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As a young boy, living on the edge of the Pintlers, I had the unique opportunity of spending time with my grandfather hunting and learning to trap and run a trapline. I would not trade that time spent with a great man from a different time for anything. I continued trapping into my late teens. I loved the excitement and dreamed about living off the land in an earlier age.

As I aged and hopefully matured, the treasured memories of my grandfather started to separate from what I did and saw on that trapline. Memories of hearing the animals whimper in fear, confusion and pain as I approached the still-distant trap set. Blood-soaked snow in a circle that represented the chain length. Sometimes finding nothing but a torn or chewed-off leg of an animal that was soon to die. Often just the remains of a trapped animal eaten by another because it had no chance to escape.

I look back on this with great regret. My grandfather trapped out of necessity. I had no such excuse. I was destroying in the cruelest manner the things I loved the most.

I can fully understand the resistance to Initiative 177 but if you could see and hear what I have, you would not hesitate to support it. This is no longer the age of trapping.

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Mark Bennett,

Anaconda

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