The Montana Trappers Association meets with FWP biologists and wildlife managers in each of the 7 wildlife management districts around the state every spring and have for three decades.
The topics covered include harvest data, trapper perspective on furbearer populations and the impact of trappers on furbearer populations. Each District Director makes a recommendation to the FWP for the May commissioners meeting which is the key meeting for establishing regulation changes.
Trappers have been instrumental in raising and lowering quotas or adjusting seasons to ensure proper management of furbearers in the state and continue to be the only source for accurate data about furbearer population health. Whom else could have the in-depth knowledge of wild populations than the men and women actively participating in the habitat of those animals on a daily basis for more than half the year?
At these meetings FWP biologists show data and ask trappers if what they are seeing in the field coincides with the numbers represented through complex population trend modelling. If there are differences biologists make a note for reasons given and the input from trappers can influence the decision making process for proposals made to the commissioners.
This first hand information exchange is highly effective – even more so than the countless law suits that anti hunters keep firing away at the FWP and Montana’s outdoor heritage every year – because it is based on real life experience and real science from real biologists.
This is in contrast to the verbal garbage so often spewed by anti hunting organizations largely based on nothing more than the fact that they haven’t seen any fur bearers from their apartment building in California or New York.