The Wyoming Game and Fish Lander Regional Office, in conjunction with the Lander Pet Connection, hosted a free hands-on workshop in Lander last week. The “How to Release your Pet from a Trap” event was open to the public and led by avid trapper Alan Sinner.
Along with learning how to release your pet, Alan walked attendees through the different types/styles of traps and snares that are out there and their purpose. He also provided key things to look for while in the backcountry that could indicate a trap is present and common areas that trappers would place them, as well as what items to carry if your pet did get caught.
This is the fourth workshop like this that the Lander Region Game and Fish helped to put on since 2016, shared Lander Region Information and Education Specialist Rene Schell. “I know there have been more done by other groups as well.”
During the workshop, tensions around trapping and snaring regulations were seemingly evident. “This is the first time we have had such tension and heightened emotions,” Rene explained. She attributes that to a “pet who died in a legal trap on the Bureau of Recreation Land recently.”
When asked how common it is for this to happen, Rene replied, “As far as we know, it is very uncommon.” However, Game and Fish is reliant upon people calling and telling them when it does happen. “In the Region that our office covers (Lander, Dubois, Shoshoni, Riverton, down to Rawlins and places between), we have only heard of 2-3 in the last 4 years and only one fatality.” The one fatality is the one from a few weeks ago on BRL.
Rene explained at the beginning of the event, there would be a separate meeting specifically to discuss trapping and snaring regulations, and this one is just for educational purposes. The date has not yet scheduled for that meeting.