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We shouldn't have to be afraid to enjoy our public lands because of the threat of hidden, dangerous traps. We shouldn't have to carry hardware, ropes and not venture alone on public lands because of traps. Traps catch any creature. Trappers break rules the rest of us abide by. Nobody else tortures, commercializes and takes unlimited numbers of animals; it's contrary to norms of civilized society.

“The leg-hold trap … is probably the most cruel device ever invented by man and is a direct cause of inexcusable destruction and waste of our wildlife,” wrote Dick Randall, a former federal trapper, in a statement to Congress in 1975.

“Even though I was an experienced, professional trapper, my trap victims often included non-target species such as bald and golden eagles, a variety of hawks and other birds, rabbits, sage grouse, pet dogs, deer and antelope, badger, porcupine, sheep and calves.

“My trapping records show that for each target animal I trapped, about two unwanted individuals were caught,” Randall wrote. “Because of trap injuries, these non-target species usually had to be destroyed.”

Idaho Fish and Game Department’s 2012 report confirms the same rate of unwanted capture. Please vote yes for 177.

George S. McClure, Jr.

Bozeman

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