Beyond sad and nauseating that a typical response by governmental staff is to kill an animal such as the beaver that Kimi Smith sadly witnessed in the conibear trap. And, not surprising the trapper slower even still, to check the trap, before Ms. Smith came upon and witnessed this beaver’s tragic death. Mr. Reed did decide to go ahead and hire a trapper to put out a conibear trap, although it appears Mr. Reed did so as what he thinks was the last resort.
I see in all this a positive and am very impressed also that our Bitterroot Star did a full article on this sad story for us to ponder the all-too-often lethal choices by wildlife management for the very animals they are guardians of. I don’t think even 5 years ago this topic may have garnered attention and this reader knows/values that it is a very important topic. A true misery, as I researched some facts of the 2011-12 trapping season in Montana (via MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks), was that 7,000 beavers were mercilessly trapped and killed in conibear and other body crushing, drowning devices by trappers. The one beaver Ms. Smith came upon is a real reminder of an individual that need not have been killed, but relocated in a non-lethal way. Our wildlife heritage of Montana is surely under attack and this must end.