Trapping on Public Lands
Last week a dog walking with its owner was caught in both a snare and leg hold trap off of FS-137 outside of El Rito. These illegally set traps on National Forest land were subsequently removed by New Mexico Game and Fish. The road the traps were close to is frequently used by dog walkers. Needless to say, it was a frightening and unexpected experience for the dog owner who had no experience releasing traps. The dog was calm and after some (very) anxious time, the owner first freed the dog’s paw, then after realizing the dog had a snare around its neck, figured out how to release that too.
We hope that if you walk dogs or ride horses you will take a few minutes to watch these videos (leghold trap | snare) detailing how to remove snares and traps. Understanding the mechanics of how they work might save your dog’s life and will certainly make removing the traps easier.
Trapping on public lands in New Mexico will be illegal April 1st. Until then, trappers MUST HAVE a permit to place traps on public land.