Recreational trapping: A fatal, cruel and unnecessary kind of 'fun'

It’s dark and cold out. Somewhere in the vast reaches of Alaska a lynx or fox or wolverine or wolf is caught in a snare, strangled to death, or in a foothold trap, spending its last hours alive unable to defend or feed itself.


Welcome to recreational trapping.

Recently the Alaska Trappers Association has been running radio ads in parts of the state which sound very noble but don’t give the slightest hint of the misery behind them. Give a moment’s thought to the hundreds or even thousands of Alaska’s wildlife which have died slow deaths to pay for these ads. Underneath all that self-aggrandizing is a simple message: killing wildlife with traps is fun. It’s recreational!

There is that segment of Alaskans who feel unless they are killing wildlife in one manner or another no Alaskan, adult or child, is getting the full outdoor experience. You can’t possibly be a true outdoors person in their eyes if you do not kill something. And recreational trapping is the ATA’s fun way of doing just that. They will back-pedal with all sorts of pronouncements about respecting wildlife, etc, but the fact is something done recreationally is done for fun. And recreational trapping is apparently all about the fun of killing for no real purpose. You don’t have to kill to learn how to track wildlife. Certainly, you don’t have to strangle it with a steel cable to see it. But the ATA would have us believe there is a real value to recreational trapping and their ads bespeak all they do to promote it. The truth is the vast majority of fur taken goes to the vanity fur industry, hardly a necessity by any definition. Yet, the pain and death our wildlife undergoes to support this business matters little to the ATA.

For them, it’s fun. For the trapped wildlife, it’s fatal.

Welcome to the world of recreational trapping, ATA style.

(To see what results from recreational trapping, go to

Art Greenwalt



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