UPDATE: Montana House Fish & Wildlife Committee voted 12:6 against HB287 on 2/19/19 and the bill was tabled! For more information see Legislation.
Hearing scheduled before the House Fish & Wildlife Committee 2/7/19 at 3:00 rm 172 Capital, Helena
Montana has no required time frame a trapper must check his/her traps.
Only traps set for bobcats in designated lynx protection zones require a 48 hour trap check.
The other exception is traps set for wolves require a visual trap check every 48 hours.
48 hours trap checks for all others is a recommendation in the regulations, not a requirement. All other traps and snares can be left secreted, baited, unattended and unchecked legally for days, even weeks in Montana, leaving trapped animals to suffer indefinitely.
Trapped animals are exposed to the elements, become dehydrated, have documented injuries, are at risk of frostbite and predation by other animals. The longer they are trapped the evidence shows the greater the damage.
Scientists and researchers that want the animal alive and uninjured conduct 24 hour trap checks at minimum. For most it is every 12 hours. This includes the practices of Montana FWP biologists.
Trappers say the number one reason they trap is for fun. The days of the mountain man trying to scrape by are long past. The findings are today's trappers have full time jobs. The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies states, "Make a commitment to check your traps at least once every day."
Here is the language of HB287
HB287 adjusted the original language from a mandated 24 hour trap check to a mandated DAILY trap check in order to grant trappers more leeway and not have them potentially cited as within a strict 24 hour requirement.
HB287 provides an exception for a trapper under special circumstances who cannot attend to his/her traps daily to give permission to a licensed trapper. The regional Montana fish wildlife and parks is to be notified of the arrangement.
HB287 isn't about ending trapping. It is about ending the legalized prolonged suffering of trapped animals whether that be a targeted species i.e. a coyote, a bobcat, pine marten, wolf or a protected one such as a raptor, wolverine, grizzly, deer, mountain lion, a lost dog or a working dog and giving the latter a better chance to survive and with less injuries once they are released from the trap.
There is no excuse to condone animal suffering. Ethical hunters do not. 36 other states have 24 hr/daily trap checks in their regulations. Our trapping regulations are an increasing black eye to our state of Montana and our management of our incredible precious wildlife.
URGE MONTANA LEGISLATORS TO VOTE YES ON HB287
Please contact Representatives, NOW, especially, the Representatives on the House Fish and Wildlife Committee!
Call and simply INSIST THEY VOTE YES FOR HB287.
Leave a message if they do not answer, urging them to VOTE YES on TRAP CHECK Bill HB287 with your name and Montana town.
The House Fish & Wildlife Committee Members are:
Chairman Rep. Bob Brown (R) THOMPSON FALLS, MT
Primary ph: (406) 827-9894 Secondary ph: (406) 242-0141 Email: Bob.Brown@mtleg.gov
Vice Chair Rep. Ross Fitzgerald (R) FAIRFIELD, MT
Primary ph: (406) 788-1443 Secondary ph: (406) 467-2032 Email: Ross.Fitzgerald@mtleg.gov
Vice Chair Rep. Zac Perry (D) HUNGRY HORSE, MT
Primary ph: (406) 261-9642 Email: Zac.Perry@mtleg.gov
Rep. Seth Berglee (R) JOLIET, MT
Primary ph: (406) 690-9329 Email: Seth.Berglee@mtleg.gov
Rep. Zach Brown (D) BOZEMAN, MT
Primary ph: (406) 579-5697 Email: email@example.com
Rep. Neil Duram (R) EUREKA, MT
Primary ph: (406) 471-2356 Email: neil.Duram@mtleg.gov
Rep. Robert Farris-Olson (D) HELENA, MT
Primary ph: (406) 794-4780 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. John Fuller (R) KALISPELL, MT
Primary ph: (406) 253-4897 Email: john.Fuller@mtleg.gov
Rep. Rhonda Knudsen (R) CULBERTSON, MT
Primary ph: (406) 489-5253 Email: rhonda.Knudsen@mtleg.gov
Rep. Joel Krautter (R) SIDNEY, MT
Primary ph: (406) 482-9610 Secondary ph: (406) 560-5952 Email: joel.Krautter@mtleg.gov
Rep. Denley Loge (R) SAINT REGIS, MT
Primary ph: (406) 649-2368 Secondary ph: (406) 544-5220 Email: Denley.Loge@mtleg.gov
Rep. Tyson Runningwolf (D) BROWNING, MT
Primary ph: (406) 338-2125 Secondary ph: (406) 845-2115 Email: email@example.com
Rep. Bridget Smith (D) WOLF POINT, MT (The bill sponsor!)
Primary ph: (406) 230-2268 Secondary ph: (406( 653-1234 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Sharon Stewart Peregoy (D) HD42 Crow Res.
Primary ph: (406) 639-2198 Email: Sharon.StewartPeregoy@mtleg.gov
Rep Mark Sweeney (D) - HD77 PHILIPSBURG
Primary ph: (406) 560-0171 Email: Mark.Sweeney@mtleg.gov
Rep. Sue Vinton (R) BILLINGS, MT
Primary ph: (406) 248-1984 Secondary ph: (406) 855-2625 Email: sue.Vinton@mtleg.gov
Rep. Marvin Weatherwax Jr (D) -HD15 Browning
Primary ph: (406) 338-7741 Secondary ph: (406) 270-7571 Email: Marvin.Weatherwax@mtleg.gov
Rep. Kerry White (R) -HD64 Bozeman
Primary ph: (406) 587-3653 Email: email@example.com
If you live in the district of the Committee members be certain to let them know!
Tell the legislator you will vote for or against them accordingly!
CALLING THEM IS MOST EFFECTIVE! It's good if you can also follow up with an email. Given the number of emails Montana Legislators receive be sure to put in the subject line:
Vote YES on Trap Check Bill HB287!
Always be respectful, stay on the topic at hand, and use your own words!
Briefer is better!
To email all the House Fish and Wildlife Committee members at once, copy and paste:
Bob.Brown@mtleg.gov; Ross.Fitzgerald@mtleg.gov; Zac.Perry@mtleg.gov; Seth.Berglee@mtleg.gov;
firstname.lastname@example.org; neil.Duram@mtleg.gov; email@example.com; john.Fuller@mtleg.gov;
rhonda.Knudsen@mtleg.gov; joel.Krautter@mtleg.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; Sharon.StewartPeregoy@mtleg.gov; sue.Vinton@mtleg.gov; Denley.Loge@mtleg.gov
Mark.Sweeney@mtleg.gov; Marvin.Weatherwax@mtleg.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject line: Vote YES on Trap Check Bill HB287
PLEASE BE SURE to let your own Legislator know that you want daily trap checks!
TRAPPING IS A BIPARTISAN ISSUE! Both Democrats and Republicans oppose it!
To lookup your Representative and contact info: https://leg.mt.gov/legislator-lookup/
More Reasons for 24hr/Daily Trap checks click here
All Rights Reserved. 2019