April 22, 2012 personal conversation

Snare trap. Barely visible

My wife and I were hiking in Spanish Springs, in Griffith Canyon, along the canyon floor, in early March, 2012. We entered the canyon at its NW end, just E of El Molino. After a bit, the trail forks. We took the right-hand fork which leads to the petroglyphs. There was a branch across the trail, blocking the trail so that we were forced to go around. Above this was a white flag. We investigated and found a large steel-jaw leghold trap, with teeth, concealed under the branch.

A bit further up the trail, I noticed a strange sensation on my ankle. My wife saw it was a snare and yelled for me to stop. I was able to remove the steel snare before being tripped and possibly injured on rocks or sharp brush, or breaking my ankle. I noted the snare was attached to a stake in the ground.

As I was not injured, I didn’t call any authorities, but this experience leads to several questions: “They should post a sign. Animals can’t read; it wouldn’t keep animals away, but it would protect people.” “What if a deer gets caught out of season?” “I was lucky to be wearing boots. What if somebody with tennis shoes got snared?”[Griffith Canyon is a popular local attraction where families and groups frequently hike to the petroglyphs. This hiker did not sustain lasting injury, but the potential for serious injury was certainly present.]