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Trapping season ahead - take precautions!

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Trapping season is now open in many parts of North America as deer hunting season is phasing out. You do need to take some precautions to keep your dog safe during trapping season.

First, read the trapping regulations for your state. Search under Department of Environmental Conservation. In New York, traps can be placed in ditches and culverts. You need to restrict your dog from exploring those areas on your daily walks. In most states trapping is allowed in Wildlife Management areas. These are popular dog walking and hiking areas too. Your dog should be on lead.

If the state laws allow traps to be set within 20 feet of a walking path, make sure your dog is kept on a short lead. While you may feel safe with a 16 foot retractable leash, remember you have your arm's length added plus you don't want to rely on having a full 20 feet of safety.

Trapping is not allowed on posted land. If you do not want any trappers on your land, you must post it – generally with signs about 30 feet apart. Traps are identified as to owner so if you find an illegal trap, contact your environmental conservation officer.

If your dog should get caught in a trap, do not panic! You will only frighten your dog even more. You want your dog to stay calm while you release the trap. An excellent set of directions on how to release your dog from various types of traps is included here. If you tend to walk or hike in areas where trapping is common, it would be a good idea to print these directions out, laminate them and carry a copy with you.

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