Wyoming State Trappers Association
P. O. Box 45
Dixon, WY   82323

Notice to our membership 8/31/20

From Tom Krause, WSTA Liaison & District 6 Director


Notice all Wyoming Trappers

Wyoming Game & Fish Department has just issued an announcement for public hearings on proposed trapping regulations and potential legislative changes for trapping. The just announced meetings are scheduled beginning, September 2nd.

These hearings will produce more public input for the game commissioners to consider per the request of Wyoming Untrapped to review and change trapping regulations and statutes.

Please contact other trappers you know and go to the WGFD website found at www.wgfd.wyo.gov/meetings for detailed information. Meetings will occur between Sep 2 and Sep 10 in Jackson, Sheridan, Laramie, Rock Springs and Lander.

Wyoming State Trappers Association has already testified in front of the game commissioners consistent with the trapper shareholders contacted individually with a strong opinion no changes are needed or justified at this time.

Please consider attending a meeting coming near you shortly so your view might counteract those who will take this public forum as an opportunity to criticize trappers, trapping and scientific wildlife management for any “wise-use” (Conservation) regulations as is and has been traditional in Wyoming since long before statehood.

If you would like speaking points on the long list of trapping changes, feel free to email Tom Krause at tkrause@wyoming.com for suggested speaking points.

It seems a sad statement of our times to realize wildlife management in Wyoming is now subject to the views of citizens ignorant or misinformed of the realities of wildlife management and proper harvests to balance wildlife populations, protect livestock, increase human safety and health, and provide abundant opportunity for our citizens.

While our state constitution protects the rights of our citizen to participate harvests of furbearers and predators, it is a fact trapping will die anyway as a result of bleeding from a thousand cuts.

So please participate in your own destiny, if not for yourself, then for those who will follow in our paths.

WGFD Public Hearing Schedule to reconsider trapping regulations and legislation

                   All meetings begin at 6 pm

Tuesday, Sep 1 - Rock Springs, White Mountain Library, 2935 Sweetwater Dr

Wednesday, Sep 2 – Jackson, Wort Hotel, Jackson Room, 50 Glenwood St

Thursday, Sep 3 – Sheridan, Best Western Sheridan Center, 612 N.

 Main St

Wednesday, Sep 9 – Laramie, WGF Regional Office, 1212 S. Adams St

                                   (virtual option available, pre-registration required)

Thursday, Sep 10 – Lander, The Inn at Lander, Wind River Rm, 260 Grandview Dr (virtual option available, pre-registration required)

This information was taken directly from the Game and Fish. 

We attempted to contact nearly 300 stakeholders around the state representing (in alphabetical order): Animal Shelters, County Predator Management Boards, Dog Owners (bird hunters and those who had trapping conflicts), Landowners, Legislators, NGOs, Other State or Local Governmental Agencies, Outfitters, General Public, Federal Public Land Agencies, Sportspersons, Trappers, Public Land User Groups, Veterinarians and Wildlife Services. We were able to have conversations with nearly 140 individuals/groups during a 14 day period and left messages and/or emails to an additional 60+ individuals (summary attached).

As a result of these conversations, we identified a number of potential revisions to the trapping statutes and Commission regulations as well as opportunities to improve communication with stakeholders, including the following:

  1. Support for mandatory trapper education, concerns about trapping practices and trapper ethics
  2. Support for education/training about trapping for recreationalists and dog owners (concerns about safety and dogs off leash or not under control)
  3. Support for trapping setbacks
  4. Support for signage (not on individual traps) about trapping potentially occurring in areas
  5. Concerns for non-target captures and support for reporting all non-target catches
  6. Concerns and discussions about snare check period
  7. Concerns about the lack of information collected related to furbearer harvest and lack of harvest quotas
  8. Support for mandatory Conservation Stamp requirements for trappers
  9. Support for trap type restrictions and/or trap free areas

In response to the common themes that arose during personal contacts with stakeholders, we developed the following list of topics to present and further develop during a series of stakeholder meetings in the fall of 2020:

  1. The Department will develop recommendations for the Wyoming State Legislature requiring mandatory trapper education.
    1. The current Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies approved online course may be sufficient until a Wyoming specific course could be developed or in person classes could be offered.
  2. Develop consistent trapping education topics/themes relevant to those using public lands (hiking, walking dogs, bird watching, riding bikes, trail running, etc.)
    1. Develop a page on the Department’s website containing all trapping specific information
    2. Develop informational signs for use on Commission owned lands (WHMAs/WMAs) containing basic trapping information and a link (QR code) for more information in those areas with cell reception.
    3. Work with public land management agencies to promote similar signage at trailheads/recreation areas.
    4. Work with partners and stakeholder groups to provide hand tools at major trailheads or parking areas (similar to loaner lifejacket program) that can be used to remove a pet from a trap or snare.  Sell tools through the Department’s Alternative Enterprises/website/Regional Offices.
    5. Host/Co-host/promote how to release your pet workshops and other non-trapper based trapping education training around the state.
    6. Update/redesign the trapping brochure to provide more information (species ID, education opportunities, messages, etc.)
  3. Further develop recommended trap setback requirements and definitions.  The Department will provide those recommendations to the Wyoming State Legislature to regulate trap setbacks for predatory animals and furbearers.
    1. Public trails: Recommend 30’ setback
      1. Public trails: defined as any trail on public land designated by administrative signs or numbers or as designated on the most current official map of the agency. 
    2. Public campgrounds, trailheads and recreation sites: Recommend 300’ setback
      1. Campground: defined as any campground on public land designated by an administrative agency.
      2.  Trailhead: defined as any trailhead on public land designated by an administrative agency.
      3. Recreation site: defined as any site with construction improvements made for recreation as designated by an administrative agency including, but not limited to, picnic areas, boat launches, fishing access areas, etc. 
  4. Develop a database and app to track voluntary reporting of non-target species trapped (including dogs).  The Department will provide those recommendations to the Wyoming State Legislature to require reporting of all non-target species trapped.
  5. The Department will provide recommendations to the Wyoming State Legislature to reduce the check period requirement for snares (may need to add exemption to regulation for predator control work, but language is already included in the statute).
  6. Form a Department Furbearer Working Group to keep up to date with furbearer management practices, population trends and evaluate the need for harvest quotas, season date/species closure modifications, etc.
  7. The Department will provide recommendations to the Wyoming State Legislature to require Conservation Stamps for trappers and anyone using Commission owned or administered properties (antler hunters, dog walkers, bird watchers, other recreators, etc.).
  8. Look into trap and snare restrictions (RAM power snare, spring-loaded snares, etc.) and Commission owned or administered land closures during heavy use periods (pheasant release areas, etc.).