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View Full Version : TRAPPING by a TRAIL SIGN??



GGS
2007-11-12, 03:38
Ok. So here's the deal. I invite a couple to go camping and hiking with me on the North Country trail here in Michigan. I have one dog, they have two. It's hunting season here so we make sure that the dogs are wearing brightly colored packs. We also load the packs with water bottles and equipment, the weight gives the dogs a "job" to do which keeps them on the trail so they don't forge too much. We did an 8+ mile hike from Brevort Lake Road to Castle Rock trailhead. At the trailhead "T" we are standing around chatting.

The dogs are all sniffing around the CLEARLY MARKED NCT sign post at the intersection which is less than *10* feet from the trail intersection.

Suddenly one of the dogs starts crying, more like screaming, uncontrollably! She has her paw caught in a foothold trap planted ONE FOOT from the NCT sign post! I mean, can you believe this? SOME STUPID REDNECK MOTHERf&*R!! TRAPPER SET A DOUBLE SPRING FOOTHOLD TRAP AT THE BASE OF A HIKING TRAIL SIGN!!

Ok here's the short story. Weekend comes to an abrupt end. Owners end up with a $150 emergency vet bill. Fortunately no broken bones and the dog is fine, save a swollen paw. The gal of the couple ends up in Redi-Care with multiple bites to the hand which she received from her dog while we tried to remove the trap. She's fine too, although she (and the rest of us) didn't stop trembling for two hours. And she's out her medical insurance deductible for the visit.

Now I'm not going to argue the pros and cons of trapping, or at least not in this post. But I do have three questions I'm hoping some of you can answer:

1) Is it LEGAL, in Michigan, to place a foothold trap so close to a hiking trail? Especially a trail like the North Country Scenic Trail? Especially right underneath the f*cking trail sign?

2) If it is legal, is it ethical/responsible for a trapper to do so?

3) What actions, if any, would any of you recommend I take here? (I have the trap which includes the trapper's name address and phone number)

And if you trap yourself, I hope you are a RESPONSIBLE trapper and don't make the choices of the imbecile in this example!

Nightwalker
2007-11-12, 04:56
2) If it is legal, is it ethical/responsible for a trapper to do so?

3) What actions, if any, would any of you recommend I take here? (I have the trap which includes the trapper's name address and phone number)

2) No way, Jose.

3) Call law enforcement and ask about #1, then give them the trap.

SGT Rock
2007-11-12, 06:52
Sounds like reckless endangerment to me, but I'm not a lawyer. Or maybe some anti dog nut that figured that would happen. http://www.mntrappers.org/ethics.doc

Maybe move their trap to the approach where the trap was set and then set up in a hide to wait for them to come back and get the dang thing just so you can watch them get caught in their own trap.

JAK
2007-11-12, 08:34
I agree that it is reckless endangerment. It is clearly unethical, and it would seem from Rock's post that most trappers would agree.

"5) Use of inappropriate sets in areas of high human or domestic animal use. In general, land sets with foothold or killer traps should be avoided in areas such as parks, high-use recreation or hunting areas, and residential developments. Live traps, water sets and various types of "dog-proof sets are more acceptable in these areas."

Take it up with the authorities. If it is illegal, I would consider a law suit against the trapper after the State authorities are through with him. If it is not illegal, I would consider a law suit against the State.

Iceman
2007-11-12, 09:32
On the cautious side, maybe someone moved his trap, or set it without the trappers knowledge. I have known a trapper, and he would not set up where he was at risk for lawsuit. Maybe kids who found/stole a trap, and then set it up elsewhere....later.....and then left.

GGS
2007-11-12, 18:40
On the cautious side, maybe someone moved his trap, or set it without the trappers knowledge. I have known a trapper, and he would not set up where he was at risk for lawsuit. Maybe kids who found/stole a trap, and then set it up elsewhere....later.....and then left.

We considered that. However we went out the next day to take pictures of the site and scout around a little bit more and guess who comes walking up? Mr. Trapper, looking for his trap!

Guilty as charged.

And he had the nerve to ask for his trap back. I told him I'd turn it over to a conservation officer but not him.

I called the DNR 1-800-RAP line today and filed a complaint. I didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the person who took the report but hey we'll see where this goes. I've done a lot of reading of MI trapping rules however I can't see a law anywhere that requires a trapper to stay away from hiking trails. Someone's major oversight, IMHO.

Ya. You want your trap back buddy? Turn around... Pull down your pants... Bend over... [SNAP!] There you go! Now let's see you release the double springs with it closed on Yo' a$$...

Turk
2007-11-12, 18:57
Thats just crazy GGS. What a guy.... tell me that was not close to Castle Rock?! I mean .... that would be like setting a trap in a doorway to a shopping mall as far as Im concerned. I know that area a little bit, and castle rock gets a good deal of foot traffic does it not?

sailingsoul
2007-11-12, 19:06
In wouldn't give anybody that trap. Not until the owner payed me for my losses. Did you ask or did He offer to pay for your expenses? Even if the authorities can or can't help you, take him and the trap to small claims court. I would think he's liable for your $$ loses, weather or not there is a law covering this. SS :captain:

pure_mahem
2007-11-12, 19:55
I don't know about the laws in Michigan but here they are suppose to be set at least 100 feet from any common trail, park or other public location. And here the trapper is responible for any dammage of his traps. He would be paying a fine and medical and vet bills.

The example of this for comparison would be if you own a dog and you don't have control of your animal you would be responsible if it bit someone. The trapper should be held responsible for not having his trap under control and being negligable in setting so close to the hiking trail. JMO!

Forget about the conservation department call and ask the State police. I know here in New York/ Vermont area the state police would have jurisdiction on this type of situation. State police in New York has ENCON officers for this. And vermont State police has Dept. of WildLife Game Wardens. I don't know if I could of controlled my self with the reaction of the trapper you interacted with I probably would of clocked him with the trap. Talk about freaking irresponsible, I would definately take him to court for medical and Vet bills if he doesn't pay them. There is no way a judge or jury would not find this guy guilty for negligence and reckless endangerment.

Amigi
2007-11-12, 20:32
Florida has FDLE, who state game wardens fall under. It is against our laws to set a trap that close to a trail. They can shoot across them during hunting season ( thread to come ), but not set traps near them. Call your state police and see what they think. Then call a lawyer. No jury in the world would vote against your friend who was bit by her own dog trying to save it. None.

GGS
2007-11-13, 01:10
Thats just crazy GGS. What a guy.... tell me that was not close to Castle Rock?! I mean .... that would be like setting a trap in a doorway to a shopping mall as far as Im concerned. I know that area a little bit, and castle rock gets a good deal of foot traffic does it not?

The trailhead where this happened is actually about two miles west of Castle Rock itself, off of CR3104. Coordinates are UTM 16 671904E 5087051N (NAD83/WGS84) if you want to take a peek at it in Topozone. So no, nowhere near close enough to Castle Rock to represent a threat to tourists.

GGS
2007-11-13, 01:20
In wouldn't give anybody that trap. Not until the owner payed me for my losses. Did you ask or did He offer to pay for your expenses? Even if the authorities can or can't help you, take him and the trap to small claims court. I would think he's liable for your $$ loses, weather or not there is a law covering this. SS :captain:

When he asked for the trap back I countered I'd consider it if he was willing to pay us for the nearly $200 in medical bills the incident occured. No response immediately but he eventually at least apologized that the dog was hurt.

rbd
2007-11-13, 10:31
I'd also contact the local NCTA group that maintains that part of the trail.
They may or may not be able to provide you with more information to help with your case as this progresses and would most certinally be interested in preventing this from happening again on the NCT.
Apparently a lot of the NCT in MI is "certified" - don't know if that would effect hunting/trapping regulations near the trail or not...
Wouldn't hurt to have them on your side if this goes to court or if the DNR does nothing. The local groups in Lower Michigan are listed at: http://www.northcountrytrail.org/explore/ex_milp/milp.htm

I don't know anyone who traps, but wonder if any other trappers would consider this to be illresponsable behaviour and support your case in court.

rbd
2007-11-13, 11:55
The NY DEC website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/environmentdec/25411.html
includes the following:

"Trappers Take Note
Using non-meat bait to trap raccoons can prevent trapping
pets by mistake. Trappers are reminded to use good judgment in selecting areas for trap placement. Avoid areas frequented by pets, and stay away from hiking trails. In addition, trappers are encouraged to use dog-proof trap sets. These techniques are covered in the DEC Trapper Education course."

rbd
2007-11-13, 13:40
I realize that it was easy for me to throw out something like: "I don't know anyone who traps, but wonder if any other trappers would consider this to be illresponsable behaviour and support your case in court."
It also occured to me that it may be really quite diffecult to find someone to contact within the trapping community to actually support your case, so I've been thinking that if it were me, I would contact the person within the DNR who is resonsibable for the Trapper Education Classes in MI. I assume that MI has them... that person and his/her office has a buy-in to teaching trappers to avoid trapping non-target animals. I for one did not know that "dog-proof" traps even existed. That office within the DNR may be much more open to talking with you than the DNR hotline. Hope this was of help..........
Now - it's a really pretty day here near Lake Ontario and the archery season ends on Friday. So I'll go sit in a tree just like big-bird and listen to the deer laugh at me.

GGS
2007-11-13, 15:54
I realize that it was easy for me to throw out something like: "I don't know anyone who traps, but wonder if any other trappers would consider this to be illresponsable behaviour and support your case in court."
It also occured to me that it may be really quite diffecult to find someone to contact within the trapping community to actually support your case, so I've been thinking that if it were me, I would contact the person within the DNR who is resonsibable for the Trapper Education Classes in MI. I assume that MI has them... that person and his/her office has a buy-in to teaching trappers to avoid trapping non-target animals. I for one did not know that "dog-proof" traps even existed. That office within the DNR may be much more open to talking with you than the DNR hotline. Hope this was of help..........
Now - it's a really pretty day here near Lake Ontario and the archery season ends on Friday. So I'll go sit in a tree just like big-bird and listen to the deer laugh at me.

My understanding of responsible trappers is they aren't too fond of irresponsible trappers. I'd be happy at this point if they would just set this young lad down and edumacate him proper and get him to move his traps to a safer location.

GGS
2007-11-13, 17:34
One argument made by this trapper - and echoed by some locals - is they don't think people use the NCT. I shall counter that to anyone with the skills to read subtle game signs well enough to trap with some sucess it should be glaringly obvious that an unused hiking trail would be reclaimed quickly by forest growth, fallen trees, etc. within a single summer. Therefore a cleared trail, cut back deadfall, freshly painted blazes, and trail signs on 4x4 posts in excellent condition should be a blazing billboard to even the apprentice woodsman that yes this trail IS used and often!

My friends and I hiked a Tahquamenon trail within the campground that was in worse shape and not as well blazed as the Castle Rock section of the NCT, and you can't tell me that a trail leading from the campground to the falls in one of the state's most popular state parks doesn't get used!