A hiker and a man who runs an animal rescue facility may face charges for rescuing a fox caught in a trap. In New Mexico, as it is in most states, it is illegal to destroy, disturb or remove any trap or trapped wildlife belonging to a licensed trapper.
According KQRA News 13 here is how it all went down.
A routine hike near Placitas, New Mexico on Dec. 30 took an unusual turn for Lauri Dodge.
“The dogs started barking and ran off into bushes and we could hear another animal just screeching,” says Dodge.
When she caught up with her dogs, she discovered a fox caught in a trap.
“That’s when I went into save-the fox-mode,” Dodge explains.
She then called Gary Miles of Placitas Animal Rescue for help.
With Miles help they removed the fox and destroyed the trap. They then took the fox back to Miles rescue facility to care for it.
Besides taking an animal from a trap. It is also illegal to possess live protected fur bearers such as fox and for veterinarians to treat them without permission from Game and Fish, something they did not give in this case.
When Game and Fish asked to get the fox, Miles refused to give it up after he says Game and Fish refused to say what would become of it.
“I refused to talk to him after the second phone call because he got real belligerent and demanding and threatening with arrest and I’m not going to go down that road,” Miles says.
Miles and Dodge say despite the fact that they could face misdemeanor charges, they would do it again.
Even though what the did was illegal, the pair might avoid charges. Since the trap was destroyed, Game and Fish says they can not determine if it was legal.
At the very least they should be charged with possession of a live fur bearer. I am sure if the trapper comes forward he could prove if the trap was legal.
Dodge took the opportunity to condemn trapping and called for it to be outlawed.
“The bigger issue is outlawing trapping in the first place. It doesn’t serve a purpose in the year 2017,” Dodge says.
Trapping has been proven countless times to be an instrumental part of wildlife management. And it is just as valid of a pursuit as it always has been. Hunting and trapping is conservation and hunters and trappers are dedicated conservationist.
Incidents like this is where all sportsmen need to stick together and support each other. Animal rights groups and anti-hunters see trapping as low hanging fruit that they can more easily ban. They use stories like this to further their agenda which is to ban all hunting and trapping.