Wyoming Game and Fish regulations allow trapping on most PUBLIC LANDS. They do not require warning signs at trailheads or near traps. WY TRAP FREE-mont County is proposing a list of popular recreation areas to the Wyoming Game and Fish that should be made "TRAP FREE".

WY TRAP FREE-mont County is proposing trap-free areas for heavily used public recreation areas in Fremont County.

The Lander Front, Gateway to the Wind River Range, a brochure distributed throughout the country, describes the Lander Front in this way:

“Natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources await you in the greater Lander Front. This region is loved by residents and visitors alike for its sweeping vistas and public lands at the gateway to the Wind River Range. This landscape has something for everyone, diverse wildlife, scenic drives, ghost towns and four seasons of outdoor recreation on public lands ranging from alpine to desert, with some of the best fishing and hunting in the West. The intent of this map is to highlight these irreplaceable resources and recreational opportunities; opportunities that sustain a healthy economy and make it a coveted place to live, visit and play.”

WY TRAP FREE-mont County proposes that all trail systems mapped in The Lander Front, Gateway to the Wind River Range, be designated as trap-free, including an agreed upon amount of acreage that would buffer these trail systems, this buffer would create a safe zone on and around trails for humans, pack animals and dogs. As a precedent for this proposal, we reviewed actions taken by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in collaboration with the Lolo National Forrest, trappers and recreational users to create trap-free areas in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area, Pate Canyon and Blue Mountain. Their efforts include surrounding parking lots, boat ramps, recreation facilities, camp grounds and picnic areas.


Trap-free trail systems and surrounding buffers would include the following:

  • Sinks Canyon trail system including the Pete’s Lake Trail, Brewers Trail, Stock Bypass Trail, and the Middle Fork Trail to Popo Agie Falls.

  • Bus Loop Trail System

  • Johnny Behind the Rocks Trail System

  • Wild Iris Climbing Area

  • Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area and Hiking Trails

  • Red Canyon, including USFS, BLM and WG&F Wildlife Management Area

WY TRAP FREE-mont County also proposes designating the following Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Management Areas as trap free:

  • Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area

  • Sand Mesa Wildlife Habitat Management Area

Know Before You Go

Important information that applies to all areas that are open to trapping:

Travelers with dogs are cautioned to be prepared. Please carry cable cutters to free your dog from Power Snares (spring triggered) and other Snare Traps. Have the knowledge to release your dog from all leg hold traps. Carry strapping or rope for Conibear trap release. Please note, Power Snares and Conibear traps are especially lethal, understand the danger.

How to Release Your Dog from Traps

Trapped in Wyoming – A Tale of Death (Christi Chapman)

Information on various traps, including snares, leg hold, Conibear and power snares, as well as trap release procedures.

Information on Trapping Incidents Statewide

The following is a list of popular areas that are WY TRAP FREE-mont County Proposed Trap-Free Areas, but are currently open to trapping. 
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Ocean Lake Wildlife Habitat Management Area

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

Trapping in the Ocean Lake area has increased to the point of endangering the safety of all other recreational users. The legal tapping season and year-round predator trapping, overlap both the advertised outdoor recreation season, and WG&F hunting seasons.  The potential dangers created by the presence of snares, Conibear and leg hold traps, are expanding the view that Ocean Lake is unsafe for fishermen, hunters, and a large variety of non-consumptive users. The area, which is meant for the enjoyment of all, is becoming, one incident at a time, a protected, exclusive domain for trapping.

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Red Canyon Trail System and Wildlife Habitat Management Area 

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

From Wyoming Game and Fish Website "This 1,976-acre wildlife habitat management area is 16 miles south of Lander on Wyoming Highway 28.  It is named for its beautiful red sandstone formations.  This historic elk wintering range provides crucial habitat for many species of wildlife that live in the harsh Wyoming environment."

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Sand Mesa Habitat Management Area

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

Sand Mesa offers year-round recreation for anglers, hunters, and non-consumptive users, including bird watchers, photographers, cyclists, and hikers. Visitors are charmed by the area’s wide and textured vistas, beautiful lakes, and abundant wildlife. Picnic area’s host family outings and camping is available for those seeking a longer stay. Sand Mesa is also a heavily trapped area. Please keep your dogs and children close, watch for traps, and be prepared for trapping incidents.


Johnny Behind the Rocks Trail System

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

From the BLM website "Most of the system is located on routes that climb to and traverse long and scenic ridgelines. The Wind River mountain range is visible on the western side of the system. The trails wind and meander through typical Great Basin terrain that ranges from clusters of pinyon-juniper woodlands and open sagebrush meadows."


Sinks Canyon State Park

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

From the Sinks Canyon State Park website: "Sinks Canyon is part of a magnificent ecosystem that stretches from the sagebrush and juniper covered foothills, through conifer forests, aspen meadows, to alpine habitat at timberland. An amazing diversity of birds and wildlife can be seen in this area, as well as world-class geology, and a dazzling variety of wildflowers and other plants."


Middle Fork Trail System to Popo Agie Falls

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

From the Sinks Canyon State Park website: "The Middle Fork Falls are formed where the Popo Agie River cascades over large rock outcrops as it drops into Sinks Canyon. The falls are actually a series of waterfalls and cascades, with the longest vertical fall about 60 feet high."


The Bus Loop Hiking and Biking Trails

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

From the Roots Rated website"Named after a wrecked school bus rusting in one of the dry drainages, this is a unique area, popular for biking and running because of its slick rock and high desert feel. The Bus offers relatively moderate terrain, smooth trails, and easy accessibility."


Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area and Hiking/Biking Trails

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

Please note: Dogs are not allowed at Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area during the ski season when there is snow on the ground. Furbearing Animal trapping season begins for many species on October 1st and ends as late as April 30th. Please use caution year round for children and during the off season months for dogs.


Wild Iris Climbing Area

Caution: Trapping is Currently Allowed in this Area

From the Roots Rated website: "The Wild Iris is a collection of beautiful, bone-white dolomite bands that raise from the sub-alpine foothills of the Wind River Range. The crags sit at 9000 feet of elevation surrounded by aspen and pine trees. The views from the cliff are second to none. This is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been climbing. From Lander, the Iris is about a thirty minute drive south of town."