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Thread: unchecked trap lines, should they be tripped?

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    Member Roper85's Avatar
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    Default unchecked trap lines, should they be tripped?

    i stumbled on a trap line this last weekend near my families cabin. it had been some time since anyone had been to check it, and no one went to check it in the days i was out, as i didnt see any tracks heading down the trail. I definitely do not want to get in the way of someone trapping, but at the same time i dont want to see an animal wasted if caught and trap is not check. I have never trapped and have never even seen a trap placed in the field until now. Any thoughts would be great.

    Thanks

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    Member Roper85's Avatar
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    i guess i should clarify the time frame, it was 4 days that no one checked it and if i go back this weekend should it be tripped then? i dont want to set the trap and just want to do right by trappers and animals.

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Don't touch them if they're not yours. You are not a trooper and it would be illegal.

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    Member Roper85's Avatar
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    okay, good to know. i didnt want to touch it and glad i didnt. where can i find more info on trapping?

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    Member Roper85's Avatar
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    should i call anyone? or just let it be? is that a normal amount of time? i have no idea who the trapper is.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roper85 View Post
    should i call anyone? or just let it be? is that a normal amount of time? i have no idea who the trapper is.
    Some guys don't check their lines but every week or two, or three...and will have any number of lame excuses to justify it. I've found wolves standing in leg-hold traps for a week. Is perfectly legal and nothing to be done. If you mess with anything you'll be in violation of State statutes.
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    Member Roper85's Avatar
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    Okay, sounds good. thanks for the info guys. Just glad i didnt step on it

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    Most guys trapping the road system only check once a week weather medical issues or a whole host of other things can come into play that keep that from happening. But most make a real effort to get out on their weekly checks. As mentioned above tampering with someones traps is against the law and can get you a nice fat ticket and in some cases has led to civil action where trappers have been awarded dollars. Also just because it looks like a trap isn't checked doesn't mean it has not been I check a lot of my sets from a bit of a distance preferring not to walk right up to any of the canine sets unless I absolutely have to. A good pair of binos can help a lot in checking traps.
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    Member Roper85's Avatar
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    ya it was my understanding that most check their traplines every couple of days. this set of traps had several magpies caught in foot traps with 1 or 2 not tripped. is that normal to leave birds in traps?

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    Leaving a bird in the trap is somewhat pointless you can't catch fur when the trap is full.
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I am just curious because I don't know the answer to this question even here in IL...
    If you ran across an animal, say a coyote, - in someone else s trap is it against the law to kill it and leave it for the trapper?
    Many years ago I ran 9 miles of river by boat everyday checking traps and there was an old boy doing the same and going even further downstream. We got along fine and would pop the coons with a 22 pistol for each other depending on who got there first...Coons have a tendency to twist out after several hours if they do not drown so we both saved furs by cooperating with each other. No doubt we both wanted it all to ourselves but we made peace and life went on...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Technically yes. In your case you had seemed to have an agreement and in a similar case here it would be ok but if you dispatch a lynx say and his brother comes along and eats him you just took $ out of the trappers pocket and it would most likely be determined to be illegal. I would much rather have lynx in particular alive in a trap than someone dispatch it and the next critter that comes along dine on it for lunch.
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by otterman View Post
    Technically yes. In your case you had seemed to have an agreement and in a similar case here it would be ok but if you dispatch a lynx say and his brother comes along and eats him you just took $ out of the trappers pocket and it would most likely be determined to be illegal. I would much rather have lynx in particular alive in a trap than someone dispatch it and the next critter that comes along dine on it for lunch.
    Hmm, I never thought about that angle, I was thinking the trapper may benefit from less twist offs then predation from other critters. Where we have to run our traps every 24 hours there is not much chance of another predator being an issue. Raccoons in particular are prone to twisting off and out of leg holds...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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