News out of Idaho:
Woman’s dog caught in wolf trap in Bonner Co. Dog caught in wolf trap
Taylor Viydo, KREM , KTVB March 18, 2016
BONNER COUNTY, Idaho – A woman in Bonner County is calling for changes after her dog was snared in a wolf trap.
Mary Franzel was cross country skiing along Lightening Creek Road near Clark Fork when her dog’s foot was caught in a trap.
“Then all of the sudden, I noticed that she was not quite at my feet. And a few seconds later she yelped,” said Franzel.
Franzel said the trap was designed to catch wolves and her dog had been lured in by the bait. Luckily, the dog is okay. She then contacted a conservation officer who told her some unsettling news about the placement of the trap.
According to Idaho law, traps cannot be on or within five feet of the center line of any maintained public trail. They also cannot be on public highways, but traps under bridges and within culverts are fair game. This was off of a Forest Service road, but officials said it is still legal since it technically was not on the road.
“Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought that in the ditch of the road, I would have to worry about a trap,” said Franzel.
In recent years, other media outlets have reported on at least two dogs that died after getting caught in traps in north Idaho. Franzel said she is not against trapping, but argues that the current law about where traps can be placed is simply not safe enough.
“I understand if I’m blasting through the woods hiking and my dog is running. But if I’m on a marked, maintained trail and my dog is within five feet of me, he could step in a trap. And I don’t think that’s reasonable for all public land users,” said Franzel.
Idaho Fish and Game does work to educate pet owners about the dangers of wildlife traps with online videos and brochures.
“A lot of times trappers will mark their traps, they’ll put up stakes in the ground and tie a piece of colored ribbon nearby. If you see something like that it’s a good idea to put your pet back on the leash and keep it close by,” said Mike Keckler, chief of communications for Idaho Fish and Game.
Fish and Game adds that in hunter education courses, they do tell trappers that even though a trap could be legal where it’s placed, there are other locations that could potentially be considered first.