Poverty wth a view: What about trapping?

Broken Top: Image from Don Siebel

Welcome to Poverty With A View. 
Commentary, opinions pulled from the local daily fish wrapper with additional commentary from yours truly, one who has the affliction known hereabouts as 'permagrump', PatriotUSA.

Call this an opinion from the RIGHT side of the Cascades. 

Where great jobs are scarce but taxes and government overreach, are high.

Here in the high desert of Central POORegon, a debate has been raging over the issue of trapping.

Before anyone starts flinging their tofu and Birkenstocks at me, tries to run me over in their Prius or Leaf,  you better be sure you get me the on the first attempt. I know and understand that trapping is a highly volatile issue and some of you may not like what you are about to read. Please read this all the way through and I am NOT out to change your mind or convert you. If you feel the other way then I suggest you make a donation to peta. You know, that organization that runs one of the biggest dog and cat KILL shelters in the entire country.

Trappers who do it within the law and do it correctly, should be allowed to trap.

Back in college I ran several trap lines with another person.  He will remain nameless just because I am a nice guy and he would do the same for me. We traded the fur up on the Navajo and Hopi reservations for Native American jewelry, blankets and what was then called 'old pawn' goods. We trapped mostly Muskrat, a few Beaver, Raccoon, Bobcat, an ocassional Bear and Coyote. We ran our trap lines to the letter of the law back then and we were always far off the beaten path. Our traps were NEVER placed where dogs could get nailed. In fact, back then I had a pack of four to six Coon hounds (Redbone and Black and Tan) as it was LEGAL to use dogs back then for tracking, trailing and taking down game and vermin. We never used bait as we did not need to. Our sets and lines got checked EVERY 36 hours unless the weather stopped us which was extremely rare. We both had 4x4's, mine was a one ton International Travelall. Best truck I have ever owned and a cornbinder will run forever. We assisted government trappers from time to time as we knew what we were doing and our reputation was well known. Most of our trapping was done during winter or when a special hunt was called. Coyotes were worth at least $15.00 a piece and that was from the state. Ranchers offered more than that and there was bounty on them all year.

My trapping partner and I never found an animal in our traps who had tried to gnaw off it's paw or leg. When found alive, game was dispatched with one shot to the back of the head. Almost ALL critters were already dead when we checked our sets. Bears were bit more dicey and that is why I ran hounds. Never lost one and they knew when to back off. Nothing sweeter to my ears than hounds hot on scent on clear, cold winter's day.

Is this an easy, pretty way to earn a living, earn some extra money to pay my way through college? Absolutely not.

Nature is seldom kind or humane. Life in the wild is not a family rated movie, especially up where we trapped at 4,500' to 9,500' in elevation. A harsh environment where temperatures could plummet to -25 or colder in the space of a few hours. No need for me to disclose the state or the region. Some of you who have been here on the Corner will know where I was back in college. Much of where we trapped is now off limits and locked away as wilderness areas. That means if these areas catch fire, they for the most part, just burn. That is another subject for another time.

Decisions and laws in regard to trapping MUST be base on facts, not emotions. Trapping has it's place and will become even more important as more government regulations are forced upon us and big game such as cougars and bears become much more problematic in all regions of the country. How would you feel if it was your child that was attacked in your backyard or your cat was nabbed right off your front porch by a cougar or bear?

Be sure to read Bill Bodden's opinion which is linked to below. I rarely, if ever agree with Mr. Bodden.

Now you can throw your tofu at me.

From the Bend Bulletin which is NOT a Conservative paper.


Fact versus emotion in the trapping argument 
By Mike Meier
There is a disparaging cliche: “Conservatives base their opinion on fact; liberals base their opinion on emotion.” I wouldn’t usually subscribe to that cliche, as I thought of it as rude and unfair. But the Bulletin’s most prolific guest columnist, Bill Bodden, just confirmed it. Although the issue is emotional, at least use some facts to support your opinion.

It appears that the lessons on basic animal biology have been forgotten. Mother Nature is very cruel and shows no mercy.

Let us look at some of his points:

1) Predators kill quickly and only for food.
Tell that to the farmer who found his herd of sheep slaughtered by wolves/coyotes.
Tell that to the farmer who found his henhouse littered with dead chickens, killed by foxes/raccoons.
Tell that to the rodent as it is being digested (alive) in the belly of a snake.
Tell that to the plains animal that lies there with its neck clamped in the mouth of a lion while the rest of the pride eviscerates it, while alive.

2) Tragic loss to the victim’s mate, litter or ecosystem.
Trapping season is in the winter; there are no litters.
As a general rule, animals do not have mates as associated by humans.
The vast majority find a suitable mate, breed, then move on.
Some will breed with as many females as will let them, then go hang out with their buddies.
Male bears (boars) will eat cubs, given the chance.

3) Search and Rescue personnel frequently pull their dogs if they suspect traps to be in the area.
This point is very troubling as it does sound like it could be true. Alas, one phone call to Search and Rescue found it to be untrue. S&R personnel rarely use dogs and if they do, they would not pull them in fear of traps.

So you see that his points are based on emotion, not fact. Mother Nature is not some Disney movie with a cub trying to evade a cougar, all the while sounding like a scared child. Mother Nature will take you out with no warning and no mercy. She does not care if you go quickly or suffer in pain until you pass.

Trappers do not wish to keep you out of the forest or desert. They want to apply their trade during the three months of winter without being harassed. Most responsible trappers trap in areas away from people, so they don’t have to worry about an inquisitive dog or human. Did I mention that trapping season is in the winter? There are a limited number of hardy souls who will venture out into the forest or desert during that time of year: trappers, hunters, cross-country skiers who will blaze their own trails, and others who enjoy the solitude.

I think the most confusing portion of Bodden’s column is equating trappers and those who support them with slave holders, civil rights abusers and those who opposed a woman’s right to vote. Let us not forget that somehow trappers and their corporate sponsors are actively trying to destroy all that unions have achieved.

If you do not agree with trapping, that’s OK. If you want to protest, write letters to the paper, your congressman, go ahead. But if you do, at least let it be known that what you speak is opinion or verifiable fact. Don’t just throw it up against the wall and see what sticks. But then again, that is the liberal way.

Original source is here.

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4 Comments - Share Yours!:

Nick said...

You really should write a book. A collection of short stories, travelling tales and other adventures; funnily enough I've just got a copy of a book by Dan Fante from Amazon, about his days driving a cab. If he can write some stories, & make a pound or two at it ...

Nick said...

Maybe Jack London should be required reading in American schools? I remember some of his short stories about the frozen north, the white silence etc.

No warm fuzzy writing there; if you got it wrong in the natural world, you'd pay the price, and the passage about the white silence was incredible.

"Nature has many tricks wherewith she convinces man of his finity--the ceaseless flow of the tides, the fury of the storm, the shock of the earthquake, the long roll of heaven's artillery--but the most tremendous, the most stupefying of all, is the passive phase of the White Silence. All movement ceases, the sky clears, the heavens are as brass; the slightest whisper seems sacrilege, and man becomes timid, affrighted at the sound of his own voice. Sole speck of life journeying across the ghostly wastes of a dead world, he trembles at his audacity, realizes that his is a maggot's life, nothing more."

Findalis said...

Trapping is no more inhumane than hunting is. (I went Grouse hunting last weekend. Did quite well, stocked up the fridge, ate well.) I have seen predators eating their prey while the prey was still alive and kicking.

I have never found an animal I trapped who have gnawed off a paw. That is a myth invented by the Vegans to ban hunting.

I have never heard of rescue animals getting trapped. But it could happen.

Those against hunting and vegetarians are against any form of killing an animal. I would love to place these useful idiots in the wilderness and say they have to survive. I wonder how long they would?

TexasFred said...

I was never a trapper, but I was a hunter. Love to eat game meat even now.