Montana Outdoorsmen and Livestock Producers Battle Anti-Trapping Bill

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By Toby Walrath

Animal rights activists are gathering signatures in western Montana for ballot Initiative 167, which would make trapping on any public lands in Montana illegal. That includes about 60 percent of public land in western Montana and 35 percent of the total lands in the state.

Animal Rights Activity

The animal rights groups need to gather about 24,000 signatures in 34 qualified house districts to get this statutory initiative on the 2014 ballot box. In 2010, this group tried and failed to gather enough legitimate signatures on the ballot, but it has had three years to raise money and gather support since then.

Montana Trappers Association

The MTA has taken action to fight and win. If we’re not at the table, we will certainly be on the menu. The MTA is just warming up but has already stepped up to the table and done the following:

• Met with public officials to review the ballot wording.

• Launched a website to promote the Ballot Initiative Committee Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management (MEWM) at www.NoOnI-167.org.

• Started to spread the word through social media. You can follow the MTA on Facebook.

• Printed 10,000 MEWM tri-fold pamphlets.

• Met with dozens of organizations to unite on all fronts.

• Gathered major political campaign quotes.

• Developed fundraising campaigns to wage war on the anti-trappers in Montana.

Key Talking Points 

Trappers can beat this initiative by uniting sportsmen groups, advocating against this initiative at every possible venue and getting the message out to the general public. And you don’t have to wing it. Here are key points to focus on:

• I-167 is an animal-rights-sponsored initiative that prohibits regulated, licensed trapping as a wildlife management tool on all public lands in Montana.

• I-167 would remove a much needed method to control wolves and other problem animals in Montana.

• Forty three percent of wolves harvested in 2012-2013 were caught by trappers. More than half of the wolves trapped in 2012-2013 were caught on public lands.

• I-167 would reduce income for many Montanans and increase costs for government agencies. The resulting increase of predators would reduce big-game animals, waterfowl and upland bird populations.

• I-167 would reduce efficiency and increase costs for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to trap and transplant game animals or conflict/problem animals for wildlife management purposes.

• I-167 would be in violation of MCA 87-6-603, which is Montana’s law against wasting of fur.

• The professional biologists at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks do an excellent job of regulating and overseeing Montana’s trapping activities.

• Trappers are committed to being responsible stewards of Montana’s natural resources and strongly support the usage of the most effective humane methods and technologies available.

• Montana Trappers are committed to the ethical and responsible pursuit of their profession, including support for expanded trapper education and training.

Never Weaken

Visit us at www.NoOnI-167 and on Facebook to learn more about the dozens of outdoor groups in Montana and across the United States that are going to stand strong with trappers and help knock the snot out of these cancerous proponents of wildlife degradation.

Toby Walrath is the president of the Montana Trappers Association.

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2 thoughts on “Montana Outdoorsmen and Livestock Producers Battle Anti-Trapping Bill

  1. I live in colorado. We lost our trapping to the City people that don’t have a clue about it. They flat out voted us country people that know the need of trapping. The real picture was the kids in the city running around with leg hold traps catching dogs cats, witch set off the hole crewsade. Now the coyotes, and others, such as lions and bears are in town eating there pets and there children. Now that we cant trap, there are so many coyotes out here that they are eating all the new born fawns and calf elk. Well, after they have eaten the majority off the wild life of course there going to come to town. Colorado makes billions on hunting licenses. When there is nothing to hunt because all the wild life was eaten by a predator !!! People, I hate my self for not doing more to save our trapping. Do every thing you can to save your right to protect your livestock and your family .

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  2. I live in northeastern wyoming. I am an avid trapper and outdoorsman. This is the same situation that is screwing up outdoorsmans rights all over the place. I wish there was something I could do to help stop the ignorance. Sooner or later it will make its way here also..already screwed up colorado now they are after Montana. The west used to be the place for guys like me..I guess they want all of it. Like some of their forums say were outdated and should be banned completely…nice to know we don’t have a place.

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