The traps were illegal for a number of reasons. First, they were in an area prohibited for trapping. Secondly, one of the traps didn’t have spacers, a feature used to reduce the suffering of captured animals, and third, the trapper did not visit the traps within the required 96 hour period.
During the investigation, game wardens discovered a bobcat caught in one of the traps and released the animal immediately.
“There were numerous problems with this series of traps,” said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). “We invested a lot of time and resources in the investigation to catch this illegal trapper. Unfortunately he never showed up to check his traps.”
A rotation of five game wardens monitored the traps for 130 hours, spending days and nights on the traps waiting to catch the illegal trapper. The biggest issue in cases such as this is that they are time intensive. Game wardens are hoping someone will come forward with information that leads to the person who set the trap.
“We spend a lot of time and money to stop this kind of illegal activity, but there is no way to catch someone like this without waiting for him to show back up. We don’t have the resources to watch these traps indefinitely,” said Buonamici.
The violations detected with this series of traps are all misdemeanors with violations that can total many hundreds of dollars. NDOW is asking for the public’s help. Anyone who has witnessed trapping in the Thomas Creek area over the past few weeks should contact the NDOW and let game wardens know.
Sportsmen and members of the public can report wildlife violations to Operation Game Thief at (800) 992-3030. To learn more about game wardens and wildlife in Nevada visit NDOW on the web at www.ndow.org.