"Trappers are similarly reminded to follow Montana's regulations aimed at avoiding accidental pet captures and to use every precaution to avoid capturing a dog," said Brian Giddings, FWP's furbearer coordinator.
While such incidents are uncommon, Montana law nevertheless requires traps on public lands to be set back at least 50 feet from a road or trail—150 feet for wolf traps; 300 to 1,000 feet from a trailhead depending on the type of trap used; and 1,000 feet from a public campground.
After a process to improve trapping regulations a decade ago, Montana now has some of the most effective regulations in the nation to avoid unintended captures. All trappers must study the Montana Trapping Regulations for details. Knowing that regulated trapping activities can occur on public and private lands through February, dog owners can take the following steps to further minimize risks:
- keep your dog on a leash or otherwise always under your control.
- don't let your dog wander off, especially out of sight.
Trapping is a tightly regulated activity in Montana and most other states. During the standard furbearer seasons, and depending on the location and the status of each regulated quota, licensed trappers can pursue bobcat, fisher, marten, and wolverine.
Currently, Montana has about 4,000 licensed trappers who contribute to furbearer management and wildlife research.
For more information visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click Hunting then Trapping.