April 22, 2012 personal conversation:
I was out with my hunting dog, a Brittany Spaniel, January 2012. We were in the mountains west of Pleasant Valley. She was suddenly caught in a leghold trap by her front leg. I was able to open the trap myself. Along came a trapper and told me: “I didn’t hear yelping. They’re not my traps.” He was carrying a gun which he pointed at me. This was intimidating to say the least, so I didn’t ask him any questions. I did check with NDOW later and they told me the trap was legally set. So nothing was ever done. I strongly suspect the trapper was lying, but I was intimidated by his aiming his gun at me.
A few years before that encounter, my other dog, a golden retriever was caught by her front leg in the same area but further south, toward the highway bridge. I was able to open the trap. I called NDOW and was told the trap was legal and nothing was done.
At hearings, trappers claim they are victims. How are they victims when incidents like this are rarely reported, but do happen.