Upland hunting seasons are now in full swing in many states, which means many hunters and dogs are out covering a lot of ground that may contain traps. And traps are bad news for dogs. It happens every season, and it happened again last week in Wisconsin when a grouse hunter’s golden got caught in a wolf trap.

From this story in the Duluth News-Tribune:
Fred Strand and his 1½-year-old golden retriever, Hank, were walking a trail near Brule last week when Hank stopped to check out a scent. “He was 20 or 30 feet ahead of me, sniffing the ground,” said Strand, of Iron River. “Immediately after that, he started yelping and barking like he was in great distress. I quickly figured out what the issue was.” Hank had been caught in a wolf trap, said Strand, who is a Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist at Brule. The trap was a leg-hold trap with offset jaws, meaning that there was a gap between the jaws after it was sprung. Strand knew just what to do. He released the jaws enough that Hank could pull his foot loose.

According to the story, Hank was none the worse for the encounter, but if that had been a conibear type trap instead of a leghold, it could have been a very different story. Earlier this year I wrote a blog about the different styles of traps and how to extract your dog from them. I think the information and links in that blog are worth taking a look at again.

Here’s a good explanation from Patrick Burns’ website on the various types of traps and how to extract your dog from them. Patrick also has an excellent and comprehensive explanation of the conibear here that I think should be required reading for all dog owners.

And here’s an excellent video from Scott Linden Outdoor showing how to work a conibear trap.

Did anyone encounter a trap this fall? If so, was it a leghold or the dreaded conibear?