So I'll have a new pup here soon and it will be the first gundog in many years. I have been trying to get out as much as possible as I know with a 9 week old pup I'm not going to be out shooting birds for awhile. I have an area I have been doing some recon in for a couple weekends and have been seeing, flushing or seeing signs of birds.
I found a couple unamed trails that could lead to some terrain I wanted to get at. There is about 4 inches of snow on the ground here and a lot of canine and bear tracks. One trail was named on the map and the other was not. I started up the first trail, which was pretty thick and narrow and not really easy to find, and as soon as I got on to the trail I ran into numerous snares. They were the size and set, perfect for wolves and coyotes, one of which was closed smaller with fur caught in the cinch of the snare.
I didn't follow this trail very far and reversed my way out of there and when I got out and back onto the main trail, which is actually what I would describe as a fire road which was closed, I ran into a trapper and a kid with him. We chatted for a minute and he said he had snares all they way up the trail, directly on the trail, set for wolves and coyotes. We we standing and talking in a small clearing just off the fire road at the head of the hidden trail I had just backed off of. There was a short log about 4 inches in diameter under the few inches of snow. The trapper starts to gingerly scrap the snow away from the 3 foot log and rebaited the trap that was hidden there. I had originally thought perhaps a few months down the road, I could bring the pup up here to hunt grouse and use the trails to perhaps get up high and see about some ptarmigan. I'm rethinking that. The trap at the trail head would have been bad news with no warning as it was under the snow.
I think I'll steer clear of such trails with the dog in the future. I'm not against trappers, it's just I was nieve to the idea in my search for birds and places to work the dog I hadn't thought of that. As a retired Infantryman, I had to chew my own ***** for not considering that where they might be wolves and bears to watch out for, there might be traps and snares! Not anything new either, the **** trail was boobie trapped! Do any of you all have some experience to share on the subject? I don't want to start a trapper bash, I'd just like to hear what some you have as experience sharing the woods with trappers.