I have been a trapper on the Kenai Peninsula since 1951, and I believe trappers need stricter regulations. There is a law on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, where it is illegal to set a trap larger then a number 1 1/2 (this trap is for mink-muskrat) within 1 mile of a road that passes through the refuge. A hunter can shoot a moose 100 feet from this same road, but a trapper must walk a mile off this same road to set a trap for a coyote.
Down through the years I have cut blow down trees, etc., to build a trail to have a trap line. After a couple of years, this trail is found and began to be used by snowmachines, dog teams and skiers.
Then people will start to complain that a trapper is setting traps on a snowmachine trail.
If it weren’t for a trapper and his chain saw, these trails would not even exist. Before these complaints began. I started building another trap line trail and in time the cycle will be repeated.
Where does stricter regulations fit in here?
As for marking traps with an ID, all my traps are marked and have been long before we were required to do so to trap on the refuge. A number of years ago I had over 150 traps stolen out of my trap supply. These traps carry my mark, if one or more of these traps were used for illegal trapping, would the finger of blame be pointed at me?
It is getting harder and harder for us trappers to find a place to trap, about the time we get one place set up we are forced to move.
Ninety percent or more of us trappers try our best not to step on anybody’s toes or to catch somebody’s dog. No matter what the disagreements maybe between a trapper and a second party, it’s almost always the trapper, whether he is right or wrong that will end up carrying the burden of blame.
Roger J. Tachick
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