Small Game, Predator and Trapping From shooting squirrels in your backyard to calling coyotes in Arizona. This forum now contains trapping information.

Why Trap?

Old 05-05-2004, 10:01 PM
  #1  
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Default Why Trap?

I enjoy hunting many different animals...deer, turkey, cyote, squirrel, birds, or sometimes something else, but i have never been all in to the trapping. What i like about hunting is that you are one on one with the animal. In trapping it just seems like their is nothing to be proud of, and definitly not a fair chance for the animal. It would be like biting into a big steak and finding out it was poisioned or something. HUNTING you have to work hard and try to actually find the animal, while in trapping you just...well leave a trap. That to me seems about as fair as going cow hunting.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:47 AM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

shuler44,

I am not much of a trapper, but I have known a few and helped out on a line or 2, so I will try to answer your question, "Why Trap?".

I think the first thing you must do is realize that hunting and trapping are 2 different things. Hunting an individual animal with rifle, shotgun or bow is typically done for food or trophy. You yourself said you like the one on one aspect of hunting .. that is not the case with trapping. The "goal" is different. Most trappers are seeking the fine pelts of specific animals. On occasion that is for display purposes, but usually they are selling the hides they collect to buyers for money. Most trappers will tell you it's not the money that drives them though, it's just a part of the whole process .. and some people I know have said that the real reason is they don't have the room to store all the fur they collect! In hunting the challenge is to know your quarry and it's habits so well you can place yourself into position, or lure through the use of calls or bait that same animal into weapon range. In trapping the lure is knowing the land and animals so well you know where they'll be and make your sets there .. in the hopes you can collect from nature a gift. It's ok that you don't see the trapper's challenge, you've never done it before. But I can assure you the challenge and pride associated with trapping is no less than hunting. In hunting, if you are dedicated and have scouted, you wake up.. take your stand or stalk and whether you collect an animal or not .. you are leaving the field that day. At most, if you are successful, you must process the animal soon thereafter. The trapper also scouts, prepares his gear, makes his sets then must check his sets. He can't stay in bed if it's raining or foul out .. the ethics of his passion set limits on how long a trap can go untended. If he can't check his traps .. they must get pulled. If he's successful .. and there is a misconception that every trap is a full trap, trust me ... it doesn't work that way, the process of preparing hides for market is a labor intensive endeavor. The amount of time devoted to trapping far exceeds that of hunting in most cases .. and there in lies the main lure. The time spent learning and understanding nature at so many levels and in some small way living off the land.

I am always surprised a little by the person who draws an ethical distinction between hunting and trapping. At it's simplest level they both are trying to accomplish the harvest of a wild animal. I do generally believe people, even some hunters, are becoming to "soft" due to their distance from the actual killing part of life. I think trappers are more aware of man's relationship with living things. I ask you this question as I end this, take a look around you right now ...... and consider what you have eaten since dinner last night .... did you for one second spare a single thought of the sheer amount of animals that died to make the boots, belts and wallets .. or the sausage, burgers and chicken breasts???????
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:53 AM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

hey shuler44

How is it not a fair chance for the animal I could say the exact same thing about hunting a deer with a highpowered rifle. With a highpowered rifle you can shoot that deer easilly out to 300 yards and I can say well that is not fair to that deer it did not even know you were there

As a trapper you need to get that animal to put its foot exactly where you want it right on the pan of the trap. Now that takes some outwitting to get a fox or coyote to put its foot right in that exact spot.

You by no means just leave a trap like you stated. Most trappers scout alot before opening day. You need to put those traps in the most likely place to catch those animals and bait the area accordingly.

With smarter animal you can not leave any human scent on the trap otherwise the animal will dig it out.

A trapper needs to outwit the animal and that can be very difficult.

But hunting and trapping are two different and two similar things.

If you have any questions on trapping please ask more questions other trappers and me would love to disuss them
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:20 PM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

Two very good answeres to your question! Let me stress that the pan on a trap is at best a couple square inches, you have to know your quarry extremely well to know EXACTLY where its foot will land. Otherwise you are checking empty traps. No one does it for the money anymore cause there just isnt much money in the furs nowadays. You would get rich quicker flipping burgers at McDonalds with just a fraction of the work. We do it for the love of the sport,love of the outdoors and a love of the simple life and connection to the days gone by when the first beaver trappers pointed there noses west and opened up a continent. Nothing beats the frosty pre-dawn air in your nostrils and the sight of (pick your preference) a furbearer asleep with foot in trap awaiting your arrival. AAHHH, cant wait till fall. P.S. never knew a trapper that wasnt worth his weight in gold in the deer woods
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:47 PM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

And add to the list of "Why's" listed above, here is one more reason "why to trap". In area's where there are problem animals, weather it be a coyote, porcipine, rabbit, squirrel, skunk, etc., a trap, properly set, can hunt 24/7 and increases the odds of removing the "problem", which, in a lot of areas these days, hunting is not allowed! As was said above, trapping is more than just putting a piece of meat near a trap, it just don't work that way!!
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:43 PM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

trapping is as hard if not harder than hunting
I do both and in my opinion it is very hard. You have to understand the animals feeding habits, where it lives, where it travels, how often it travels and many more things. You really have to understand the animal. It is a great reward coming to a trap and seeing a animal in your trap. Just my 2 cents

Take em
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:23 PM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

Oops I edited the post instead of replying! I'll try to restate it.

How long are they in the trap? Isn't it cruel? How do you kill them? Does it hurt the animal?
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:26 AM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

SHULER AND ZAC, YOU GUYS ARE THINKING LIKE ANTIS. IN OUR SPORT ALL SPORTSMEN AND WOMEN NEED TO STICK TOGETHER AND PUT DOWN WHAT TYPE OF HARVESTING ANOTHER DOES.
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Old 05-07-2004, 07:12 AM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

When I was young I did a lot of trapping and I can tell you that it is hard work. Also all trappers have seen fox and coyotes caught in traps curled up and sleeping. If it was so cruel how come they are sleeping in the trap. Have also seen beaver caught in a trap and sitting there eating a twig or something. Again if it was in any pain or distress why is it not showing it. Trapping and hunting are diferent and still a lot alike. Why would anyone say it is cruel to trap and then be a hunter? Not all game is killed cleanly and humanely. We all try to do it is as quickly as possible but it does not always work that way. I worked in a packing plant for many years and they slaughter humanely right? Well I have seen with my own eyes cattle that were knocked, shackled and stuck and kept right on bellowing. I have seen hogs stunned, stuck and conveyed into the scalding tub where they revived and screamed until they were scalded to death. I am a hunter, a trapper, and a meat eater and I will not apologize for any of it to anyone.
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: Why Trap?

zak123-

You asked a few specific questions .. that are completely legitimate. I'll try and answer them for you.

The animal is in the trap normally for 8 to 12 hours at the longest. Trappers in almost all states are required by law to check their traps every 24 hours, most setting them and checking them in the morning. Since the animals are most active at night they often are trapped at night and recovered in the morning.

Many traps actually kill the animal instantly, or drown the animal within a short period of time. Coyote and fox traps that "hold" an animal till the trapper arrives, I'm sure hurt the animal. Those same animals are quickly dispatched normally with a small caliber round to the head. The hurt of the animal is not something to be considered extreme based on many animals reactions, the pain thresholds of wild animals and the design of the traps themselves.

You also asked,
Isn't it cruel to trap an animal?
The answer is no. It is no less or more cruel than killing a deer, duck, turkey or bear while hunting. It is definitely not gentle, peaceful or sweet. Killing ANYTHING never is. If you truly think trapping is cruel, then you are much closer to what an anti-hunter or PETA member thinks than you realize. These people equate hunting as cruelty. The mere thought of killing an animal horrifies them.

Perhaps you could think or trapping as just another way of harvesting wild game? Some people choose to use rifles as others choose to use archery equipment. Some choose to trap. All methods can dispatch an animal humanely and ethically with respect given to the animal. It is important to accept that ALL methods can result in an animals pain and suffering if certain errors or conditions occur. As ethical "Sportsmen" we all do our best to insure this doesn't occur .. but in the harvesting of game we accept that this will occur and be always vigilant to reduce the chances of it.

As a hunter .. I would hope from our collective points we have opened your eyes a bit to trapping. If we can't get you to see that trapping is not "cruel" and should not be "banned" then we as sportsmen don't have much of a shot.
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