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If you have read the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks big game and bird hunting regulations, you know they convey much needed information for sportsmen. The furbearer trapping booklet is no different.

What is absent from the hunting booklets are suggestions on avoiding inhumane practices and instructions to follow when accidentally killing or injuring the wrong animal or bird. The authors of FWP’s trapping booklet found it necessary to mention, in 30 separate paragraphs, suggestions and requirements related to the accidental capture of non-target animals, nine suggestions to reduce cruelty, suggestions about lessening the chances of animals escaping while still attached to traps and snares or losing a foot to escape. Comparing the FWP booklets demonstrates how illogical it is to think of trapping as just another form of hunting. The booklets clearly expose the differences.

Most hunters believe that hunting is most satisfying when it is combined with respect for the animals we hunt. We support the many laws regulating hunting because they reinforce and remind us of our values of respect and fair chase. Because trapping is fundamentally inhumane, FWP often finds itself obliged to merely make suggestions. I am an avid hunter and will vote yes on Initiative 177.

Matt Skousen,

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Missoula

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