My experience with the MTA / MN-DNR trap-release instructions
Post date: Jul 24, 2014 5:31:05 PM
I see they've prettied up the trap-release instructions in the 2014 Minnesota Hunting & Trapping Regulations Handbook (the "Paid Advertisement" of the Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA) on page 39). Still negligent and politically-misleading.
My experience with the MTA trap-release instructions:
- My Jack Russell Terrier was killed by a #160 body-gripping trap in January, 2012.
- The previous Fall, I had read the 2011 MN Hunting & Trapping Regulations Handbook, including the trap-release instructions on page 34.
- I'm six feet tall, weigh about 185 pounds, and am fit with above-average hand and body strength. I'm generally good with tools and machinery.
- After reading the instructions, I had assumed that I would be able to use the primary method (for real men) as opposed to the "rope method alternative" (for those who "cannot squeeze the springs of the trap by hand.")
- I didn't think I needed to practice (either method) with an actual trap.
- That Winter, I was walking behind my dog on the ice of our suburban marshland, in sight of home. He cried out about five times, and I knew something terrible was wrong. I'd never heard that sound.
- I reached him within a few seconds, remained calm (step one), and grasped the trap springs with both hands (step two).
- I soon learned that I didn't have the strength to complete step two. After failing for the second time, I began to lose my calm.
- I think I remember him looking at me, wondering why I was causing him such pain.
- He was struggling to pull away from the trap anchor, twisting and moving up and down and side to side.
- When I moved onto step three ("squeezing together on one of the springs with both hands") he was biting at my hands.
- The mechanical parts of the trap were obscured by his skin and fur.
- His neck had been crushed between the jaws of the trap, with a very small space between them.
- As I remember, there was only enough space on the spring to grasp it firmly with one hand; there was no way to reach the spring loops from inside the trap with the other hand. There was a dog inside the trap.
- After my dog had stopped struggling (after he had lost consciousness, and perhaps after he had lost his life), I was only able to compress and latch the springs, one at a time, by planting one spring on the ice and snow and pressing down with both hands, applying a good deal of body weight.
- I attempted CPR. Although I did achieve an air seal around my dog's nose and mouth, I did not achieve a smooth flow of air to his lings. The only flow of air I could detect was a bubbling at the highest pressure I could achieve.
- I continued CPR for what seemed to be a very long time. When I reached the emergency veterinary line later on, I was assured that ten minutes would have covered the normal window of opportunity for a successful revival.
- I thawed the January ground for his grave with a large, propane blowtorch under a steel cover. About two feet with a pickaxe, and then easier shoveling.
- I bought a trap to practice with, and I began to describe the lethal traps as they really are, and the negligent and politically misleading trap-release instructions as they really are.
PR: made to look easy.