Modern-day trapping is rooted in the fabric of how people live in rural America. Many families have grown up trapping and handing down that tradition to their children. “It’s part of their fabric,” says, Chris Bernier, a Vermont Biologist. When asked who they are, that is the answer given after much thought. With nearly 13,000 trappers in New England alone, these men and women are wild fur farmers.
To hunters, trappers and Wildlife Management these people are providing a necessary wildlife management tool that keeps populations in balance with proper regulation. To biologists, they are the tools to implement wildlife management goals. Not everyone thinks this way though. To some, they are a relic of America’s barbaric past.
Today’s traps are not like the traps of the past. Today, they are designed to reduce suffering. Fish and Game departments with wildlife biologists check traps and guage through examination of these furs whether animal populations are increasing, decreasing, or stable. Trapping is more regulated than fishing or hunting in most states. “Animal welfare is a chief concern now,” said John Depue of Maine’s Fish and Game Department. Depue states, “It’s hard to describe, but the bulk of trappers I know love the live animal just as much as the dead one.” Many biologists and veterinarians have teamed up to develop Best Management Practice (BMP) guidelines, which recommend which trap to use for each species when trapping. These guidelines help to reduce suffering when trapping, making trapping more humane and effective.
There are still many people that are unaware of such reforms in the trapping industry, they continue to remain unmoved. As in every industry, there are people that don’t follow the rules and don’t care about conservation and participate in these programs to protect hunting, fishing and trapping throughout America. Those are the few that give trapping a bad name by not following regulations.
If you want to know more about trapping in New England and read more about how trapping improves population health of wildlife, click here.