many ways to safely release that animal without getting bit. It ain't rocket science. If the dog is already dead, due to exposure or it being a conibear, you best call a warden or animal control to verify it. You also best hope the owner is happy enough to get their dog back, that they don't make you pay for the vet bills.
This kind of foolish mentality is exactly why I live where I do.

Do people get emotionally attached to dogs and cats? Yes they do, but at the end of the day, they are not a human and ultimately it is their owners responsibility to make sure they are safe. In our state game wardens have the ability to shoot stray animals that are out on public land, and if they are even mildly suspicious that the animal is harassing wild life they will. In our state trappers have the right and ability to dispatch animals in their traps, domestic or wild.

Look I don't like to see people loose their animals, but I don't think it is right that someone else has to some how become responsible because the pet owner had a problem. Would I be sad if someone shot my favorite dog? heck ya but am I going to blame them if my dog was somewhere it was not supposed to be? No after all who is ultimately responsible for that dog? Me and only me, no one else, its my fault.

And if his wife was indeed letting the dog run loose, then she is to blame for what happened not the trapper, he even admits and understands that. They are lucky the trapper and his wife were able to rescue the dog.
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Old November 30, 2012, 08:23 PM   #14
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I am glad things worked out in this case. Also thank you for your service and please come home safe.I also agree that the owners are utimately responsible for the animal. But I can tell you if you shoot my dog with out a lifethreating(meaning your life was in danger) reason. I would kill you. Period. I am not being dramatic, just telling you the truth. Here in Texas you can shoot a animal that is harrasing livestock. But I can tell you if you shot a guys dog because he was merley chasing your cattle. I would sleep with one eye open forever.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:02 PM   #15
grubbylabs
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To the OP, I am sorry this thread is headed down hill. You are right, trappers should check their traps regularly. It just makes sense no matter how you look at it. I truly am glad your dog was returned safe and sounds like it will make a full recovery.

Most of all I am grateful for your service. I hope that you not only make it home safe, but that you are able to resume as normal a life as possible. My hart aches for those who struggle when they get home. Good luck and be safe.
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:32 PM   #16
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I have a pure bred GSP and prolly over 10K invested in him. In a dark time of my life it was him that helped me make it through. So in essence he saved my life. I stand by what I said. I would smile everyday in that jailcell, sir.
Hell he works harder than 47% of Americans.
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Old December 1, 2012, 04:16 AM   #17
MLeake
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grubbylabs, thank you.

To better describe the area, on my side of the currently shallow river there are primarily farms and acreages. Ours, at 15 acres, is one of the smaller places. It is very rural.

On the other side of the river is where the village lies. The DOC hunting area is only about a half mile from a residential neighborhood. Getting sheriffs or DOC officers out there isn't really a major challenge.

If this had occurred way out in the sticks, I could see where the trapper might feel his options were more limited with regard to how to handle a dog. Where this did occur, shooting the dog would have been completely unnecessary.

Again, please note that nowhere do I fault the trapper for having caught my dog. Not his fault, at all.

But, he really should check his traps at least daily. It is not right to leave a bobcat, coyote, raccoon, skunk, snake, fill in the blank in a trap for days at a time. The fact that this happened to my dog sucks, but the only part for which I blame the trapper is the duration for which ANY animal, in this case mine, was stuck in his line.

Somehow, that has turned into people telling me I need (or in my absence, my wife needs) to control my dog - which I acknowledged from the outset. This has also turned into a risk to trapper vs shooting dog argument, but like I said in this instance the traps were near a residential area, and a DOC station, and not far off the normal sheriff's patrol routes. So, the trapper did not have to expose himself to any risk, by any realistic measure, while still not shooting a trapped dog.

Next thing I know, somebody will produce an argument about cost of his time, or loss of potential trapped pelts, to which I would offer two responses:

1) I'd have paid to replace damaged traps, if they had been damaged; I'd have paid for time lost, if he'd had to spend time tracking down my wife and it had cost him out of pocket; if he had checked his traps on day 1, instead of day 3, I'd probably have offered him a reward.

2) I can't say I'd worry about potential loss of pelts, if the guy is only checking his traps at 3 day or greater intervals. Either he doesn't expect to find any, or else the bobcats will be dead and rotting before he finds them.

But going back to my original point, it is wrong to leave any animal in a trap for that long. Period.
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Old December 1, 2012, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Wildlife must be removed or released from traps daily; except for colony and killing-type traps, which must be checked every 48 hours.
Here's an exert from the Missouri trapping regulations, it's very plain to see that not only morally but from a legal aspect the trapper is in violation of running a trap line.

As for killing the dog, if the trapper had done so, the trapper would have been in violation of Missouri law.
You can not kill a dog in Missouri for just being on your property in traps or other wise.

As for releasing the dog from the traps without getting bit, thats not that hard to do.
A cover garment of some kind thrown over the dog and wrapping the dogs head will keep the dog from biting you.

Glad to here the dog was released from the traps and the wife and dog is doing fine.

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Old December 1, 2012, 11:24 AM   #19
buck460XVR
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Wyoming law (W.S. 11-31-301) spells out that any dog at large is a public nuisance. Thew owner can be fined and the dog can be shot.
Quote:
In our state trappers have the right and ability to dispatch animals in their traps, domestic or wild.
Wyoredman and grubbylabs, while I don't make the laws in Wisconsin concerning dogs, it's still hard for me to justify killing a dog just because it's owner is negligent. Over the many years I trapped, I never caught a domestic dog. Maybe it's because I made sets in places and ways that made it hard for dogs to get trapped, or maybe I was just lucky. Those folks that I know that did catch dogs, usually didn't catch much else.......catch my drift? These were the same type of folks that didn't check their trap-line religiously. In Wisconsin a warden can dispose of a dog chasing wildlife too, but a civilian cannot. They can to protect domestic animals or when a human may be endangered, but because of folks in the past killing dogs just for being in the woods by themselves, the rules have been tightened. As Bob Hunter and I have both said, releasing a dog from a trap without getting bit is not that hard. A dog in a trap is not a threat to wildlife or the trapper. Shooting someone's pet only because they were not responsible pet owners is kinda a dirtball thing to do. But then the world is full of dirtballs and irresponsible trappers. At least in the OPs case the trapper was not a total loser.
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Old December 2, 2012, 11:33 AM   #20
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I have never shot a dog in my traps, but not difficult to release? Lot of inexperience talking on this page. Throw a coat over their head? Are you nuts? If the dog is not half crazy with fear already that will tip him over the edge. I put my coat over a cat that looked pretty clean (Not ferrel) and it looked like a pillow fight by the time I got him loose. There went my goose down coat. Ever notice how close your face is to a dogs mouth with no snare stick? I remember a dog that looked like it was mixed with a Rottweiler. I went and got my neighbor to help and I used to be a big guy. We got him loose with a snare stick, but it was a fight. Then after he was loose I had to throw stones at him to make him go away. (I already had a dog.) I AM the voice of experience. The trapper is always wrong. The Game Warden always tries to smooth things over with Joe Public, so you are wrong no matter what. I agree, check those traps every day. Only a slob would not because you will lose fur money. I am curious what the reaction would have been if the post was "Keep your dogs at home".
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:07 PM   #21
MLeake
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And yet another one...

Gunplummer, in the OP, and in any given post since, I've acknowledged that the dog should not have been able to get into the trap. I am not happy that my wife allowed the dog to run... that said, it is actually the norm in our area for people to let their dogs run. I am familiar with several of the neighbors' dogs due to that.

I don't worry about bad reactions from the neighbors. I worry about cars and trucks tearing down our country lane at 50mph; I worry about hunters shooting at anything that moves; I worry about packs of coyotes; I worry about rabid critters and venomous snakes. But as far as the people in our area, folks don't worry about dogs so much. There is actually a tradition of farm dogs being loose, to run off predators.

Still, I am more accustomed to suburbs, so I don't like letting mine loose. After this incident, my wife is on board with my take on things.

If you would like to start a thread about keeping dogs at home, go for it. I actually would agree with you, mostly.

But for this particular thread, it's off topic. Please read the following, carefully:

I DO NOT CARE IF YOU HAVE A BADGER, A PYTHON, A BOBCAT, A JABBERWOCK, OR A BANDERSNATCH IN YOUR TRAP - IF YOU LEAVE IT IN A TRAP FOR DAYS AT A TIME, YOU ARE A HORSE'S ASS.

You are also going to give trappers a bad name.

Edit: By the way, Gunplummer, if your only concern about leaving animals stuck in traps is that it's bad for fur, then you are already giving trappers a bad name.
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Old December 2, 2012, 04:26 PM   #22
MLeake
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One other thing...

Gunplummer, I know Bob Hunter personally. In addition to being a ranked competitive shooter and a well-known pistolsmith, Bob is also a long-time hunter and working cowboy.

I would be amazed if you have more experience than him in dealing with any breed of animal, whether game, or horses, cattle, or dogs.

I have a fair amount of experience, myself, at breaking up dog fights at parks (other owners' dogs; mine have never been the types to start or get into fights), and at catching stray dogs.

So I'd be careful about tossing "inexperienced" around so casually.
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Old December 2, 2012, 05:18 PM   #23
hogdogs
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As a 14-16 year old boy, I often released domestic pets and a few wild animals from my traps... A fox coyote or healthy domestic type with full milk bags got a pass as did no value animals...

I learned the easiest way to get bit was inexperience and hesitation...

But I will say I think folks are getting off topic...

Topic is that trappers need to check their traps with consistent frequency and in Florida, regs require 24 hours and you better not get caught with a dead animal that obviously suffered awhile... (easily evidenced by the surrounding ground in most cases)...

Brent

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Old December 2, 2012, 07:03 PM   #24
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Strong emotions!!

We have neighbors that 'love their cats" but one has a cat door. The cat kills amd maims at will. She dont even have a litterbox, BUT her cat dont come to my yard?? I guess I shouldnt worry about catching it then.

Other neighbor feeds everyone that shows up at doorstep and wonders why they dont leave. I told her "just like welfare, why would they leave?"

She asked my wife for me to shoot em more than once. She gets about two liters/yr under her shed??

Son and I do comply with trap check regulations-24 hrs for foot hold, 48 hrs for body hold.
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Old December 2, 2012, 07:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Topic is that trappers need to check their traps with consistent frequency
+1, something that shouldn't even need to be discussed or outlined. It should be common dang sense. But like many other things that should be, it often times isn't.

To MLeake, very sorry about your dog getting caught, but also happy that things ended up on the positive side. Hope she heals up fast.
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