February 12, 2018
SANTA FE, N. M. – There’s still a month left in the animal-trapping season and, with the weather warming, hikers on public lands need to exercise caution – especially if they bring their dogs along.
Trapping for fox, badger, weasel, ringtail and bobcat is legal on public lands from Nov. 1 to March 15.
Mary Katherine Ray, wildlife chair for the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, said traps are only required to be 25 yards away from roads or trails, and a dog can easily find itself caught in a leg-hold trap or snare.
“Having a dog trapped is a frightening and traumatic experience,” said Ray. “People universally say they don’t know what’s happened to their dog. People say they think a snake, they think some animal attacked it – that the dog is, basically, the word they use is ‘screaming’ – because when the trap slams shut, it’s the equivalent to having your hand caught in a car door.”