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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The unseen horrors of trapping

Dear editor,

Charles Wolf trapped for ten years in Alaska.  His quotes from 99 Days On The Yukon give us a glimpse into why so many people quit trapping. 

“Trapping… I don’t know any old-timer who didn’t come to hate some parts of it…When the animal is caught it just gets frantic and runs around till exhausted and sweaty, then freezes to death.  When you find it, the snow is torn up all around, beaten flat as far as the chain can reach and the animal is lying there frozen in its own excrement.”

To not damage the pelt, when still alive, “some trappers just stand on them to crush them, others have a way of grabbing their chest and pulling down real sharp, it breaks the heart loose somehow.”  

“I’ve caught moose and caribou in my snares,. … the snare will go with them…I hate to think of those animals … with a snare on their leg cutting off circulation.”

The horrors of the trapline are not widely known.  For two reasons: Those actively trapping keep the awful things that happen a secret, assuming others will not understand.  Former trappers are troubled by the memories, ashamed of the accumulation of suffering they caused that finally forced them to quit.  They do not want to talk about trapping.   The conversations I have had with them have been difficult for both of us.  But I wanted to know why they quit.   Charles Wolf said it well.  Please vote YES for I-177.

 

Jessi Ferguson

Polson

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