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The Many Benefits of Trapping

The following was written by the Sportman's Alliance


Our trapping heritage played an important role in the discovery and early economics of the United States – and it still does today. Trading posts and companies followed trappers west, creating jobs and providing a foundation for communities. Trappers were valuable citizens who provided resources and skills that people depended upon for survival.

Unfortunately, the majority of voting citizens have a negative perception of trapping today. Most of which can be attributed to biased reports from the media and emotionally charged propaganda from anti-hunting organizations such as HSUS and PETA.

This misinformation has given trapping a bad reputation; one that makes it easy to dismiss and therefore a soft target for anti-hunters to slowly chip away at all of our rights. The fact is trapping provides many benefits to both humans and wildlife.

Trapping: A Management Tool

Whether we admit it or not, human activity has and continues to change the landscape. Conversion of natural lands to agricultural or suburban habitats has caused the boom of some populations of species, such as raccoons. Trapping removes excess individuals in these populations, easing the burden on livestock, crops and other species of plants and animals that they impact.

Biologists exam waterfowl nests in North Dakota.

Trapping: Benefits to Wildlife

Fragmentation of prairie habitat in the Midwest has had devastating affects on nesting conditions for both upland birds and waterfowl. Smaller parcels of grasslands concentrate nests and making location easier for predators. Legal trapping can curb predation, resulting in greater survival rates for prey species, such as ducks, pheasants and quail.

“Responsible harvest of furbearers helps to reduce both hen and nest predation, which is a plus for production of upland birds,” says Quail Forever’s Director of Field Operations, Jim Wooley. “We certainty support legal trapping from both a production standpoint and its beneficial impact on wildlife as well.”

Trapping: Job Creator

As a renewable resource, fur has created jobs in North America for hundreds of years and very little has changed – entire industries benefit from the practice. Everyone from trappers to processing plants to the fashion industry and other small businesses all reap the financial windfall of the practice.

According to the Fur Information Council of America (FICA), U.S. fur sales were a staggering $1.39 billion in 2013. The market created more than 32,000 full-time jobs and an additional 155,000 part-time jobs for seasonal workers.

Trapping: Reducing Negative Human-Wildlife Interactions

A growing human population means people will continue to encroach upon what little habitat is left for wildlife. As a result, the frequency of negative human-wildlife interactions will continue to rise. These incidents can range from bears raiding homes and garbage cans to coyote attacks on livestock. Legal trapping efforts can minimize these encounters, creating a safer environment for both people and wildlife.

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