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Sharing the real truth about animal trapping

My name is Racheal Smith. I am 17 years old and have been hunting and trapping with my father for the past 13 years. I find it very frustrating when I have to read numerous incorrect articles on the sport of trapping.

Traps are meant to catch the animal by the foot, not the leg, which is why they are called footholds, not legholds. Foothold traps simply close on the animalís foot, preventing them from going anywhere else.

We do not club animals to death. It is unethical and inhumane. Instead, it is a clean shot. There is no suffering or pain, like many people unfortunately believe.

If you hear of someone clubbing an animal to death, then that person is immoral. It is a state law to ethically and humanely dispatch your animals.

Another common misconception that keeps appearing is that animals in traps are left for days to suffer. Once again, there is a state law that prevents this from happening. Traps must be checked every 24 hours here, so animals arenít ever left in traps for days.

Unfortunately, there is always that one person that does something wrong. Just because they didnít follow our stateís regulations, uninformed people automatically believe that all hunters and trappers do it, also. In reality, most hunters and trappers are friendly people and will kindly tell you the truths of the trade.

A class against trapping in schools? Issuing a class in my high school will not do anything. Most students at Springville will agree that hunting and trapping is just another practice to keep wildlife populations in control, for most students do it themselves, because it is an enjoyable pastime.

For those of you against trapping, please inform yourselves of the rules and regulations regarding the sport, before you decide to publicly write something. The online version of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservationís Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide is at

Please take this into consideration, the next time you start to point fingers at hunters and trappers.

Racheal Smith
Springville-Griffith Institute High School senior

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2012-11-12 | 17:12:48
Rachael, no matter how many times you admonish people to read the New York Trapping Guide, I'm sorry, but you will not convince me that trapping animals is an "enjoyable pastime". I sort of get hunting, as a means to feed your family, but trapping animals is just cruel, whether it is a leg hold trap, or a foot hold trap. Even if people follow all of the laws and rules, a 23 hour wait for somebody to come along and make a clean shot to kill the animal is still senselessly mean. A foot hold trap to "prevent them from going anywhere else"? Do you think they just lie patiently and quietly, while their foot is being "held", hoping that some law -abiding citizen is going come along in a short period of time and ethically dispatch them?