[Reprinted from original]
To the editor:
I am Region No. 1 director of the Wyoming State Trappers Association, representing Park, Big Horn, Hot Springs, and Washakie counties. I received a phone call Saturday evening from a member, and fellow trapper, regarding a recently published article in the Powell Tribune titled “In disbelief that trapping is permitted,” submitted by Elena Tillman of San Diego, Calif.
Upon her “visit” to our beautiful state of Wyoming, she “learned” that trapping is permitted in Wyoming. She was appalled and disappointed at the indiscriminate trapping and snaring practices on public land. As responsible trappers, we do not indiscriminately trap anything, whether on public or private lands. As trappers, we are very selective in the animals we harvest and conduct our efforts in accordance with the laws set by our Game and Fish Department.
She adds that her family highly values the natural world and its wildlife. Wildlife thrives because of trappers and hunters. We harvest the surplus to ensure that a healthy balance of animals can survive within a given amount of habitat. Her description of awe-inspiring and historically significant wilderness was most likely discovered, explored, mapped and charted by trappers.
She adds how they have seen needless suffering to wildlife and how thousands of pets, livestock, and endangered species become victims. I’m curious to see where, and especially who, she obtains this misinformation from. She says her family feels unsafe to recreate on the trails, claiming it’s an issue of public safety.
Just how big do they think these traps are? The average-sized trap fits in the palm of my hand. Hollywood portrays them as big enough to hold a Chevy pickup! Again, not true.
So, she and her family do not wish to support communities that engage in this cruel, brutal behavior, stating that trapping is an outdated management practice. She then adds and closes with a lot of big fancy words urging wildlife management agencies to implement more laws and regulations. The truth is this: Trapping is the number one and most effective method of wildlife management. The general public has been misled and misinformed about trapping.
Anti-trapping groups solely base their information on opinions, feelings and lies. The absolute cruelest thing we can do to wildlife is fail to manage it. Trapping is alive and well in the great state of Wyoming and in most parts of what’s left of this great nation.
(s) E.J. Kelley
Professional trapper, Clark, WY