We are a Montana citizen driven, all volunteer, coalition that formed at the end of 2013 as a grassroots ballot initiative committee. We represent a vast array of people who value ethical, responsible, science based treatment of wildlife and safe use of our treasured, yet, minimal public lands in Montana.
Our Montana outdoor lifestyle and presence of public lands is a major draw for residents, small businesses and the visitors who come primarily to view wildlife. Our public lands comprise roughly only 1/3 of Montana. Contrarily, and unknown to many, lies the hidden indiscriminate destruction from legal year round trapping resulting in a reported average minimum of 45,000 wild animals are trapped and killed and an average of 50 dogs are trapped annually in Montana.
1. Trapping takes an enormous toll on riparian ecology by especially targeting beaver. This means less water and less riparian habitat for all species (humans, songbirds, ungulates, fish, etc.)
Q: Who are we and what is the purpose?
A: We are Montanans, law abiding, tax paying residents of Montana. We are not Footloose Montana. They are not "our parent organization." We are a coalition of wildlife supporters hikers, anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, ranchers, pet owners and outdoor enthusiasts. We are volunteers, have no paid staff and work other full time jobs. We provide the truths of the hidden disturbing realm of trapping in Montana. Originally, we formed as a ballot issue committee at the end of 2013 and conducted a ballot initiative to achieve trap free Montana public lands for the 2014 ballot. Although we received wide spread enthusiastic support, we simply did not have enough months left to gather all the necessary signatures of registered Montana voters to qualify for the ballot giving all Montanans a voice in the significant and increasing problems with trapping on our public lands in Montana. We continue to expose the cruel facts of trapping and the horrendous known toll it takes on our wildlife in Montana. We support wildlife management based on science, principles of ethical hunting, respectful coexistence with wildlife, and conservation promoting safe use of our public lands.
- Hunting is strictly regulated and hunters are generally penalized for shooting the wrong species. Hunters have a season, wear orange, have a bag limit, are not allowed to bait animals.
- Hunters are not permitted to leave their guns set unattended ready to shoot. In Montana it is illegal to leave a fishing pole unattended. A trapper can set and leave as many traps and snares as they chose. Trappers tell FWP they set 50,000 traps.
- Training is not mandated for trappers, except for legally trapping wolves attendance at a 6 hr class is required.
- Montana residents do not need to purchase a $29 trapping license except to trap furbearers and wolves. The traps do not discriminate whether they are set by a licensed or non-purchaser.
- Less than 1% of Montanans purchase a trapping license, 6,000 approximated. This does not cover the salaries and benefits of the Montana furbearer division.
- Trappers do not need to report their "Incidental" non-target catches, including rare and protected species if the trapper deems they can be released "unharmed".
- Records are absent or incomplete of the number of trapped wildlife including protected species, family pets.
- No provisions exclude all species from being trapped or snared, costing us losses in game species, pets, and protected species. Costing us lawsuits as well.
- Unlike guns and ammo, there is no excise tax on traps.
- Trapping is legal year round in Montana.