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Ouch! Almost stepped in trap

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by alphapygmy, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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    Anyone ever get nipped by a trap while out hunting or hiking? I was out scouting a new spot in Saddle Mtn. unit Friday and went to check a trail cam. Halfway up the old skid I notice several twigs placed across the trail-obviously done by a human. Took a second to see the actual trap, a 5 or 6 inch round jaw trap. Kind of disconcerting to be wandering around on trails and really having to be aware there are traps on the trails. Can anybody with a trapping license fill me in on trapping etiquette? Are you supposed to mark the traps or do you just have to be looking for the little twigs in a row that I guess are to guide the animal to put their foot on the trap, not on the twigs. If you got bit by a trap what would you do?
     
  2. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The trap you describe (5-6") diameter jaw trap (probably set for coyote or bobcat) would be almost incapable of harming a human if you stepped on it. The pan would trip, the jaws would impact your sole, and at the very most might grab the tip of a Vibram lug. More likely, the trap would snap shut/bounce off after your boot was off it. Trapping regulations are available online.

    Note: it is illegal to disturb legally set traps. (Kicking one inadvertently would of course not be considered "disturbing" them for the regulation's purpose).

    There is a myth amongst persons unfamiliar with jaw traps, that their power and function is accomplished in the "snap" of the trap. This is entirely not true. They work by closing and holding. A trap that would "snap" and fracture the leg bone of a furbearer would not serve its purpose: the animal would always get away. Yes, they "snap" when closing empty, and this is somewhat frightening.

    Of greater concern in your situation would be if you had a dog with you (bird hunting, etc.) Even then, the trap would close and hold, and your dog would suffer broken skin, some tissue damage, or perhaps if he was caught just right, a trap of that size would break a toe or two.

    Even a fair-sized child's boot-covered foot would result in the "bouncing off" scenario first described above.
     
  3. alphapygmy

    alphapygmy Yamhill County Active Member

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    I figured it was for coyotes as there is plenty of scat in that area, no bobcat signs that I've ever seen in this spot. My last spot, before it was logged off, had tons of bob signs and I ran into it a few times. I have some cool video somewhere of one up in a tree in very heavy fog as I'm standing at the base of the tree and he's yowling at something in the brush on the other side of the tree. I left the trap alone, just like I would hope people would leave my trail cams alone. As much I prefer a quick, humane kill on any animal, trapping is legal and I'd rather not have my opinion be the end all be all, lest others opinions limit my freedoms. My dad and I have also run into traps made by drug growers. Fish hooks strung at eye level, young saplings cut and sharpened at crotch level, and pits with steaks in them around a pot grow. Didn't leave a thing standing after finding that.