December 12,2017 – Montana
A hunter in Montana let us know they filled their tag by shooting a buck that was caught in a leghold trap along a fence line. They said its leg was shattered. One quick shot and it’s suffering was finally over. We have no required trap check interval in Montana so who knows how long it was trapped.
Ethical hunters despise trapping. Trappers complain their trapped animals get shot by hunters that come along and put the animal out of their misery. The trapper’s upset is in the damage to the pelt, preserving it is their priority, not the cruelty to the animal.
This is not the first deer, elk, moose or pronghorn known to be caught in traps and snares, in Montana and elsewhere, or the last. If a species eats, drinks, seeks shelter, dens, climbs, is curious, territorial, traverses,….is present, it can and will be trapped or snared, legal or not. These non-target catches which are inherent in trapping are excused and referred to as “incidental”. If the trapper is even found, they are not charged providing the few regulations were followed, i.e identification tag on the trap.
For more on “incidental” trapped wildlife in Montana: