Habitat and Predator Management

14 Guidelines for Responsible Trapping: A Trapper's Code of Ethics

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The following points are keys to trapping in a responsible and ethical manner: 

#1 Respect private property.

Do not violate trespass laws or tamper with the property of others. Ask permission from the landowner.

#2  Know selective and humane trapping systems (BMPs) and use them appropriately. 

Traps that abide by BMP standards are based on sound scientific and biological evidence that ensure the welfare of captured wildlife, the efficiency of the traps, and the safety of trappers.

#3 Check traps regularly, preferably in the morning.

Be ethical to the wildlife you are pursuing and check your traps regularly. Under Mississippi law, traps must be checked every thirty-six hours. 

#4 Be aware of others using the outdoors.

Many people enjoy spending time in the outdoors. Be respectful of other people's activities.

#5 Assist property owners with wildlife damage problems.

Wildlife sometimes damage private property and landowners often need help to address that damage.

#6 Avoid areas or sets likely to result in the capture of domestic animals.

While there are dog-proof traps for raccoons and possums, larger traps meant for foxes, coyotes, and bobcats may sometimes trap a curious domestic dog or cat. 

#7 Be a conservationist. Make an effort to trap only the surplus.

While eliminating predators may benefit certain species of wildlife, eliminating all predators from an area could have an adverse effect on widlife populations. 

#8 Promptly report wildlife problems such as disease, pollution or habitat destruction.

To report wildlife violations in Mississippi, call the MDWFP 24-hour Hotline at 1-800-BE-SMART.

#9 Identify and record all trap locations accurately. 

This will allow you to pick up all traps promptly when you have finished trapping.

#10 Dispose of unused carcasses properly.

Ethical trappers are known for using all parts of the animal. Improper disposal could lead to other wildlife problems.

#11 Provide educational assistance to new trappers.

The heritage of trapping depends upon teaching these skills to new people and the next generation.

#12 Support strict enforcement of laws relating to wildlife and wildlife habitat.

The reputation of trappers and the health of our population department depend on it.

#13 Respect the rights and feelings of others, even if you disagree with them.

Many people may not be familiar with the role of trapping in wildlife management. It is up to us to help them understand its role in conservation.

#14 Cooperate with wildlife management agencies.

State and federal agencies are responsible for managing our wildlife populations and serving their users. We owe it to them to support these agencies as well. 


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