In an all too familiar story my precious dog Penni was killed in a 220 trap yesterday. She meant the world to me and now my world is shattered. There will forever be a hole in it and I will forever have the horrible memory of finding her dead in the trap. Never again will a stranger tell me how happy she is to see me with her little tail going a hundred miles an hour as I walk to my car.
I adopted her last spring and it didn’t take long before she impressed me with her swimming skills. She could easily swim ¼ mile and in the woods she was like a gazelle the way she flew through the brush. Not a day went by that she didn’t make me smile. We didn’t get many grouse this fall but every time we went it was like magic watching her work but 220’s were always a fear.
I’m not against trapping. I’ve trapped off and on since the 60’s. It’s an effective method for preventing the wild swings in wildlife populations that end in disease outbreaks like the one we saw here in the 90’s when coons and fox were dying in large numbers from distemper.
Minnesota is one of the few states that still allows 220’s to be set on the ground. That needs to change. Many states require 220’s to be set off the ground. I know of 4 dogs that have been caught in 220’s in Crow Wing County and only one survived. I’m sure there are plenty more that simply disappear every fall. They are used to catch coons, fisher, marten, and bobcat. All but the bobcat climb very readily and footholds are a suitable substitute.