Montana is one of only three remaining states in the union without mandatory trap-check laws. But, Montana’s legislators have the chance to right that wrong this week with House Bill ?287 which calls for mandatory, daily trap-checks.
If you wish to improve the treatment of our world’s wildlife and minimize the suffering imposed by trapping, please take action immediately: Tell Legislators You Support Daily Trap Checks.
Under the current laws, Montana trappers can legally set their traps and return to them whenever they personally see fit. This frequently results in the prolonged, egregious death of the animal—whose pelts are often discarded altogether, as any fur that’s been compromised by predators, scavengers, or the victim itself, is worthless.
In an agony of pain and confusion, the animal struggles in a frenzy, often mutilating themselves, dislocating joints, breaking their teeth, chewing their leg or paw in an attempt to break free….to the trapper, it means they have lost a pelt.
Montana is joined only by North Dakota — which has introduced legislation for mandatory trap-checks— and Alaska as the last three states in the U.S. to have no legal regulations on the timeframe that a trapper must return to check their traps.
“A person setting traps or snares for any animal shall check the traps or snares at least daily.”³
While long overdue, the passing of this bill would be a critical step in the right direction for the reputation of sportsmen and women of the state of Montana—a state which has received a disgraceful grading for its lack of trapping regulations.
Montana Received “D-” Grade for Trapping Regulations: Nationwide grades were awarded based on prohibiting body-crushing traps and snares for recreation or commerce in fur, requiring trapper education, requiring trappers report the number of animals they kill, maintaining records of non-target animals trapped, having a minimal required trap check time of 24 hours.
Despite their deplorable reputation and lack of responsible regulation, the Montana Trappers Association calls itself:
An organization of concerned and active conservationists who promote proper management of Montana’s furbearers, who develop proper predator control, maintain a positive public image and help perpetuate quality habitat.?
If Montana trappers truly want to represent themselves and their “sport” well, it seems they should be the one’s championing House Bill 287; rather than overtly resisting the proposed legislation.
It’s not known when, exactly, Montana’s legislators will take executive action; but, they will be meeting this Tuesday (02/12/2019) and Thursday (02/14/2019) at 3:00PM MST and are expected to take action this week.
For the sake of lessening the suffering that we impose upon the wildlife that we share this earth with, I urge you to support this House Bill 287 by calling and emailing your Legislators immediately——and please visit the Trap Free Montana Public Lands and TrapFreeMTwebsites to join their mission and support their cause.
How To Take Action:
Urge Montana Legislators to VOTE YES ON HB287 TODAY.
Please contact Representatives NOW. Especially the Representatives on the House Fish and Wildlife Committee.
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 (D) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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: email@example.com
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:firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Calling 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; keep it brief and concise.
Remind the legislator, politely, that you will vote for or against them accordingly.
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; denleyLoge@mtleg.gov
Mark.Sweeney@mtleg.gov; Marvin.Weatherwax@mtleg.gov; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject line: Vote YES on Trap Check Bill HB287
To look up your Representative and contact info:https://leg.mt.gov/legislator-lookup/