Disease, debate, and discourse abound amid New Hampshire’s controversial fox hunting/trapping restriction proposals. The NH Fish & Game Department now finds itself in an awkward squaredance with Sportsmen, Activists, and Politicians.
For all the time I spend in the back-country pursuing fur-bearer species for pelts and sustenance, I spend even more time the rest of the year educating clients and landowners as to all the options available for dealing with "pest" wildlife issues. Its time to discuss some other aspects of being a knowledgeable and skilled trapper. Aspects which sometimes don't involve any traps at all.
Science seeks to inform and comprehend understanding. It’s a concept that is independent, and asserts the chips will fall where they may. Pseudoscience, by contrast, seeks to scrounge for little bits and pieces of data to correlate and reinforce an agenda, then herald a perceived discovery whether the pieces of the puzzle actually fit together or not.
Recent studies have found that impact from tourism and recreational activities are the fourth-leading cause of wildlife listed as threatened or endangered, right behind impact from nonnative species, urban growth and agriculture. Interestingly enough, regulated hunting and trapping activities aren't even on the list.
When it comes to trapping, everyone has an opinion about the "best" bait to use. I dig into the "Great Debate" with a little help from a recent scientific study from The Wildlife Society.