Date of this Version
Despite the anti-trapping initiatives that occurred during 1992–2000, the overall national trend has been less restrictive trapping regulations as they apply to cable-restraint devices. We believe this policy shift among state wildlife agencies has been influenced by two different events. The first relates to advances in trap technology and trapping methods. Nowhere has this change been more evident than in the liberalization of snaring regulations for the capture of beaver. Even land-based snaring has been expanded as development of break-away devices and setting strategies have increased snare performance to capture target-species, and do so without lethal effects. The second event was the development of reliable trap-testing research, such as that performed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which documented the remarkable advances made by trap manufacturers and in trapping techniques.
In light of these developments, it is indeed a conundrum why more states, particularly on the eastern seaboard, have not updated their regulations to permit broader use of cable-restraints. One suspects, however, that the lack of modernization of the regulations stems from the erroneous and outdated reputation that snares are by definition lethal devices and therefore dangerous. Improved education and dissemination of facts should help dispel this incomplete view of snares and cable-restraints. We hope readers will find this information useful as they work for the responsible management of wildlife resources.