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While hunting last week my dog got caught in a trap. I ran to her, dropped my gun, and reached down to release her. I know it was stress, but she bit me when I did that. I did manage to free her from the double under coil trap.

Afterwards, I pressed on her paw and each toe to see if she yelped to indicate an injury. She was fine and kept hunting.

Later, I saw her sniff and back away. I went over and there was another dirt hole set. I was glad she avoided it.

Is there any way to teach a dog not to bother with a trap?

What should I have done to release her without getting bitten?
 

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Another Pilgrim,
The 1st thing you do is unload and set your gun aside away from
the trap location area, 2nd take off your hunting jacket and cover your dogs head & part of his body with it, this will calm your dog some what, and keep you from being bitten. If you are with someone have them release the trap as you hold the dog steady. If you are by yourself, hold the dog as best you can with your legs and use both hands to release the catches on both sides of the trap. This works for a conventional land trap, Conibears or bucket traps are a different matter, and it takes a 330 quick release tool to slide down thu the hole, attaching the tool to the outside spring and then pulling up, so the trap can be set again, both side springs need to be released to free the dog, a very dangerous trap for a dog, the dog can be killed.
Traps are no laughing matter, we had one of my clients Gordons caught in one earlier this season, no ID on the trap
either. We freed the dog and reported the illegal trap to
the Forest Ranger. If you see one trap there are usually many many more, Grouse hunt in another area, do not risk your dogs life or broken foot or leg by hunting the trapped area. If the traps are illegal report them immediately
with your mobile phone, either to the Forest Ranger or the PGC. You can teach your dog to avoid them with the use of a shock collar, however with all the differnt scents available for trapping today, its almost impossible to keep your dog absolutely safe from traps, that is why I leave the area once I find it is being tapped. DO NOT ENDANGER YOUR TREASURED COMPANION JUST TO HUNT THAT PARTICULAR AREA.
Pine Creek/Dave
 

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Pine Creek said it well. Leghold traps usually do no damage,plus you are ussually close by when they get caught and are released soon after caught. Sounds like your dog already learned what to avoid in that area. I do not shy away from an area with foot traps ,but if I even thought there was a chance of a conibear in a bucket set I would stay away.
 

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As quickly as possible, remove your hunting vest/coat and a long sleeved shirt. Pull the shirt over the dog and force its' head into the sleeve firmly. Reach down with your hands and pop the trap. The shirt sleeve acts as a muzzle.
 

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Dude..that is scarey...i hunt a farm that a guy is trapping and i told him to mark the traps he has set..because i hunt the corn fields and if my lab gets caught in one..i'm going well you know...2 weeks ago i go to setup and dang if there's not a fox in the trap jumping around..so my goose hunt was ruined and i did call him,,but his wife said he was already out checking traps...anyway's the guy never showed..look i have respect for trappers but this guy is getting me alittle mad..any other guy would have pulled his traps up and this guy is becomming a pain in the [censored]..he's ruined 2 hunts for me now...he drives his quad threw the field we're hunting geese..i'm just venting here..sorry for blabbling..I hope your dog's ok...
 

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Honkers51 said:
Dude..that is scarey...i hunt a farm that a guy is trapping and i told him to mark the traps he has set..because i hunt the corn fields and if my lab gets caught in one..i'm going well you know...2 weeks ago i go to setup and dang if there's not a fox in the trap jumping around..so my goose hunt was ruined and i did call him,,but his wife said he was already out checking traps...anyway's the guy never showed..look i have respect for trappers but this guy is getting me alittle mad..any other guy would have pulled his traps up and this guy is becomming a pain in the [censored]..he's ruined 2 hunts for me now...he drives his quad threw the field we're hunting geese..i'm just venting here..sorry for blabbling..I hope your dog's ok...
As long as he has permission or its public ground he has every right to be there. If your dog gets caught just release him, its no big deal. a well trained dog wont mess with traps and if it does it should be smart enough to only do it once. And no I do not trap I am a bird hunter with a GSP. Just because he didnt show when you were there doesnt mean he didnt check his traps. He has by law 36 hours.
 

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Pine-Creek said:
Traps are no laughing matter.... do not risk your dogs life or broken foot or leg by hunting the trapped area....DO NOT ENDANGER YOUR TREASURED COMPANION JUST TO HUNT THAT PARTICULAR AREA.
Pine Creek/Dave
It really shouldn't surprise me, this day and age, of the ANTI PROPAGANDA that crops up concerning trapping. But what has been spewed above...is exactly that! The fact that it still occurs, right here on a hunting forum is a pathetic shame! Do us all a favor and educate yourselves. This land is shared. There are shady characters in every group. Don't let a few bad apples ruin a whole bunch.

Here's a video for you to watch to hopefully squelch your hatred for trappers:

DESTROYING THE MYTH
 

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Banjoman said:
Pine-Creek said:
Traps are no laughing matter.... do not risk your dogs life or broken foot or leg by hunting the trapped area....DO NOT ENDANGER YOUR TREASURED COMPANION JUST TO HUNT THAT PARTICULAR AREA.
Pine Creek/Dave
It really shouldn't surprise me, this day and age, of the ANTI PROPAGANDA that crops up concerning trapping. But what has been spewed above...is exactly that! The fact that it still occurs, right here on a hunting forum is a pathetic shame! Do us all a favor and educate yourselves. This land is shared. There are shady characters in every group. Don't let a few bad apples ruin a whole bunch.

Here's a video for you to watch to hopefully squelch your hatred for trappers:

DESTROYING THE MYTH
Great Post
 

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Just one other point to clear up - if you encounter one trap, it doesn't mean there are MANY, MANY more. Most trappers select strategic spots for their sets and don't have steel all over the place. As a current houndsman and former trapper, I understand we need to share the land with our fellow sportsmen and realize a dog may get caught now and then. The advice to the original question was correct - use your coat - but no need to move as quick as possible. Take your time, calm down the dog, relax and calmly release it.
 

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I will agree that it is not a big deal to have a dog caught in a leg hold trap. I have never seen a dog seriously hurt if released quickly, and yes it does need to be done as quick as possible. The dog will not calm down, in fact their agitation level increases with time. Many dog owners have been bitten by their own dog trying to release them. If there are two people, one should approach from behind, grab the dog's muzzle and hold the mouth closed. The second person opens the trap. If there is only one person, use the shirt sleeve to muzzle the dog as mentioned above. Dogs usually calm down instantly upon release and are ready to continue with the hunt.
 

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Just caught a farm cat last week! She was released without ANY harm. My Lab has been caught, I've caught 4 other dogs, and myself as well. We are all doing great to this day. No rusty traps with jagged teeth to lacerate, maim, and break.

If someone has 50 years experience, still carrying those beliefs and their motto is <span style="font-weight: bold">"Never care about what other people believe"</span> as long as they are walking in the ways of the Lord! They may not be too concerned with the truth. I'd say they are giving Christians a bad name but I don't judge the whole on the acts of others.

Any animal held captive will try to escape a trap. They all calm down after awhile. Obviously no one is waiting til that happens. I understand not all dogs are the same, but my dog let me work without any aggression towards me. He went and sat on the logging road at full attention, but was quickly back in the game working the brush, tail wagging!

Conibears, you guys should know, are <span style="font-weight: bold">illegal on land</span>. Waterways only in PA. Not that ANY law has stopped a criminal before. There is a YouTube video on releasing a conibear trap as well. Because the land is shared by others, PA has made it illegal to use conibears due to the nature of it's intended use.
 

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Pine-Creek said:
Conibears or bucket traps are a different matter, and it takes a 330 quick release tool, a very dangerous trap for a dog, the dog can be killed.
Banjoman said:
Conibears, you guys should know, are illegal on land. Waterways only in PA. Not that ANY law has stopped a criminal before. Because the land is shared by others, PA has made it illegal to use conibears due to the nature of it's intended use.
To add to what Banjoman has stated; 330 sized Conibears (the large size, most often used for beaver trapping), have to be fully submerged to be legal in Pa. The "bucket traps" referred to by Pine-Creek are also Conibears (body-gripping traps). To be set in a cubby or "bucket" they can be no larger than 6.5" X 6.5" and must be recessed back a minimum of 7" from the front of the cubby or bucket and, as stated, must be placed in a waterway, never on dry land. These rules are specifically designed to minimize the possibility of catching a dog.

Pine-Creek said:
Traps are no laughing matter, If you see one trap there are usually many many more, Grouse hunt in another area, do not risk your dogs life or broken foot or leg by hunting the trapped area. its almost impossible to keep your dog absolutely safe from traps, that is why I leave the area once I find it is being tapped. DO NOT ENDANGER YOUR TREASURED COMPANION JUST TO HUNT THAT PARTICULAR AREA.
Pine Creek/Dave
I am both a trapper and a guy who loves hunting upland game with my dogs and the above quote is exactly the type of uninformed hysterical drama that serves only to widen the gap between dog hunters and trappers.

I catch hundreds and hundreds of animals, mostly fox but also good numbers of coon, possum ,skunk, coyote, etc. Broken feet and/or legs are extremely rare, almost always a result of the chain swivel system failing. Most trappers go to great lengths to minimize foot damage and there are several proven methods to obtain that goal.

So far this year I have caught and released almost a dozen cats. Most at one location I didn't want to trap (because I knew I'd catch cats) but the farmer insisted. All were released unharmed after being held by the trap for at least several hours. Most simply ran away, two stayed right there getting in my way and rubbing against me as I was trying to reset the trap.

A cat's foot is much smaller and more delicate than the feet of most hunting dogs. Kinda takes he fear out of the big, bad bone-crushing trap doesn't it?

Most trappers try hard to avoid non-target catches. In the last ten years I've caught three dogs, one was a stray (released unharmed by me), one was a women walking her dog (trespassing) on a farm were I had permission to trap and another was a hunters dog in an area I had set before realizing it was so heavily hunted. Both of those were released unharmed (according to the owners).

Look guys, nobody likes when a dog gets caught, not trappers and certainly not the dog's owners and I can understand how it could make someone pretty angry but it's really not that big of a deal. Throw your hunting coat over his head and press down on the trap's levers with your hands or feet and go back to hunting. Leave the trap lay there, the trapper will be along the next morning and reset it.



My lab is a great bird dog.



He is also my constant trapping companion.









He's never been caught in a trap. He ignores them when hunting and sits down when told and waits for me to set/reset them when trapping.
 

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The artifical cubbys have restrictions as Banjoman stated, but its still possible to have them set on land. You do not see buckets floating around as they must also be anchored down. They must be within an established watercourse,waterway, marsh, pond or dam. So these are areas that you would likely find them. If you see them stay away. Also train your dogs to avoid these traps. I run beagles and trap. I do worry about the conibear , but have never had a dog get in one. The thing to remember is the trappers are the ones who remove the majority of predators. They help us greatly. Soon the cable restraints will be out. If your dog gets caught in one of these just slide the metal washer type lock back and release him. We sportsmen must stick together.
 

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I had a dog caught twice in one day. lol no damage and she will no longer check out a dirt hole set. I appreciate every trap I have ever run across while running my dogs, I haope they catch every predator in the woods!
 

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I new someone that had a dog step in a trap a while back. He gave advice as how to handle it. Same as already stated with the coat. I was glad I had the advice as the next season my dog found one. Ya she tried to bite me but couldnt because of the coat. Over the years we learned to spot this guys sets and avoid them. This is on game lands that gets stocked and is heavly hunted so what bothers me is he always has sets in the middle of the fields.
 

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I hunt my english setters knowing that there are traps all over the area...in fact, more often than not, I encounter traps sets during most hunts in late grouse season. I have never had a problem and really don't worry about it since I know how to get my dogs out. I also have encountered several trappers running their line when I am hunting. In every instance, they have stopped, told me they were trapping and where they were...in every instance I thanked them for trapping.
 

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My GSP got stuck in a trap last year during late grouse season. Released him, gave him a rub down, and we were back to hunting. yes, the first encounter was a little scary. I hunt state forest land, and used to be a trapper back in high school. I've learned to share the woods.
 

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Banjoman,
Your misinfo will get a good gun dog some broken toes or
if the trap is big enough, maybe maimed or even killed. I trapped a heck of a lot as a boy, nothing wrong with trapping when done legally.
Not all traps are set in a legal manner, especially bucket traps, lots of gun dogs end up with broken toes and are down for the season because of mis info like you preach. You are so defensive about trapping that the truth does not matter to you. Small gun dogs end up with broken toes or even legs, all the time. You sir are full of BS and know little about gun dogs. Bigger dogs like labs or GSP's have little trouble with small traps, but smaller gun dogs are a different matter especially when caught in a big trap, you are a fool who is going to get someones gun dog hurt badly, or an owner bitten badly, with the misinfo you spread.
Guys like you know it all, you have read it in a book, or on the computer, so it must be true. You talk like you are about 25 - 30 years old and spend way to much time with your mom. Try learning something about gun dogs before you shoot off your mouth.
Pine Creek/Dave
 

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GKMAC said:
I new someone that had a dog step in a trap a while back. He gave advice as how to handle it. Same as already stated with the coat. I was glad I had the advice as the next season my dog found one. Ya she tried to bite me but couldnt because of the coat. Over the years we learned to spot this guys sets and avoid them. This is on game lands that gets stocked and is heavly hunted so what bothers me is he always has sets in the middle of the fields.
no kidding , the nerve of tha tguy to have a trap on game lands ! does only your money pay for these lands ?i think not . we as trappers have every right that you do to be there
 

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dietsch,
You make a good point, however placing a large trap in
a parking area of an SFL, with no ident is pretty weak stuff also, you got to admit. I probably did more tapping in the late 50's and 60's in Somerset County than most of these would be bad [censored] trappers will ever do, but I always did it legally, some of this stuff going on right now, is way out of line, and I report it all the time here in Potter/Tioga.
Setting traps without proper identification and not checking them on time is still against the law.
Pine Creek/Dave
 
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