Rural residents fight trapping, too

Letter from John Walker

Trapping – August 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Trappers don’t perturb only urbanites

Colorado Central:

Re: “Require geographic diversity…” by Ellen Miller in the July, 1996, edition.

Ellen Miller’s condemnation of anti-trapping initiatives sounds like the work of an urban-dweller (Grand Junction) trying to ingratiate herself to people who work the land. She assumes only city folks disapprove of trapping.

Unlike Miller, I live in rural Colorado where so-called recreational trappers booby trap the countryside every winter, creating what is, for animals wild and domestic, a kind of Bosnian minescape.

I’ve had trap lines run through my land, but the Division of Wildlife doesn’t require registration numbers on traps to identify violators. My dog has repeatedly stepped into traps, but fortunately I was nearby and able to free him quickly. Luckily he never slipped his head into a snare. Recently approved by the Division of Wildlife, the snare silently strangles its victim, regardless of whether it’s a marauding coyote or someone’s pet.

Not long ago an experienced trapper using dead cottontails for bait told a neighbor living a few hundred yards from the trap-set that if he caught the man’s dog once he would set it free–if he caught it a second time, he would kill it. And the trapper was creating an odorous enticement guaranteed to draw every dog and cat in the area!

I know another highly capable trapper who admits to killing every cat he finds in his traps.

I could go on, but unlike Miller, who “covers the Western Slope for the Denver Post” (and has abandoned all pretense of journalistic objectivity), I have a fence to mend and a pasture to irrigate.

John Walker