I am a retriever trainer and frequent the Palmer Hay Flats regularly. I train in areas that are right popular for other amateur trainers and even those that just go out to walk their dogs.
Here's the problem. I went out to one of my areas to train...haven't been there since last summer. With the winds we have been having lately I scouted out the area for potential dog training. It looked good so I went out to set up. When I did.. I noticed out of place sticks...this is a watery area during the summer so a stick is well out of place. It just didn't belong. Being inquisitive I pulled it up. A chain was attached so I figured it is a trap. I then looked around and the whole area had sticks with traps attached.
I understand trapping goes on in the area, but never this close to where others venture. Typically you see trails made by the trappers where they go in to check there traps. I do avoid those areas. But these traps had no trail to them no sign at all of being checked. In fact they were covered over by snow and frozen in.
My guess is they were placed here during the fall and then simply left. Maybe winter caught up with the trapper too fast and he couldn't pull them. I don't know. These things are setup right along a road. A very popular road. Just doesn't seem ethical.
Before you start bashing me I know there are laws in place to protect your trapping rights. And then you'll tell me that I wasn't suppose to touch the traps and that I could get arrested. That's ok...I know there are good people and bad people. I'm looking to hear from the good people on how to best handle this situation.
Right now these traps aren't causing a big problem because they are so weather in that they won't get tripped. But come spring when things start to melt will cause a problem. Not only for me but for other dog enthusiast that frequent that spot for dog training. And there are lots of us that do.
My questions is....How do I handle this if these are truly abandoned traps.
I did talk to a Trooper today as well. Yes, he too told me what the law was and apparently trappers can trap there. But he said that I did not have the authority to determine if they were abandoned or not. So who does...the trooper wouldn't give me a definitive answer. I think he was siding to the fact that all trappers are responsible for there traps and that this person will be back to check on them.
Even if they are frozen in....an axe can get them out. So I find this person to be extremely lazy in recovering his equipment. Meanwhile preventing others from using the same area for recreation.
Simply put.....I feel that trappers rights are infringing on my own recreation. If these traps are still there this spring and since it is illegal for me to touch them. That means I can't safely train my dogs there.
Being held at bay by a bad seed trapper.