(Anchorage) â€“ Pet owners living adjacent to or recreating on public lands are reminded that midwinter in Alaska means fur trapping seasons are open and in full swing. Pets running off-leash and not closely supervised risk having their toes pinched â€“ or worse.
When pets do encounter traps or snares, owners must be prepared to act quickly. That’s why the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Trappers Association (ATA) have teamed up to produce a pocket-size pamphlet titled “Trap Safety for Pet Owners.”
The new pocket guide describes the types of traps and snares that may be encountered and provides illustrated instructions on how to free pets swiftly and safely.
Prevention is most important. Trappers should avoid setting traps close to homes and popular trails and trailheads, and follow the “Code of Ethics” in the Alaska Trappers Manual which includes not trapping on private lands without permission. Pet owners are reminded to keep animals leashed and under control and to be aware that traps may be set in areas where they recreate with their animals.
Clinics on trap safety for pet owners are being offered in many regions by department staff or ATA members. In Anchorage, a clinic will be held by ATA on Thursday, January 16, at 7 p.m., at the Wilda Marston Theatre in the Loussac Library. The clinic is free and open to the public. A similar clinic sponsored by the department and presented by ATA is tentatively planned for February at Mat-Su College in Palmer; for more information phone the department’s Palmer office at (907) 746-6300.
Copies of the “Trap Safety for Pet Owners” guide are available free of charge at department offices, or may be viewed on the website at www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/hunting/trapping/pdfs/trap_safety_for_pet_owners.pdf .
More information, including video footage featuring trap removal instructions, is found on the department’s website atwww.adfg.alaska.gov (see “Sharing the Trails” under the “Trapping” tab), and on the Alaska Trappers Association website at www.alaskatrappers.org.
Trapping is a popular pastime and livelihood throughout Alaska. More than 36,000 state trapping licenses were sold in in 2012.