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Trap Reform Opportunity

We need support at these meetings from September 1-10, 2020. If you can’t attend one close to you in person, please make plans to attend one virtually! This is a great opportunity to speak up and be a part of the change. There have been several preliminary meetings with Wyoming Game and Fish, the WG&F Commission, trappers, and other major stakeholders. These meetings are the result, and they are want to hear from other stakeholders.

PLEASE- for the animals, speak up! Share this with anyone you know who might be able to attend or who wants to see trap reform! This may not be what you want yet, but it is a huge start to keeping the PUBLIC SAFE ON PUBLIC LANDS!

This is our best chance to be heard regarding trap reform. Trap reform issues include:


1. Mandatory trapper education. Hunters are required to take hunter safety courses. However, trappers are not. There is no safety education for trappers about their industry/sport and how to operate in a manner that is safe for the general public. It used to be common knowledge amongst trappers that their industry/sport presented dangers to the public, and they taught each other how to avoid those conflicts. More and more pet animals and humans are encountering trapping situations, and outcomes are not positive. This is something the trappers recognize as well, and wish to see for the younger trappers.

2. Education for the general public about trap hazards, safety, and what trapping is used for. Trapping can be a valuable tool, when used ethically and with respect, for conservation efforts. Knowledge is power. But also, people who are recreating with pets and children, need to know and understand how to respect the land and the animals who live there.

3. Setbacks – having required distances from established recreational trails that are popular will help reduce the number of negative conflicts between trappers and the general public that are all engaging in outdoor recreation.

4. Seasonal/Temporary/Permanent closures- closing off areas to trapping during peak recreation seasons, ie. Ocean Lake during pheasant hunting and ice fishing seasons, where more human/dog traffic is present and engaging in recreation promoted by Game and Fish as family time. This would prevent children and dogs from encountering deadly traps. This may also mean closures of areas to other types of recreation so trapping can occur.

5. Shorter check times- current check times for traps and snares vary between 72 hours and up to 13 days per type of trap or snare used. Shorter check times would prevent unnecessary suffering of all animals, not just non-target animals, and might save the lives of non-target animals.

6. Signs- to alert people using popular recreational sites and trails to the presence of traps, how to avoid conflict, and what to do in the event of conflict.

7. Mandatory reporting of non-target animals and especially pet and companion animals. There is currently no required reporting of non-target animals that are captured in traps, trappers are asked to but do not have to.

8. More reporting on targeted species that are trapped. Currently, the only species reported is bobcat. Our question is- how can it be a conservation tool if there are not reports on numbers of kills?

9. Banning or restricted use of Power Ram Snares and Senneker Stinger Snares. Both are designed to be a quick kill. They should not be used in places where livestock, pet/companion animals, or children would be likely to encounter them.

Changes to Wyoming’s trapping rules set to be considered at upcoming meetings.

Ask for:


  • Trap Free Areas - Ask for trap-free areas for heavily used public recreation areas in Fremont County and statewide. Access to trap free lands is a public right.


  • Ban of all trigger-loaded Power snares and Senneker snares - Power Snares and Senneker snares are extremely lethal, non-target species including pets are killed almost instantly. These traps should not be allowed on Wyoming’s landscape.


  • Mandatory Signage - Caution signs, warning recreationalist, hunters, anglers and non-consumptive users of the dangers of trapping and specific trap placement on public lands, should be a mandatory requirement.


  • Trap Set Backs - Trap setbacks of 300 feet off of busy public trails statewide. The public has a right to safe travel on trails, this right extends to their traveling companions, including dogs and livestock.


  • Mandatory Reporting – Non Target and Pets - Reporting of all non-target species trapped and/or killed, including pets. Trappers and the Wyoming Game and Fish would argue that trapping is a management tool. Without mandatory reporting there is no data, without data there is no management.


  • Mandatory Reporting – All Species - Reporting of all species trapped. See above. Trappers and the Wyoming Game and Fish would argue that trapping is a management tool. Without mandatory reporting there is no data, without data there is no management.


  • Mandatory Trapper Education - Mandatory trapper education should be a requirement. Idaho’s mandatory Trapper Education Law went into effect July 1, 2018. This law requires first time trappers to complete a Trapper Education Course before purchasing a license. The class is designed to teach trappers how to “minimize impact on others” as well as best practices to avoid trapping, injuring and killing non-target animals. Wyoming is lagging behind our neighboring states on trap reform that would make our public lands safer for all.


  • Mandatory Conservation Stamp Purchase - “Funds from the conservation stamp purchase are used to support habitat and wildlife projects in Wyoming”. (Quote from WG&F website) Anglers and Hunters are required to purchase a Conservation Stamp, trappers are not. Trappers, who use the public’s wildlife for economic gain, should, more than any other user, be required to purchase a Conservation Stamp.


  • Live Traps - Live traps should be used wherever and whenever possible. Live traps would ensure that non target species, including protected and endangered species, can be released unharmed. Snares, leg hold, Conibear, Senneker and Power Snares are non-discriminate, they kill and maim regardless of species and protection status.

    • Require all traps and snares to be removed at the end of trapping season (Legislature) –  Thousands of traps and snares are left behind on our public landscapes at the end of trapping season.  Some remain active. Trappers should be responsible for cleaning up all litter and hazards which they have placed on the land.

    • Initiate statewide trapping reform stakeholder task force ( Legislature) – Trapping reform awareness statewide is growing rapidly which is initiating more public involvement and demand for immediate change.

    • Review furbearer trapping regulations every two years ( Legislature) – Trapping regulations are scheduled for review on a three-year time frame.  However, hunting and fishing are reviewed every two years.

  • 24 Hour Trap Checks - Support of 24-hour trap checks statewide by writing your state representatives. Changing this law will require action by the Wyoming State Legislature. Wyoming is one of fourteen states that have not addressed the need for 24 hour trap checks. Wyoming state law currently requires a 72 hour check for leg hold traps and up to 13 days for snares and quick kill traps. Long trap check cycles result in suffering, pain, dehydration, starvation and loss of litters when a female/mother is trapped. For family pets that have been trapped, a twenty-four hour trap check could mean the difference between life and death.


  • Local Government Representatives
  • State level Representatives
  • Wyoming Game and Fish Commission
  • Local Wyoming Game and Fish Departments
  • The Media, Opinion Editorials and Letters to the Editor
  • The Bureau of Land Management
  • Wyoming State Parks
  • National Forest Service
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