Fur Trapping Increases In Oregon

The number of licensed fur trappers in Oregon has more than doubled for the 2007 - 08 trapping season. According to the ODFW, 1500 new licenses were issued above the roughly 1,000 already outstanding. The revived popularity of furs in fashion, reversing the decline of the past decade, has caused a marked increase in the price of pelts, especially bobcat.

Population growth in rural areas has led to more conflicts between newcomers and trappers, often caused when pets, especially dogs, are caught and sometimes killed. Most new residents in the rural West are unpleasantly surprised to find traps along their hiking and skiing trails, fishing streams, creek bottoms, anywhere in fact where furbearers can be found. Oregon has very few restrictions on where traps can be set. They can be set anywhere along public roads and trails, anywhere on public lands unless specifically forbidden. There are no required setbacks, no indications where traps are set. Traps designed to kill are mingled with leg-hold traps.

Newspaper stories and letters to editors about trapped pets have brought unwanted attention to the trapping industry. Dogs trapped and killed in Montana, Nevada and Oregon during the 2006 -07 trapping season have inspired the formation of citizen groups intent on restricting or eliminating this abusive practice. TrapFree Oregon, FootLoose Montana and TrailSafe (Nevada) have all begun to educate the public about the indiscriminate and cruel nature of trapping, whether it be for fur or wildlife management.


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