The Wallowa County Humane Society would like to remind pet owners that the fur trapping season generally runs from November 15 through March 15.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife warns pet owners to be careful during this time when walking animals in locations where traps may be set. Be prepared by carrying a length of rope and a set of wire cutters to release, if possible, your pet from Conibear traps and neck snares, which are kill traps. Be aware that baits and lures can be used with traps, which attract pets as well as targeted animals.
Within Wallowa County, there are areas where traps are regularly set. These include:
- Hurricane Creek Road within the National Forest, and along the Hurricane Creek trail within the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area
- Along Bear Creek
- On Marble Quarry Road
- On the West Moraine
- In the Dug Bar area
- Along the railroad right-of-way near the Marr Pond refuge
- Along McCully Creek.
In Union County, traps have been set along Ousley Canyon and elsewhere. Traps are set on both public and private land and are not marked.
Dogs have been caught in traps in all the places described above, and one was killed by a neck snare in Ousley Canyon several years ago. It is vitally important to be aware of the risk. Be cautious, and be prepared.
Information on keeping your pet safe during the 2013-2014 trapping season can be found at the ODFW website. Being prepared is essential to protecting your pet. ODFW references these links from the Utah Paws organization. They provide detailed and illustrated instructions on how to release your pet from the following traps:
Please be mindful of Utah Paws’ warning about attempting release from a conibear trap:
… they are difficult to release and a pet’s injuries will likely be very serious and possibly fatal. Conibears are often set out in watery areas for beaver. Releasing a conibear requires a lot of strength and is dangerous.
In addition to all the above, the Wallowa County Humane Society will provide an informative brochure by request, or at events.