Northern Celebrations

Knowledge can open doors to many opportunities.

And knowledge is key when it comes to unlocking a hunting dog that has inadvertently wandered into a trap or wire while in the field.

It’s best to be proactive, educated and prepared when it comes to dealing with injuries in the field, which includes knowing what to do if a dog becomes entangled in a trap or wire on approach winter and the trapping season.

One of the best ways for a dog owner to educate themselves is to get the three ND Department of Fish and Game brochures compiled by the department’s furbearer biologist, Stephanie Tucker, herself a trapper and dog owner.

Part of a wide range of Department of Game and Fisheries specialist publications and pamphlets, the pamphlets include “Foothold Traps – Identification, Use, & Removing A Dog”, “Cable Devices – Identification, Use & Removing A Dog and “Body-Grip Traps – Identifying, Using and Removing a Dog”.

All three pamphlets can be ordered from the Department of Game and Fish website,, or are available from Department of Game and Fish offices and many cooperating agencies as well as by mail. by calling 701-328-6300 to request copies.

Finding your dog in a trap or wire can be heartbreaking, but the best thing a dog owner can do is try to remain calm, which helps a person focus on quickly and competently removing the dog from the trap. the device.

It is helpful to understand that a cable device works much like a dog collar. Sometimes the cable lock can be slid to enlarge the loop and remove the dog. Or, by carrying a wire cutter designed to cut galvanized aircraft wire, a person can also cut the wire to remove the dog.

Education is important, but so is awareness.

Public lands such as Game and Fish Department Wildlife Management Areas are intended for several user groups, including trapping and snaring. It’s a good idea for all dog owners – not just hunters but anyone who hikes outdoors on a WMA – to familiarize themselves with trapping regulations, seasons, types of traps and traps. cables, as well as release techniques and equipment.

Trappers equipped with traditional foot or bodily traps and wire rope devices must obtain written permission from private landowners. When a hunter has the option of contacting the landowner to request a hunting permit, it does not hurt to ask if he allows trapping or the use of wired devices so that a person is aware of its potential presence.

Taking safety and awareness a step further, it can also be beneficial to know what other state and federal agencies allow – or don’t allow – on the public lands they manage with regards to devices. trapping and cable.

Regardless of land ownership, dog owners should keep track of their dogs and not leave them out of sight for long periods of time, whether trapping or hiking.

The idea to develop the pamphlets evolved due to dog/trap dog encounters in neighboring states as well as occasional situations in North Dakota.

Each brochure describes the device and how it works on the intended target, whether it’s a body trap, one of the different types of foot traps, or a wired device – and maybe be the most important – explains techniques for removing a dog safely and effectively. the device, including drawings to help illustrate the devices and removal techniques.

Brochures are free. Go to the Department of Fish and Game website link,, to order a copy of the pamphlets detailing information on how to free dogs from traps and cable devices, as well as one of the other many booklets. , brochures and posters available free of charge.

A dog owner doesn’t have to be a trapper or a biologist to know what to do. They just need to get the brochures and become educated and aware.

He can save a dog by sharing this knowledge with others.