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Letter - Think twice before running your grouse dog in Tamarac

I had a terrible experience on Dec. 21, 2012, when I took my two English Cocker Spaniels to Tamarac Refuge for a late season grouse hunt. I guess I really had no expectations for any hunting success but, rather, I just wanted to get the dogs into the woods for some work.

Things ended badly when my "old friend" Amy was caught in, and strangled by a trapper's snare. She had worked her way a few yards off the trail and hadn't come back. This was not at all like her as she was very good about keeping an eye on me.

I looked and looked but couldn't find here anywhere and as it was starting to get dark, I walked back to my truck and drove to refuge headquarters in hopes of getting some help. There I met the conservation officer who was a great deal of assistance. He followed me back to the gate where we had started our hunt, unlocked it, and then drove me back to where I had last seen Amy. As things worked out, he found her entagnled in the snare. My fault I guess for not realizing that this real and present danger for dogs existed. I knew that trapping was going on but thought that on Tamarac it was pretty much "contract trapping" for troublesome beaver -- at least that's the only trapping I'd ever heard about. Guess I was wrong.

Anyway, if you upland bird hunt on Tamarac Refuge with your dog, be warned about snares. -- Ken Carlson, Rochert