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If concerned people want the true "scoop" on Montana trappers' rules and regulations, may I suggest you obtain a copy at any Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional office. By all means, read it and you will be seeing the actual truth - not some animal rights activists' interpretation.

After reading, you will learn that trappers are highly regulated and the furbearer populations are in fact managed close to sustained yields. This means only the excess is harvested. The concept is basically sustained yield of a renewable, natural resource.

The domestic dog being captured or harmed as a scare tactic is getting old quite fast. I'd invite you to check with FWP Region 2 Warden Capt. Jeff Darrah to see just how many dogs were actually captured or harmed, as we are required by law to report each non-target animal captured.

If you are still concerned about our harmless traps, you can walk your dogs in any one of three trap-free areas surrounding the Missoula Valley. Wolves could pose a real threat to your dogs in these areas. One hound-hunter near Kooskia, Idaho, lost four dogs in one day to wolves. I know two hound-hunters personally who lost hounds to wolves on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley.

Even if the area you walk your dog is being trapped, the chances of your dog being captured or harmed by a trap would be equivalent to it being struck by lightning. Again, your friendly FWP has an excellent free brochure on releasing your pet from traps.

The animal rights activists are so intent on obtaining your vote in November 2010 that they will stop at nothing to get you to vote their way.

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The truth always seems to have way of bubbling to the top.

Dennis "Foothold" Schutz, vice president west, Montana Trappers Association, Stevensville

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