Severed off Mountain Lion paw found in trap set for wolves in Montana

Found in the Bitterroot mountains of Montana, a mountain Lion paw in a leghold trap. We identified it for houndsmen as an MB750 set for wolves. The trapped paw was found spring 2015 and long after the trapping season for wolves in Montana had ended. How this trapped mountain lion must have suffered when attempts to naturally escape by climbing up a tree were all futile. In order to finally break free, the mountain lion eventually resorted to tearing of his/her own trapped paw leaving it behind at the base of the torn up tree.

Regardless of the suffering he knowingly caused this mountain lion, this “experienced” trapper continued to trap. He was even given the trap back.

Mountain lion paw in wolf trap upsets Darby ex-houndsman
(Apr 10, 2015 – PERRY BACKUS of the Ravalli Republic)

Despite trapper’s common response, “of fake”, forensic evidence confirmed this was real and the remains of a mountain lion trapped. The mountain lion is most certainly believed to have died and horrifically as a result.

FWP confirms lion’s paw in trap is authentic
(June 16, 2015 – PERRY BACKUS of the Ravalli Republic)

48 mountain lions were reported “incidentally” trapped in a two year time frame 2013-2015 in Montana.
16 of those were caught in traps such as this one set for wolves. 1/3 of those mountain lions in “wolf trap sets” were dead.
32 mountain lions were caught in traps not set for wolves, ie smaller leghold traps, snares, conibears,
66% were dead!
and these are just the ones we know about.
96% were deemed legal trap sets.
Over 75% were on public land.

178 mountain lions were reported trapped/snared in Montana over 10 yeats, 2012-2021.

Until ~ 6 years later, trapped mountain lions in Montana did NOT need to be reported if released “uninjured” unless caught in sets for wolves.

These “incidental” killings of Mountain Lions are not figured into the annual quotas.

Reproduced for educational purposes