The article on Dec. 22, "Traps may move back from trails," brought back frightening memories of my trapped dog two winters ago. A 330 Conibear wolverine trap was placed 50 feet from a parking area used by recreationists in Cordova. My dog was out of the car for barely a minute or two before becoming caught in the baited trap. Three of us adults frantically tried to open the trap to free the screaming strangled dog. In the process, I was bitten by my thrashing pet and a friend was injured by the trap. In desperation, I left my dying dog and ran back to the car for tools to pry open the trap. After nearly five minutes of suffering, we managed to free the dog. Miraculously, she was relatively uninjured.
I would not want anyone or any animal to go through this experience which could have been avoided if the trapper followed the Alaska trappers' code of ethics found in the book of trapping regulations.
Unfortunately, many trappers view this code as merely a suggestion. That is why we need clearly defined no-trapping setbacks from public trails and trail heads. Responsible trappers will still be able to enjoy the vast majority of the rest of Alaska and avoid dangerous conflicts with other legitimate users of public land.
-- Karl Becker