Alaska Trooper Traps Illegal Trapper

Bad trappers make us all look bad so we should commend Alaska Wildlife Trooper David Chaffin for a very creative bust for illegal trapping last December that should keep an alleged offender off of his trapline.

The Homer News has the details:

An Alaska Wildlife Trooper turned the tables on a trapper when he set his own trap to catch whoever took a lynx out of season. After finding a dead lynx he found trapped near Ninilchik in December before the Jan. 1 start of the season, Wildlife Trooper David Chaffin cut off part of the lynx’s right ear. When a trapper, Allen J. Hoffman, 68, brought in three lynx furs to be sealed at the Homer office of the Department of Fish and Game, one lynx fur missed part of its right ear, Chaffin wrote in a criminal complaint. Chaffin alleged that fur matched the cut-off part of the ear he had seized earlier as evidence. Hoffman was charged with taking or trapping a lynx during a closed season, unlawful possession or transportation of game, unsworn falsification.

What do you think? Did the trapper deserve to get busted or did the trooper take it too far? What would you have done?

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12 thoughts on “Alaska Trooper Traps Illegal Trapper

  1. Good on the Trooper! Dishonest trappers hurt the reputation of all trappers. You rarely ever hear about the good trappers; it’s always that bad egg the makes the press.

  2. The Trooper did what needed to be done. The trapper deserved anything that he got out of this incident. He is the reason why people put a bad name out for us legal trappers. Like Mike said, only hear about the bad trappers, never bout the legal ones. This is just one less trapper out there to put a bad name on us.

  3. All he had to do was turn in the lynx to the local CO as an accidental catch instead of trying to hide it. He must have been setting for lynx out of season. It thats what happened, he is not a trapper, he’s a thief.

  4. I hate articles like this. I also hate replies like the first three. I was not there. I haven’t seen the evidence. If he’s guilty, he deserves what he gets. If he’s not, his name has been smeared, and people have already judged him regardless of the outcome. Last I checked we still lived in America. Anyone who has prejudged this man ought to be ashamed of themselves.

  5. Doesn’t seem to be a lot of detail here to make an over-all judgement on specific charges, but it seems trapper made some illegal decisions and should pay for them.

  6. I agree with Nyck and Tim. It sucks that we get a bad name due to illegal and no good trappers. But if you or I were out on opening day and saw a dead lynx laying in the woods we’d take it home. How do we know that this guy was the 1 who illegally trapped it? I know if I was this guy I’d make the trooper look stupid in court. Just because I skinned an animal that waas lying in the woods and you cut the ear off it before I found it doesn’t mean i trapped it. And did the trooper go back and see if it was gone before opening day? If so the trooper has him without a doubt. Definitely not enoughinfo.

  7. I don’t see the whole picture. Link the trapper to the trap (pictures, fingerprints, DNA) that was used to catch the cat out of season. Good initiave on the Trooper, get the law breakers but, don’t waste the courts time.

  8. After living in Alaska I know that the misuse of wildlife there is nothing to mess with. If the trapper had spent anytime there, he should have known if he would have just told the Troopers it was a unintended catch they would have said thank you. Being a Trapper in Alaska sure is a hole lot different than in the lower 48. The Alaska (wildlife) Troopers there have 100′s of miles they patrol by themselfs. With that said you can bet the Trooper had a reason to be looking at the man’s trap line. The Trooper could have just staked out the Lynx and arrested who ever came and took it. The way I see it is that the Trooper gave him a chance to do the right thing by cutting off the ear. All of us trappers know the difference between a smooth cut off ear from a critter ripping it off. But the story does not give enough info.

  9. I think the Trooper used his head and did a fine job.As far as the trapper go’s we have game laws for a reason.I myself don’t feel that I have the right judge but if the trapper had to spend a week giving the Trooper a hand things may show educational for both.

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