This letter pertains to trapping and the story of Willie, Mr. Murray's dog who was killed in a snare in Kasilof recently (Clarion, Jan. 16). I would just like to express my concern for the area trappers who do not take in consideration the immediate areas they trap. If you are going to trap, please make sure recreational users do not use the area publicly.
An easy sign is snowshoe or ski tracks followed by dog tracks along the same path as recreational users. If you are going to place traps in such an area that may be used by recreational users and the like, then post a sign that there is a trap line in the area in a conspicuous place stating so. This will send up a "red flag" to not let the users of the trail, path and river's edge not to allow their pets to run unleashed or to find another area to enjoy without the possibility of having their pet injured in a snare or trap.
Plain and simple, use common sense. Jan. 15, my wife and I decided to ski along the Kasilof River where there were plenty of cross-country ski tracks and domestic dog tracks. We had also brought along our chocolate Lab name Moose. Starting out at the boat launch we skied to the upper creek near the lake and headed back. Along the way we saw several other skiers who had pets.
We enjoyed the time until we got back to within 75 yards of the boat launch and at the edge within the day use camping area. I had seen Moose sniffing an area and then heard him yelping. My first instinctive thoughts were he either found a porcupine or a trap. My wife arrived on the scene and yelled to me it was a trap. I found Moose was in undue stress and pain and caught by the paw in a double coil 110 connibear trap.
As a trapper, I know that 110 connibear traps target the heads of small animals and dispatch them quickly. I am so thankful Moose did not get his nose caught in that trap. Luckily, I have a vast knowledge of traps and was able to remove the trap within seconds with no injury to Moose, unlike Willie. Just imagine if it was just my wife and Moose. She would not have known how to remove the trap.
To other users in the area, please be advised that there are traps set along the south side of the Kasilof. I know there are more traps, as there were likely places to set a them along the river.
Act responsibly as a trapper by minimizing conflicts between trapping and other users. Avoid high recreational use areas such as public camping areas and boat launches. Avoid situations where you might catch a domestic dog or cat, such as near homes or trails that are frequented by hikers, skijorers, dog mushers or others.
Michael Paul / Sterling