Killing Traps and Snares in North America: The Need for Stricter Checking Time Periods
2. Checking Times of Kill Traps and Snares in North American Jurisdictions
3. Animals Restrained in Killing Traps and Snares: Three Case Studies
3.1. The Conibear 120 Rotating-Jaw (Bodygrip) Trap Model to Kill Marten
3.2. The Conibear 120 Trap Model to Kill Mink (Neovison vison)
3.3. Killing Neck Snares for Wild Canids
4. Stricter Checking Times Are Needed for Killing Traps and Snares
Conflicts of Interest
|Jurisdiction||Checking Times||References (2018–2019)||Statement|
|Killing Traps and Snares||Restraining Traps|
|Canadian Provinces and Territories|
|Alberta||No checking time||No checking time||24–48 h||https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/8ccfe254-37d4-42fd-a8ec-fc08fa2fe687/resource/cdd685cf-eaad-4e14-a316-8e8d03da5034/download/albertaguidetrappingregs-2018-2019.pdf||Page 13—Restraining traps:|
24 h—Resident Fur Management Licence
48 h—Regional Fur Management Licence
|British Columbia||14 days||24–72 h||http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/tmp/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2018-2020.pdf||Page 90—A holder of a licence, permit or other authorization to trap commits an offence unless that person examines the holding or non-killing traps he or she has set on a trapline at least once every 72 h, the egg trap(s) he or she has set for raccoons at least once every 24 h, and killing traps or killing snares that he or she has set on the trapline at least once every 14 days|
|Manitoba||No checking time||No checking time||72 h||https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/pubs/fish_wildlife/trapping_guide.pdf||Page 9—No person shall trap fur bearing animals using live holding devices unless they are checked at least once every 72 h.|
|New Brunswick||No checking time||No checking time||48 h||https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/nr-rn/pdf/en/Wildlife/HuntTrap.pdf||Page 19—Individual fur harvesters are required to check all restraining trap sets at least once every 48 h.|
Page 27—Check traps regularly, preferably in the early morning.
|Newfoundland and Labrador||No checking time||No checking time||24 h||https://www.gov.nl.ca/hunting-trapping-guide/2019-20/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/Hunting-Trapping-Guide.pdf||Page 96—Fox or Coyote or Lynx Restraining Neck Snare: this is a live capture device and requires a 24 h trap check.|
|Nova Scotia||No checking time||No checking time||Daily *||https://novascotia.ca/natr/hunt/pdf/Hunting_Summary_2018_Complete.pdf||Page 36—A person who sets cable restraints or traps designed to catch animals alive must examine each trap or snare set at least once every day.|
|Ontario||No checking time||No checking time||Daily||https://furmanagers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/mnrf-regulations-english.pdf||Page 3—Relaxing cable restraints must be checked on a daily basis.|
|Prince Edward Island||48 h||Daily||http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/fae_trap02_e.pdf||Page 3—No person shall set a trap designed to hold animals alive without examining each trap at least once a day.|
No person shall set a trap designed to kill animals without examining each trap at least once every 48 h.
|Québec||No checking time||No checking time||No checking time||https://mffp.gouv.qc.ca/english/publications/online/wildlife/trapping-regulations/pdf/trapping-regulation-2018-2020.pdf|
|Saskatchewan||1–5 days for killing snares||No checking time||No checking time||https://pubsaskdev.blob.core.windows.net/pubsask-prod/109243/109243-2018_Hunters_and_Trappers_Guide_-_Trapping_Supplement.pdf||Page 2—It is a violation to fail to check traps or snares: within one day when set within five kilometres of urban limits; within one day when setting a mechanically activated leg snare for bears in the SFCA; three days when set on other lands in the southern zones; five days when set on lands within the Fur Conservation Block.|
|Nunavut||No information found|
|Northwest Territories||No checking time||No checking time||No checking time||https://www.justice.gov.nt.ca/en/files/legislation/wildlife/wildlife.r12.pdf|
|Yukon||7 days||7 days||5 days||https://yukon.ca/sites/yukon.ca/files/env/env-trapping-regulations-summary.pdf||Every person who installs a snare or trap must: check the set at least once every five days if it is designed to restrain the animal; check the set at least once every seven days if it is designed as a quick killing set.|
|United States of America|
|Alabama||24 h||72 h||24 h||https://www.outdooralabama.com/sites/default/files/Hunting/Trapping/Fur%20Catcher%20Code-Regs%201-18.pdf||Section II—K.6: All traps set in or beneath water must be checked at least once every 72 h. All traps other than water sets must be checked at least once every 24 h.|
Regulation 220-2-.30: Killing neck snares are prohibited.
|Alaska||72 h||72 h||72 h||https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/wildliferegulations/pdfs/trapping.pdf||Page 21—All traps/snares must be checked within 3 days of setting them and within each 3 days thereafter.|
|Arizona||Daily||Daily||Daily||https://repository.asu.edu/attachments/193157/content/2017-18-Trapping-Regulations.pdf||Killing neck snares and body-gripping traps are illegal.|
|Arkansas||72 h||72 h||Daily||https://agfc.com/en/hunting/furbearers/||Nondrowning sets with foothold traps, snares and box traps must be checked daily. Kill traps must be checked at least every 72 h|
|California||Daily||Daily||Daily||https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=45902&inline||All traps shall be visited at least once daily by the owner of the traps or his/her designee.|
|Colorado||Daily||Daily||Daily||https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/RulesRegs/Regulations/Ch03.pdf||Page 2—All traps and snares must be visually checked on site at least once every day.|
|Connecticut||24 h||24 h||24 h||https://www.somersct.gov/download/Town%20Departments/Town%20Clerk/2019-Hunting-Trapping-Guide.pdf||Page 46—Trappers are required to tend all traps within a 24-h period.|
|Delaware||24 h||24 h||24 h||http://www.eregulations.com/delaware/hunting/furbearer-trapping-hunting/||It is unlawful to fail to visit traps at least once every 24 h. Only restraining snares are allowed.|
|Florida||24 h||24 h||24 h||http://www.eregulations.com/florida/hunting/furbearer-regulations/||Live traps and snares must be checked every 24 h. Body-grip traps are prohibited.|
|Georgia||24 h||24 h||24 h||https://georgiawildlife.com/regulations/trapping||It is unlawful to fail to inspect traps at least once each 24-h period and remove any animals caught in the traps. Killing neck snares are prohibited, except for beaver in water.|
|Hawaii||No trapping||No trapping||No trapping||https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dofaw/files/2013/09/HAR-123-Game-Mammals.pdf||Page 28—No person shall possess or use tracer bullets, bullets with full metal jackets, blow guns, guns powered by compressed gas, animal traps, slingshots, poison, explosives, or snares in any public hunting area.|
|Idaho||72 h||72 h||72 h||https://idfg.idaho.gov/sites/default/files/seasons-rules-upland-furbearer-2018-2019.pdf||Page 36—No person shall place snares or traps for furbearing animals, predatory or unprotected wildlife except pocket gophers, most species of ground squirrels, and other unprotected rodents, without visiting every trap or snare once every 72 h and removing any catch therein.|
|Illinois||Daily||Daily||Daily||https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf||Page 44—It is unlawful to fail to visit and remove all animals from traps at least once each calendar day.|
|Indiana||24 h||24 h||24 h||http://www.eregulations.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/18INHD_LR7.pdf||Page 43—Traps must be checked and animals removed at least one time every 24 h.|
|Iowa||24 h||No checking time||24 h||https://bidopportunities.iowa.gov/Home/GetBidOpportunityDocument/91d03035-815c-49c2-afb2-88c30918ab5f||Page 25—All animals or animal carcasses caught in any type of trap or snare, except those that are placed entirely under water and designed to drown the animal immediately, must be removed from the trap or snare by the trap or snare user immediately upon discovery and within 24 h of the time the animal is caught. Mechanically powered snares are prohibited.|
|Kansas||Daily||Daily||Daily||https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting/Hunting-Regulations/Furbearers/Trap-Tagging-and-Tending||All traps, including snares and deadfalls, must be tended and inspected at least once every day.|
|Kentucky||24 h||24 h||24 h||https://fw.ky.gov/Hunt/Pages/Furbearer-Hunting-and-Trapping.aspx||All traps must be visited at least once every twenty-four (24) h and all animals removed.|
|Louisiana||Daily||Daily||Daily||http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/page/41407-regulations/2018-2019trappingregulations.pdf||All traps must be checked daily.|
|Maine||3–5 days||1–5 days depending on towns, times of the year, and trap sets.||Unspecified||https://www.maine.gov/ifw/hunting-trapping/trapping-laws/regulations.html#specifictraps||All traps set in organized towns must be tended daily, except for killer-type traps, drowning sets, and under-ice drowning sets. Each killer-type trap or drowning set, except under-ice drowning sets, in organized towns must be tended at least once every three calendar days except if the drowning set is within ½ mile of the built up section of town, then it must be checked every 24 h.|
All traps set in unorganized towns must be tended daily, except for killer-type traps, drowning sets, and under-ice drowning sets. Each killer-type trap or drowning set, except under-ice drowning sets, in unorganized towns must be tended at least once in every 5 calendar days.
During November, December, March and April if a drowning set is under-ice there will be no tending requirement. However, if a trap set is in open water the trap tending requirements are:
|Maryland||Daily||48 h||Daily||http://www.eregulations.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/18MDHD_LR.pdf||Page 52—Traps must be checked once per calendar day except those traps that are set in water or tidal marshes which must be checked once per two days.|
|Massachusetts||Daily||Daily||Daily||https://www.mass.gov/regulations/321-CMR-300-hunting#3-02-5-hunting-and-trapping-of-certain-mammals||It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to visit and remove all animals trapped in, at least once in each calendar day between the hours of 04:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M., all traps by him staked out, set, used, tended, placed, or maintained.|
|Michigan||No checking time||No checking time||24–48 h depending on zones||https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/michigan_fur_harvester_digest_625943_7.pdf||Page 24—Trappers are legally required to check traps set in a manner to hold animals alive at least once each day in Zones 2 and 3 and at least once within each 48-h period in Zone 1. It is highly recommended that trappers in Zone 1 check traps daily.|
|Minnesota||Killing traps: 72 h Snares: daily.||72 h||Daily||https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/hunting/full_regs.pdf#view=fit&pagemode=bookmarks||Page 49—Traps capable of capturing a protected animal and not capable of drowning it must be tended at least once each calendar day, except body-gripping traps. Traps capable of drowning the animal and body-gripping traps must be tended at least once each third calendar day, except traps set under the ice.|
|Mississippi||36 h||36 h||36 h||http://www.mdwfp.com/wildlife-hunting/furbearer-trapping/trapping-regulations.aspx||Every trapper shall visit his traps at least every thirty-six (36) h.|
|Missouri||Daily||48 h||Daily||https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/2019HuntTrapRegs.pdf||Page 23—Wildlife must be removed or released from traps daily, except for colony and killing-type traps set under water, which must be checked every 48 h.|
|Montana||48 h||48 h||48 h||http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/huntingGuides/furbearer/||Page 3—Traps should be checked at least once every 48 h.|
|Nebraska||48 h||48 h||Daily||http://digital.outdoornebraska.gov/i/1008617-small-game-guide-2018-web||Page 20—Once every two calendar days:
|Nevada||96 h||96 h||96 h||http://www.ndow.org/Hunt/Seasons_and_Regulations/Furbearer/Trapping_in_NV/||A person taking or causing to be taken wild mammals by means of traps, snares or any other devices which do not, or are not designed to, cause immediate death to the mammals, shall, when the traps, snares or devices are placed or set for the purpose of taking mammals, visit or cause to be visited at least once each 96 h each trap, snare or other device during all of the time the trap, snare or device is placed, set or used in the taking of wild mammals, and remove therefrom any mammals caught therein.|
|New Hampshire||Daily||72 h||Daily||http://www.eregulations.com/newhampshire/hunting/furbearer-trapping/||A trapper must visit traps set at least once each calendar day. A person trapping beaver through the ice must visit his traps at least once each 72 h.|
|New Jersey||24 h||24 h||24 h||https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/2018/trapping_summary18-19.pdf||All traps must be checked and tended at least once every 24 h, preferably in the morning except traps set for semi-aquatic species in tidal waters only must be checked once per calendar day.|
|New Mexico||Daily||Daily||Daily||http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/download/publications/rib/2019/hunting/30-Furbearers.pdf||Page 125—A licensed trapper or his/her representative (agent) must personally visit and inspect each trap every calendar day, and all wildlife must be removed. Every other calendar day all traps must be checked personally by the trapper.|
|New York||24–48 h depending on zones||48 h||24 h||Page 56 In the Southern Zone: You must check traps once in each 24-h period.|
In the Northern Zone, once in each 48-h period. Traps set in water during the open season for beaver, otter, mink and muskrat, once in each 48-h period.
Body-gripping traps set on land, once in each 48-h period.
Restraining traps, once in each 24-h period
|North Carolina||Daily||72 h||Daily||http://www.eregulations.com/northcarolina/hunting-fishing/trapping-regulations/||Every trap must be visited daily and any animal caught therein removed, except for completely submerged Conibear™-type traps, which must be visited at least once every 72 h and any animal caught therein removed.|
|North Dakota||No checking time||No checking time||No checking time||https://gf.nd.gov/regulations/small-combined#fur|
|Ohio||Daily||Daily||Daily||http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/portals/wildlife/pdfs/hunting/2018-19%20Ohio%20Hunting%20Regs_Web.pdf||All traps and snares must be checked and all animals removed once every calendar day.|
|Oklahoma||24 h||24 h||24 h||http://www.eregulations.com/oklahoma/hunting/furbearer-regulations/||Traps must be tended once each 24-h period.|
|Oregon||48 h||48 h||48 h||https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/hunting/small_game/regulations/docs/Furbearer_Regulations.pdf||Page 2—All traps or snares set or used for the taking of furbearing or unprotected mammals shall be inspected at least every 48 h and all trapped animals removed.|
|Pennsylvania||36 h||36 h||36 h||http://maps.dcnr.pa.gov/bof/huntmap/pdfs/2018-19%20Hunting%20Trapping%20Digest.pdf||Traps must be visited by the owner once every 36 h, and each animal removed or released.|
|Rhode Island||24 h||24 h||24 h||http://www.eregulations.com/rhodeisland/hunting/trapping/||All traps must be checked at least once in every 24-h period|
|South Carolina||24 h||48 h||24 h||http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/furharvest.html||All traps must be checked at least once daily from two hours before official sunrise to two hours after official sunset. Body gripping traps used in water sets and other traps used in submersion sets must be checked once every 48 h.|
|South Dakota||2–3 days||5 days||2–3 days||https://gfp.sd.gov/trapping/||Traps, including snares, must be checked prior to midnight of the second full calendar day (from the time the trap was initially set or last checked) east of the Missouri River and prior to midnight of the third full calendar day west of the Missouri River. Any animal caught must be removed.|
Traps or snares that are entirely submerged in the water and remain set beneath ice must be checked and any caught animals removed prior to midnight of the fifth full calendar day statewide.
|Tennessee||72 h||72 h||36 h||https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/twra/documents/huntguide.pdf||Page 15—Lethal sets such as instant kill traps and water set (“drowning”) traps must be inspected every seventy-two (72) hours. All other traps must be inspected every thirty-six (36) hours and any wildlife caught in the traps shall be removed.|
|Texas||36 h||36 h||36 h||https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/hunting/fur-bearing-animal-regulations/means-methods||It is unlawful to take fur-bearing animals with snare, foothold, body grip traps, and live or box trap unless such devices are examined at least once every 36 h and animals are removed.|
|Utah||96 h||96 h||48 h||https://wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/2018-19_furbearer.pdf||Page 15—All trapping devices used to take a furbearer, coyote or raccoon must be checked, and any animals removed, at least once every 48 h. The only exception is if you are using the following types of traps, which must be checked, and have any animals removed, every 96 h:
|Vermont||Daily||72 h||Daily||http://www.eregulations.com/vermont/hunting/furbearer-hunting-trapping/||Trappers are required to check their traps at least once a day and dispatch or release any captured animal. The only exception is body gripping traps set in the water or set under the ice, colony/cage traps set underwater, or foothold traps under the ice, which trappers are required to check every three calendar days and remove any animal caught.|
|Virginia||Daily||72 h||Daily||https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018-2019-Virginia-Hunting-and-Trapping-Regulations-Digest.pdf||Page 52—Trappers must visit all traps once each day and remove all animals caught therein, except for completely submerged body-gripping traps which must be visited once every 72 h.|
|Washington||72 h||72 h||24 h||https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/02012/wdfw02012.pdf||Page 2—It is unlawful to trap for wild animals unless traps are checked and animals removed within 72 h (non-body gripping kill traps); and unless animals captured in restraining traps (any nonkilling set) are removed within 24 h of capture.|
|West Virginia||Daily||Daily||Daily||http://www.wvdnr.gov/hunting/Regs1819/2018-19_Hunting_Regs.pdf||Page 4—All traps must be checked and tended daily.|
|Wisconsin||Daily||96 h||Daily||https://dnr.wi.gov/files/pdf/pubs/wm/wm0002.pdf||Page 8—non-submersion sets must be attended and checked in person at least once each day; water sets, except submersion sets, must be attended and checked in person at least once each day; submersion sets must be attended and checked in person within a 4-day period following the last tending of the set.|
|Wyoming||Once per week **||Once per week||72 h||https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Regulations/Regulation-PDFs/REGULATIONS_CH4.pdf||Page 4–8—Check Period for Leg-Hold Traps, Live Traps, Snares and Quick-Kill Body-Grip Traps.|
(a) All leg-hold traps and live traps shall be checked by the owner a minimum of once during each seventy-two (72) h period.
(b) All snares and quick-kill body-grip traps shall be checked by the owner a minimum of one time each week, except during the initial week the snares or quick-kill bodygrip traps were set.
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© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Proulx, G.; Rodtka, D. Killing Traps and Snares in North America: The Need for Stricter Checking Time Periods. Animals 2019, 9, 570. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080570
Proulx G, Rodtka D. Killing Traps and Snares in North America: The Need for Stricter Checking Time Periods. Animals. 2019; 9(8):570. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080570Chicago/Turabian Style
Proulx, Gilbert, and Dwight Rodtka. 2019. "Killing Traps and Snares in North America: The Need for Stricter Checking Time Periods" Animals 9, no. 8: 570. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9080570