Montana Trappers Association

Working Today For a Tomorrow in Trapping.
Furbearers Are A Natural Renewable Resource.

Trapping Benefits Me...?


What? Trapping Benefits Me? Are You Kidding?

What I want is...

  1. Clean water

  2. Safe environment

  3. Affordable food

  4. Wildlife managed





Clean Water...

Most of the water used in America is managed in a system of reservoirs for storage. The cleanest and safest water depends upon integrating reservoir management and water treatment.


Of utmost concern is the control of beavers in water storage systems because beavers often host the giardia parasite and deposit giardia cysts in the water with their stools. Giardia cysts are so small they cannot effectively be filtered with the result that water consumers may be exposed to ingestion, with resulting infection and severe diarrhea for weeks or months.


Due to this threat to water contamination, reservoirs must be monitored continually to discover the presence of beavers. Trapping is the best solution for this problem as the beavers can be removed entirely. We all want and deserve clean water. It is essential to health.


Safe Environment...

It is a fact we share our environment with a variety of wild species. As more wild animals live in urban environments, more negative interactions occur with attacks against pets and the spread of diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, tularemia, and bubonic plague.


Coyotes and foxes commonly live in urban environments today from coast to coast. They can become brazen, attacking and killing pets. Where trapping is severely restricted, coyotes have been known to aggressively attack children and adults.


Urban populations of skunks, opossums, raccoons, foxes and coyotes have learned to share foods and water left outside for pets, which increases the spread of diseases.


Dikes and dams are threatened with digging behaviors of muskrats, nutrias and beavers. Overly abundant raccoons often seek refuge in home attics, and even cause fires by chewing on electrical wires.


Affordable Food...

Livestock losses due to predators are significant. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, predators cost American producers more than 71 million dollars annually.


Coyotes account for 65% of all cattle predatory losses and 61% of sheep. Excessive predation can bankrupt producers, and certainly adds costs to the public for meat products.


Other wild animals damage crops too. Raccoons can have a devastating impact upon sweet corn production, berry crops, melons and fruit trees. Beavers cause havoc in irrigation ditches, flooding crops, roads, hay fields and killing valuable timber. As emergency situations occur with wildlife problems on farms and ranches, trapping is often the quickest and best solution.


Wildlife Managed...

The key to living in harmony with wildlife is to understand the species and manage their populations for their own health and stability. Because many species are very prolific, appropriate harvests are often required.


One reason some wildlife species are invading cities and towns is because there are too many of their own kind in outlying areas. That is a result of inadequate harvesting. When adequate harvests occur in rural areas, there is no need or incentive for wild animals to relocate in cities and towns.


The fact is all wildlife interacts and is codependent with predator-prey relationships. Keeping healthy balances requires lethal controls at times. There are simply no viable alternatives for proper wildlife management other than wise and appropriate harvests by trappers using modem traps!


Trapping in the Modern Era..

It is certain our environment is ever-changing. That should give us pause to consider whether changes in our wildlife management programs are needed or best.

Q. Why don't we just let nature take her course without interference?

A. We can, but that is predictably disastrous. Wildlife that is not managed booms and busts due to stresses from habitat destruction, malnutrition, rapid spread of diseases, and mass die-off s. That is natural but abusive treatment. Regulated harvests with traps are essential to healthy wildlife.

Q. Who pays to research and manage our abundant wildlife for the common good?

A. State and federal wildlife agencies constantly monitor wildlife populations with surveys, research projects, license sales and trapper and fur buyer reports, etc. This research and subsequent management is funded with millions of dollars annually paid by sportsmen and women willingly paying excise taxes and license fees to properly manage wildlife for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

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Did You Know?

Jim Bridger (1804-1881). Trapper, scout, mountain man. One of first white men to see the future Yellowstone Park and Great Salt Lake, which he believed to be an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Became partner of Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1830 and established Fort Bridger in Wyoming Territory in 1842. Laid out routes for the Central Overland Stage and Pike's Peak Express Company. Returned to Missouri in 1867 where died on his farm on July 17, 1881.


Rendezvous were held on a yearly basis at various locations until 1840, mainly in Wyoming, but Pierre's Hole in Idaho and Bear Lake in northwest Utah were favorite sites as well.


Fort Manuel Lisa was established in 1807 by Manuel Lisa at the mouth of the Big Horn River near Hysham. This was the first permanent settlement in Montana and was occupied until 1811.


John Jacob Astor was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the US. He amassed his wealth through fur-trading, opium smuggling, and New York City real estate. Famed patron of the arts. At the time of his death, he was the wealthiest person in the US.


In 1919, the Hudson’s Bay Company was approaching its 250th year in business. What began in a coffee house in London, in 1670, had now grown to become the undisputed leader of the international fur trade.


The desire for beaver fur hats in European men’s fashions dates back centuries and spurred the development of the 17th century North American fur trade. Beaver fur was the most prized of the fur trade because of its water repellant qualities. Encouraged by European trade goods, natives hunted beaver to extinction in some areas.