Fur trapping goes over largely glitch-free in state, officials say

With fur trapping season under way in Southern Nevada, members of the trapping community have put an emphasis on safety.

Organizations such as the Nevada Trappers Association based in Northern Nevada hold annual educational events on the topic.

"It helps to educate these young trappers on proper methodology," Nevada Trappers Association president Joel Blakeslee said. "We tell people to imagine the worst-case scenario for setting a trap in a specific place. If it seems too dangerous, don’t do it. Go someplace else."

Trapping is allowed on all public lands, with the exception of national wildlife refuges – of which there are seven in the state . Trapping is forbidden within 1,000 feet of trails in the Humboldt- Toiyabe National Forest or within 200 feet of a public road or highway, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Some believe the laws and regulations on fur trapping are not strict enough.

Gina Greisen, president of the nonprofit Nevada Voters for Animals, said many people are unaware that traps can be set in commonly explored areas.

"These traps are set up in such a way that you can’t see them," she said. "Even a dog on a leash could walk around a rock and be caught in a trap."

She added that the required distances from trails and roads need to be extended.

However, the problem of pets getting caught in the traps is a rare occurrence, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Only four dogs have been reported caught in traps in the past 15 years, according to the department.

Greisen said many cases may go unreported or remain otherwise unknown.

Doug Nielsen, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s southern office, said that in addition to the laws and regulations, fur trappers generally avoid heavy-traffic areas.

"Those areas don’t make for good hunting," Nielsen said. "Places with a lot of people, there are no animals."

Traps with a jaw spread of greater than 5½ inches are required to have spacers that maintain a minimum opening of three-sixteenths of an inch.

"We’re not talking about traps you see in Hollywood," Nielsen said. "They’re on average the size of a saucer."

The law requires that all traps be checked every 96 hours, another point of contention for Greisen.

"The laws are so archaic and outdated," she said. "The (minimum visitation) needs to be shortened, the distances to public trails needs to be lengthened and the laws need to require traps to have IDs."

Greisen said some headway with government entities has been made with regard to animal rights, citing the Oct. 3 appointment of Karen Layne, president of the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society, to the Nevada Wildlife Commission by Gov. Brian Sandoval, among other victories.

"We appreciate the crumbs (the Legislature) has thrown us, but there is more work to be done," Greisen said.

Trapping in the state requires the purchase of a trapping license from the Department of Wildlife. Licenses cost $42 for residents 16 or older and $14 for residents 15 or younger.

Republican State Assemblyman Ira Hansen of District 32 has been a fur trapper since age 14 and said the traps pose no serious problems to the general public.

"The serious trappers, often called long-liners, go out in the boondocks to set their traps," he said. "And most trapping is done in the most miserable months. Not many people are hiking around in 3 feet of snow."

Hansen added that a bit of common sense goes a long way.

"You could pass all the laws in the world and still couldn’t keep the stupid people from doing stupid things," he said.

The Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife, a political action committee of which Blakeslee is a director, helped successfully lobby for legislation prohibiting the use of any trapping device other than cage traps within a half-mile of residences in Clark and Washoe counties.

"This is our business. Some people trap professionally," Blakeslee said. "What we do serves a purpose, and public perception is often the biggest issue."

Nielsen agreed with Blakeslee, citing Nevada’s long tradition of fur trapping.

"The sport is part of our culture," he said. "We’ve had a lot of people move from more urban areas, and it’s difficult for them to understand that."

For more information on fur trapping, visit the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s website at ndow.org.

Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Nolan Lister at nlister@viewnews.com or 702-383-0492.

Local Videos
Butterflies At The Springs Preserve
The butterfly habitat is now open at the Springs Preserve. Learn about butterflies and take in the peaceful surroundings. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
The Bellagio Conservatory's spring display has a Japanese theme
The Bellagio's conservatory is hosting around 65,000 flowers, to form a Japanese theme this spring. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs closes (Caroline Brehman/Kimber Laux)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas officially closed its gates Sunday, March 17, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Honoring a fallen North Las Vegas Police officer at his namesake school
The 20th Annual Raul P. Elizondo Honor Day celebrates the fallen North Las Vegas Police officer's legacy at his namesake school. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Windy day in Las Vegas Valley
The Review-Journal's camera on the under-construction Las Vegas Stadium the was buffered by high winds on Wednesday, March 14, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
March gloom falls on Las Vegas
After a rainy overnight, gloomy skies hover over Las Vegas Tuesday morning. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
John Katsilometes gets his head shaved at St. Baldrick's
Las Vegas Review-Journal man-about-town columnist John Katsilometes gets his head shaved by former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman during St. Baldrick's Foundation shave-a-thon on the Brooklyn Bridge at New York-New York in Las Vegas Friday, March 8, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Blue Angels take flight over Las Vegas Strip
The Blue Angels’ U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron flew their signature Delta formation over a part of the Las Vegas Strip, McCarran International Airport and east Las Vegas and were scheduled to fly over Hoover Dam. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Gross World Records
A group of about 20 children gathered around a TV at Sahara West Library on Feb. 27 for a history lesson on the most disgusting world records.
Graduation for Renewing HOPE program
The Renewing HOPE program graduation for homeless who spend nine months in Catholic Charities program. Graduates are preparing to enter the workforce. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Car crashes into Starbucks near Las Vegas Strip
Lt. William Matchko of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police gives details about a car crashing into a Starbucks at Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road, near the Las Vegas Strip, on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Jessica Terrones/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Car crashed into PT’s Gold
A 60-year-old man who police believe was impaired drove into a PT’s Gold at Silverado Ranch and Decatur boulevards Thursday night, Metropolitan Police Department Lt. William Matchko said. The driver was hospitalized and is expected to survive. A man inside the bar was hit by debris but drove himself to the hospital, Matchko said. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driver crashes vehicle into PT’s tavern in south Las Vegas (part 1)
A driver suspected of impairment crashed a vehicle into the wall of a PT’s Gold tavern, at 4880 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd., in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Driver crashes vehicle into PT’s tavern in south Las Vegas (pullout)
A driver suspected of impairment crashed a vehicle into the wall of a PT’s Gold tavern, at 4880 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd., in Las Vegas on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Katelyn Newberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids Read Books To Dogs At The Animal Foundation In Las Vegas
Kids from local Las Vegas elementary schools took part, Thursday, in a program at the Animal Foundation, where they read books to dogs. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Pioneer Trail highlights historic locations in West Las Vegas
The Pioneer Trail, a 16-site route of historically significant locations in Las Vegas, starts at the Springs Preserve and snakes east until it reaches above the brim of downtown. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutefsya
Vegas Warm Weather Hits Las Vegas Valley
Between Feb. 20-21, parts of the Las Vegas Valley were hit with 7.5" of snow. Less than a week later, it was sunny with temperatures in the 70s. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest at the VA Hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, a World War II Army veteran, was arrested in November after he caused a ruckus at the VA Hospital in North Las Vegas and stole his driver's car keys. He was arraigned on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, and the charges will be dropped after 60 days. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Claytee White talks about Black History Month
An interview with Claytee White, director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Reflecting on the Moulin Rouge and a segregated Vegas
Former employees of the Moulin Rouge, the first integrated hotel-casino in Nevada, talk about what it was like in the brief six months the casino was open. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices
Home prices rose in every ZIP code in the Las Vegas Valley in 2018 for the second year in a row, according to SalesTraq. Prices grew fastest in older, more centrally located areas. But prices were highest in the suburbs. The top three ZIP codes for price growth were 89119 (29.8%), 89146 (25%) and 89030 (24.6%). The top three ZIP codes for median sales prices were 89138 ($464,500), 89135 ($420,500) and 89052 ($370,000).
Wagonwheel Drive overpass reopens after ice closure
Overpass at Wagonwheel Drive reopens after ice on the onramp caused the ramp to be shut down, Feb. 22, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Keeping warm at the city of Las Vegas’ homeless courtyard
With help from the city of Las Vegas, a Salvation Army shelter stays open during the day Thursday and Friday, offering a safe place for the homeless to find respite from freezing temperatures and snow. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sloppy, Slushy Road Conditions Lead to Slow Traffic
Traffic slowed to a crawl on Jones are near Russell as conditions worsened Thursday. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Winter storm blankets west side of Las Vegas Valley
On Wednesday evening through early Thursday a winter storm dumped more than 7 1/2 inches of snow on some parts of the Las Vegas Valley. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas snow day for children
Las Vegas kids play in the snow that fell on Feb. 21, 2019. (Belinda Englman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Snow closes Red Rock Canyon, residents enjoy rare snowfall
The greater Las Vegas area was hit with snowfall on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2019. This video shows the areas surrounding Red Rock Canyon and the Summerlin community. Video by: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas kids attend school in the snow
Las Vegas children attend school during a rare snowstorm on Feb. 21, 2019. Staton Elementary School and other CCSD schools remained open. (Glenn Cook/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People enjoying the snow in Summerlin
Fox Hill Park in Summerlin was busy Thursday morning, Feb. 21, 2019, with people enjoying the rare snow that fell overnight. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHP advises motorists to take caution during Las Vegas snowstorm
NHP advised motorists to take caution during the snowstorm in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
It is a rainy Valentine's Day in Las Vegas - Video
These scenes come from the Las Vegas Stadium LiveCam (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Home Front Page Footer Listing