It’s difficult to believe that the needless maiming and suffering inflicted on animals through the practice of trapping is still legal.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, the National Animal Control Association, and the World Veterinary Organization all have declared leghold traps to be inhumane. Animals, including pets, that get caught in leg hold taps can suffer for days. They have also been known to chew their legs off to try to get free from the trap after suffering, alive, in the trap for days.

But the Montana Trappers Association and their sidekick, the Orwellianly-named “Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management,” aren’t just promoting the cruel and completely unnecessary practice of trapping animals–they also appear to be using some pretty despicable tactics to keep trapping legal.

In fact, the two pro-trapping organizations are now under investigation for alleged multiple violations of campaign finance and financial reporting.  According to a complaint filed with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, the trappers held a big auction to raise money they said would be used to oppose the trapping ban.  Yet a review of the organizations’ filings with OPP shows that they never reported the $25,000 in profits they claimed to have earned from the auction–in any of their PAC or incidental committee reports.

Then there are these photos, which appear to show MT Trappers Association Vice President Jason Maxwell using a FWP trailer and booth to display its materials and banner–their banner opposing the trapping ban initiative I-169. If this turns out to be the case, allowing the use of state resources in this manner this may be a violation of state ethics and political activity laws, because state agencies and public resources are not allowed to campaign to support or oppose ballot initiatives.

mta use of fwp maxwell unloading

This June 14, 2014 photo appears to show MT Trappers Association Vice President Maxwell (orange t-shirt) unloading his equipment from the FWP trailer prior to the Hamilton Farmer’s Market.

mta fwp use of trailer unload

Here’s another shot that appears to show Maxwell unloading his booth equipment from the FWP trailer.

MTA farmers market June 14 w FWP trailer

And this photo appears to show Jason Maxwell in the finished booth, which boldly displays the “Vote NO on 1-169” message state agencies are prohibited from delivering. Photo taken June 14, 2014 in Hamilton, MT at the Farmer’s Market.

Mr. Maxwell did not respond to a request for comment.  Mr. Maxwell has responded in the comments, you can read his statement on this matter here. Perhaps someone from the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks will weigh in here on whether he had their permission to use state resources to campaign against I-169, which seems doubtful.

The Montana Trappers’ Association’s Political Action Committee and the Montanans for Efficient Wildlife Management has also claimed that the Missoula Food Bank is a supporter of their effort to keep a ban on trapping off the ballot–without the food bank’s knowledge or permission.

In fact, a spokesperson for the Missoula Food Bank has asked that any reference to the food bank be immediately removed from any of the trappers’ materials.  In a letter to the Montana Trappers Association’s leadership (pasted below the fold), the MT Food Bank Network stated that the organization was listed without it’s knowledge and is not a supporter the campaign against I-169–indeed the Food Bank states that as a 501 c-3 and not a political action committee or incidental ballot committee they cannot oppose the trapping ban.  You can see the Missoula Foodbank clearly listed as a supporter on this flyer: Montanans for Effective Wildlife Management – SUPPORTERS 

One wonders if the other organizations listed year, including several other 501c-3s, are aware that their organizations are being used in this manner. Again, because 501 c-3s are not permitted to oppose or support ballot initiatives, it’s not likely that they’ve actually joined the trappers in opposing 1-169.  Cowgirl tipsters also report that Big Sky Brewery’s co-owner Neal Leathers reportedly had no idea about this and had never even heard of this bunch.

You can read the Missoula Food Bank’s letter asking that they be removed from the list of supporters below.

From: Jessica Allred
Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2014 10:26 AM
To: ‘‘; ‘‘; ‘‘; ‘
Cc: Cynthia Lotty
Subject: Missoula Food Bank listed on website
Importance: High

To Whom it May Concern:

It has come to our attention that Missoula Food Bank has been listed as a supporter of voting “No on I-169”.

As a nonpartisan, 501 (c)3, we do not affiliate with any political campaigns, ballot initiatives or other politically-charged issues without deliberate action and vote by our board of directors.  The issue of I-169 is outside of our mission, and would not be an issue that Missoula Food Bank’s board would consider supporting or opposing.

We are asking that we be removed immediately from any information, online postings, print materials and other information you are producing, asking you to understand the risk at which it puts our organization that is serving 1 in 7 Missoulians.  We rely on and appreciate the support of many diverse organizations and groups.  So thank you for your support, but kindly, please remove us as a listed “supporting” organization – as this was done without our knowledge or authorization.

Jessica Allred
Community Relations Director
Missoula Food Bank – We Nourish Community
219 South Third Street West, Missoula, MT 59801
Office (406) 549-0543  cell:  (406) 529-7111 /

Missoula Food Bank provides emergency food assistance to people and strives to reduce hunger.  Last year, we provided assistance to 1 in 7 people in Missoula County.  The support of our community makes this work possible, with more than 58% of our annual revenue coming from caring individuals and with more than 17,000 hours of donated time from 925 different volunteers each year.  Learn more at



120 Comments on "Despicable"

  1. Regarding your issues with trapping….It’s legal and a choice thing. Some people choose to trap animals and some choose to kill their unborn babies. I thought that you were all about personal choice and individual rights? Why go after something that is completely legal even if you personally disagree with it. Protecting the poor innocent animals…ahhhh…doesn’t even compare to the inhumane way unborn babies are taken. Think about it before you react.

    • Nice try Sparky. Stay on topic-psychopaths who hurt animals for fun.

      • Poor animal. This is immoral.

        • I wonder how long it was left there since the recommended, not required, check time is 48 hours. There was a quote by a MT trapper…trapping is like Christmas. You’ll never know what you’ll get. One more reason to ban trapping on PUBLIC lands.

          • Get a brain Kristi | July 6, 2014 6:53 PM at 6:53 PM |

            First off that is a trap used in water so it “wasn’t left there”‘ it was placed there for a picture. What is the moral obligation to check a trap of an instant kill? Are you morally obligated to check the mouse trap in your house everyday or is it ok to check when you want because you know that animal is dead? Montana has a law that prohibits the waste of a furbearing animal, same concept of mandatory trap check.

            • Nameless Coward, where is the water? What is the point of the photo? To get some atta boys and slaps on the back? Mandatory yrap check? Uh huh…

    • Comparing the trapping of wildlife and wolves to the abortion issue is comparing apples to oranges…The fact is, if you love and honor the Creator and all creation and life, you do not torture other living beings…

    • I love the extremist pro- life comments…..Like the extremist gun rights people, and the extremist anti wildlife predator haters. They all blab about freedom, and how they are more “American” than the rest of us…..The extremist pro-lifers will execute abortion doctors in their church foyer just to prove how pro-life they are…Read Jason Maxwell’s comments about killing collared Yellowstone Wolves…..He is part of a very small extremist fringe of fake sportsmen- who, for whatever reason, are always forcing their distorted version of what morality is down our throats……Yellowstone Wolves are a national treasure- and these people think it is a big joke to kill them. The only thing more pathetic than that is the unwillingness of State FG agencies to put the politics aside and protect wildlife for all the citizens of this great country. Predators included…..They are INCAPABLE. This is easy to figure out. Trappers are a dying breed. They know their tradition of trapping is under assault. Meanwhile, FG agencies continue to allow endangered lynx and wolverine to these fake hunters for “hunter and trapper opportunity…..” Things will change. A wolf was poached in the Bitterroot last month…..I bet you a mortgage payment that Jason Maxwell was directly involved……He can’t help it

    • We’re not in the 19th Century anymore!!
      Trapping is barbaric, outdated, and it has no place
      in our modern world nor anytime in the future!!
      To blazes with your so-called “tradition”!!!
      Wolves and other wildlife have been on this
      Earth before man even existed and I’m not gonna conform
      to the status quo of animal cruelty from the Dark Ages!!!
      And this old felgercarb about abortion is old news from
      the 1970’s that should’ve been left back in the past
      and as far I’m concerned, it’s a non-issue and
      it has nothing to do with the REAL issues of the 21st Century!!
      Earth is overpopulated as it is with more than
      7 billion people crowded on this insane dystopian planet!!
      and so until we have the means of traveling to other
      star systems, don’t you think we should take better care
      of our Earth before we all get choked off by all the pollution
      that’s making people sick?
      Or is it the same old dull-and-boring status quo and
      your own ruthless bloated, wild-west ego
      the only thing you care about????
      Be forewarned that if our animal kingdom becomes extinct,
      the human race will also suffer the same fate
      because of man’s arrogance, selfishness, and greed,
      along with the apathetic and stuck-up attitudes in our society!!
      The Montana Trappers Association and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other ruthless anti-wolf infidels can fall off the
      face of the Earth into the Abyss of Fire & Brimstone
      as far as I’m concerned!!
      I don’t care if every stupid redneck trophy hunter
      puts a gun to my head and shoots me down in cold blood!!
      I’d rather sacrifice my life and become a martyred spirit,
      haunting all of you stupid wolf-haters to the ends of the Earth,
      than see a bunch of you wild-west wackos murdering our wolves
      and other wildlife for their own cheap thrills!!
      ~May A Queasy Camel Leave A Dung On Your Next Steak Dinner~

    • Kelly Schueman | July 3, 2014 3:04 PM at 3:04 PM |

      There are people born without any empathy, and are blind to anything but money. If you do a background check on most trappers you’ll find a history of violence. These are legal serial killers.

    • Comparing the removal of a parasitic cluster of rapidly multiplying cells that in less than 1/4 of the time transforms eventually into a new human to trapping is not a good analogy. Trapping not only harms the targeted animals, but harms unintended victims. If abortion was performed with a machine gun, you might have a valid argument here. My beef isn’t with trapping, it’s with irresponsible trapping. I hate having to carry a leash in the backcountry and when hunting having to worry about my dogs stepping into traps meant for coyotes, wolves, beavers etc. Further, I get extremely annoyed by political trappers and their disregard for other people, both in political discourse and out in the world. I get that trapping should be a right, but with rights come responsibilities, obligations, and courtesies. Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen the trapping community frequently deal with the rights issue, but not the corresponding responsibilities, obligations, and courtesies. Trappers should be able to continue trapping on private land thats closed to the public, where they can be as oblivious and rude as they want, just not on land that’s shared with other members of the public.

  2. It used to be legal to have organized fights between dogs and bears in the streets–same with cockfighting and dog fighting. It used to be legal to rape and beat your wife, and it used to be legal to force children to work 15 hour days in factories. Until somebody stood up and did the right thing. Trapping is wrong, it’s unnecessary, and it’s inhumane. Period. If you want to kill an animal you can shoot it and put it out of its misery.

  3. I think posts like this are narrow-minded and hypocritical. How about our industrial poultry industry. How are those animals treated?

    Boy, I think the Missoula Animal Shelter is overrun, and it’s not even the 4th yet. Looks like a lot of animals will be put down next week.

    Sure, animals that are trapped are hurt, much like a lot of others in society, but these ones have become political. We wouldn’t care about them otherwise.

    • Let’s see if I understand you correctly. Because this points out that trapping is distasteful without pointing out that commercial poultry farming is also distasteful, these organizations should be allowed to illegally manipulate the political system? Or did you miss the point of the post completely, Greg?

  4. Expose The Trappers | July 2, 2014 3:07 PM at 3:07 PM |

    Is this the same Jason Maxwell who has been posting all over the internet that he will pay anybody to kill protected collared wolves?

    Is this the same Jason Maxwell who claims to be for conservation yet, makes public pronouncements that he want’s all wolves and predator animals killed?

    Is this the same Jason Maxwell who, after MTA President advised trappers to not put traps in public areas in Lake Como, he knowingly placed traps on public trails and camping areas and then bragged about it in the Missoulian?

    If the Montana Trappers Association has got this lunatic speaking for them then that shows the dangerous and illegal agenda behind the MTA.

  5. To address a few of your statements:
    “Toby Walrath, president of the Montana Trappers Association, said the complaint is bogus.
    “KC York apparently does not understand how the organizational structure of the MTA and the ballot committee works,” he said. “The committee raises money on its own. That was not a fundraising activity conducted for the committee, and the gun sweepstakes is more than a decade old.”
    Walrath said the complaint is based partly on York’s ignorance and an attempt to smear Montana’s trappers. “She’s throwing everything out there to see what sticks and she should be embarrassed,” he said.
    Walrath said York represents the same group of activists who failed to qualify a similar anti-trapping ballot initiative in 2010. Earlier this year that group was found to have violated campaign finance laws when it did not report in-kind contributions. The ballot committee’s attorney at the time was Jonathan Motl, the current commissioner of political practices.”

    The trailer and furbearer displays was donated to the FWP and MTA in the 90’s. Although the trailer has the FWP logo on it, it is equally owned by both organizations through a donation not by the tax payers money. A quick break down of the law:
    2-2-121. Rules of conduct for public officers and public employees. (1) Proof of commission of any act enumerated in subsection (2) is proof that the actor has breached a public duty.
    (3)(b), a public officer or public employee may not use public time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, or funds to solicit support for or opposition to any political committee, the nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of a ballot issue unless the use is:
    (i) authorized by law; or
    (ii) properly incidental to another activity required or authorized by law, such as the function of an elected public officer, the officer’s staff, or the legislative staff in the normal course of duties.
    (b) As used in this subsection (3), “properly incidental to another activity required or authorized by law” does not include any activities related to solicitation of support for or opposition to the nomination or election of a person to public office or political committees organized to support or oppose a candidate or candidates for public office.
    I am neither a “public officer” nor a “public employee”, Montana Code Annotated 2-2-121 does not apply to me, but you already know that right, being into the “political gossip” correct?
    As far as the Missoula Food Bank, I have an email that I forwarded yesterday to Ms. Allred about this allegation of not having “knowledge or authorization” which gives their “knowledge and authorization.” It is up to their organization on whether or not that employee had the authority to do so.
    And finally, if there was an attempt for a comment I would have been more than happy to respond, it would have saved you the embarrassment of this misdirected blog.

    • Expose The Trappers | July 2, 2014 4:23 PM at 4:23 PM |

      Well, golly and jeepers-creepers it is the same Jason Maxwell! He’s still spouting nonsense, pretending to know what he’s talking about. This guy is hilarious because every time he say’s something to try and defend his crimes and lack of ethics he just digs himself in deeper.

      Jason Maxwell is fast to put blame on others and then feign innocence. He’s quick to say he isn’t this or isn’t that when obviously he isn’t an attorney either because while looking through his lie-speckled glasses he seriously see’s himself as being a good person. What a hoot!

      He incriminates himself and FWP by posting that he is aware of the law stating that “public officer or public employee may not use public time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, or funds to solicit support for or opposition to any political committee, the nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of a ballot issue unless the use is:
      (i) authorized by law; or
      (ii) properly incidental to another activity required or authorized by law, such as the function of an elected public officer, the officer’s staff, or the legislative staff in the normal course of duties.”

      Nobody has accused Jason Maxwell of being an official or otherwise with any state organization. Jason Maxwell is the one who accepted the “donation” of state owned equipment for use in trying to stop a ballot issue. Others have asked officials at FWP about this incident and they have denied any knowledge of Jason Maxwell using one of their vehicles for illegal purposes. So, either Jason Maxwell is lying or the FWP is lying and either way here are public pictures showing Jason Maxwell with a state vehicle. My money is on both of them lying. It will all come out in court.

      Keep it coming, Jason. Your actions are doing more to stop trapping on public land than the supporters of I-169 can ever do. If MTA and Toby Walrath had any brains at all they would cut you loose and distance their little crime syndicate far from you.

      Just going to grab some popcorn and watch this train wreck happen to these trappers. I hope it hurts them really bad.

      • Thanks for posting those screen shots ETT. Just proves that the anti-trapping/anti-hunting/anti-fishing movement is so far distanced from reality that they think its alright to threaten the lives of someone that has different beliefs than theirs. If all you have is screen shots, we can all post the ones of your comments on the Trap Free web page that directly states that people who trap are pedophiles, murders, psychopaths, child molesters and arsonists. Its also interesting to note that out-of-staters feel the need to spew their rhetoric and non-scientific beliefs to elicit an emotional response from those that are uneducated, but just think they are helping a cute, cuddly animal. As proven by their second attempt, their inability to gather the needed signatures to stuff I-169 down hard working Montanan’s throats, their is a large segment of Montana that enjoys hunting, fishing, and trapping and understand that rhetoric, lies and degrading insults don’t sway our beliefs. So ETT, keep posting, your ignorance is on front street here and we all would like to see more. Its just too bad MT Cowgirl didn’t do more research before weighing in.

      • Jason also said he’d leave a dead wolf on someone’s doorstep (a friend of mine) to show him what REAL Montanans think of wolves. I think that says more about Jason than it does about “real” Montanans.

    • Very good explanation of the facts behind the MTA. Now if these folks would just look at the facts behind the science of furbearer management maybe we could all just get along. They seem to be very intolerant most of the time.

      • adamr rainey,
        Thank you ………. The opposition does not want to accept they were defeated again this year, so their next step is to post emotional rants hoping nobody reads or sees the truth behind it.

      • Please explain the science of furbearer management, Adam.

        • Kristi, although I think you’re raising a rhetorical question for the sake of being contentious, the science of furbearer management in a nutshell is the managing of furbearer/wildlife populations for the sake of attaining a specified goal. This can be done through habitat management, population control i.e. harvesting, harvest methods among other things. This has typically been delegated to state wildlife management agencies by statute, which I’m sure you’re aware of. If you are truly interested in learning more about the management of furbearers just google up “the science of furbearer management concepts” and that should give you a place to start. Hope this helps!

          • It wasn’t meant to be a rhetorical question…I asked you for the science used in management through trapping which is loosely regulated and managed through “recommendations” rather than requirements. Where is the science to avoid incidental trappings? Just saying what management is doesn’t explain the science used in trapping as a management tool. If the goal is to kill, maim, wound, wildlife and domestic animals then trapping is not very scientific, is it?

            • Kristi, the goal is to harvest the animals. I haven’t seen animals maimed or wounded, nor domestic animals. But I’m sure those things have happened. That still doesn’t mean that furbearer/wildlife management isn’t done according to the best scientific data available. BTW, did you google up the thread I turned you on to and did that help you understand the “science” thing? Bye.

  6. I’m amazed no one has mentioned the other horrible consequence of trapping — the capture, injury and sometimes death of our domestic dogs. In just a single drainage near Gardiner last year more than 50 dogs were caught in traps.

    This is simply outrageous. Traps are merely mechanical land-mines waiting for the next unsuspecting victim. “Sport trapping” should have no place in modern civilization most particularly on public lands.

    • I’ll just come right out and call you a liar, because this is no where near true. I will happily retract my statement and apologize when you show proof of this claim.

    • Dear Kim,

      welcome to the Cowgirl Blog and thanks for your comment. I invite you to click the first link in this post. Read the High Country News article which tells of just such an incident. Here’s the link for you:


      • Dear Cowgirl
        No where does that article state where 50 dogs were trapped in one drainage near Gardiner. Nice try.

        • You missed the point. The point is that dogs get caught in traps. And let’s keep in mind, not every trap is legally set. Not every trap gets pulled at the end of a particular season. Not every trap is marked with the trapper’s ID. Traps don’t care what steps in them….horses, dogs, elk calves, moose calves, many other unintended targeted animals. .

      • So what happened to the “Kim” that was posting last night? The one who was using my friend’s name as her (his??) own? Interesting…
        Anyway, MT Cowgirl…keep up the great work and thank you!!

    • Hi Oliver, You’re right- one blog post can’t do justice to this topic. More posts will be needed- thanks for your comments and hope you’ll be back!

    • Well Huard you owe me a mortgage payment.

      • Jason- Your comments tell a different story. You are part of an anti- wildlife fringe element that is destructive. Your actions have led to the deaths of Yellowstone Wolves….I remember confronting you on issues relating to “wildlife management” last year when you were trying to appear “rational” on the subject. After 10 minutes or so you realized that your hollow talking points would not fly so you left the conversation. We are on to you Jason….

        • William it wasn’t that I had “hollow talking point” I just get tired of your emotional rants, your mentality of ballot box biology. I hear it everyday from people like you.

          • Jason- Who do you think you are fooling? I’ve been around ethical hunters my whole life. You are anything but ethical- you are a poacher Jason. Admit it. What’s ballot box biology Jason? Emotional rants? Make no mistake Jason- we are coming for your heritage. Tick Tock Tick Tock

        • Sure William. I also hope that the “wolf management” occurring in the park allows some elk to survive. You like science and graphs? Take a look at the elk population in Yellowstone. It is still decreasing. Do you think a “balance” will occur (with bison on the menu for wolves also) between elk and wolves or will the elk continue to decline to zero? You love of wolves and lack of concern for the ungulates in the park is disturbing.

          Your attacks on Mr. Maxwell (and myself, forthcoming) do nothing to further your cause.

  7. My family has vacationed in montana for 20 plus years. We haven’t been back after the collered wolves were shot right outside the park. Ecco toursm is were the moneys at. People don’t visit empty forests folks. Vote the bloodthirsty bastards out of office before they distroy everything your state stands for.

  8. Trapping is an industry, on what happens to be mostly public lands, ALL OF OUR LAND. Yet trappers are able to sell what they kill, and even what is incidentally killed. That trapping causes great suffering to an animal whether targeted or incidental, and then can be sold for personal profit, holds a ton of ethical and humane question. Trapping had it;s place at one time, but I believe our world has gotten past that. And that trappers need to wear hoods, and masks, and make fun of death, in and of itself is a problem. So I guess there are a lot of issues with this issue. Ethics, societal, monitary, and humane treatment of all living beings.

    • The above picture is not a picture of trappers. FYI.

      • Kim, er I mean Angela “Montana”, why not use your real name? Pretty obvious how you are trying to make a dig at someone. Why not be a grown up and try to defend your boyfriend without insults or digs?

        • Kristi shows your mentality, she has been with me and has yet to comment on this pathetic site. If we are trying to make a “dig” at York we will call her out

        • Are you kidding me? I have to hear about this through people on your site? Let’s have a meeting and discuss the topic of trapping. I would have no reason to hide anything about my identity. THIS is Angela Montana, and I have no problem meeting you and talking to you, posting or however you want to hide. Let’s get the news. I know for a fact Jason Maxwell would give anything to talk to you.

          • Even that isn’t your real name, Angela “Montana” by way of Michigan. Funny, Jason and others criticize “out of staters” and that people not born in MT yet have lived there for 15+ years are not “real” Montanans. Ah, the hypocrisy never ends. Carry on.

            • Kristi
              There is a difference between the out of state individuals who move here to live the Montana way of life and the ones that move here to make it like the state they so desperately left. If you don’t like it, move. There are plenty of other states that will accept your way of living.

              • I believe Kristi is actually Kristi Lloyd of Michigan. She has worked with the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected and is now a special adviser to the Wolves of the Rockies.

              • The Montana way of life, according to whom? You and others like you? In case you haven’t noticed, MT is full of people who enjoy what MT has to offer other than killing its wildlife. Isn’t your friend Derek who spoke at the rally in Yellowstone last weekend from TX? I think that’s what he said. So since he moved to MT for the mountains and to hunt he’s an acceptable Montanan because he falls in line with your opinion of MT’s way of life? Your girlfriend is from MI, but again, she’s acceptable to you because she falls in line with your opinion. You are a hypocrite, MT is made up of many “out-of-staters” and not everyone in MT lives there to kill, maim, torture its valuable wildlife.

                • Kristi, why did you move here then if not because of the attraction of the values, characteristics and heritage that Montana has?? Why do people move here from out-of-state only to try and change the laws to parallel the place that they moved from?? You will turn Montana into a California or Colorado…just look at Colorado or Oregon, which used to be cool but got flooded with Californian’s and now those states are, well, not like they were. We don’t torture or maim wildlife, puhhhlease!

                  • Adam, I suggest you look at photos and videos of trapping, on this page and the other blog post about trapping. That’s not torture or maiming, as in missing paws? I didn’t say Montanans in general do this to MT”s wildlife, but it’s what trappers do.

        • If this is how you operate, then I get it. Please feel free to call me at 406.214.8740 anytime. You can email me at, too. Anybody on this site is more than welcome to contact me with any questions. I am not a fan of being accused of things I have nothing to do with…I look forward to speaking with you soon.

  9. There are many despicable things like cowards that attack others by name while those cowards hide behind aliases.

    Cowgirl, did Footloose Montana write any part of this post? If so, why the pretense that it is yours?

    As a non-profit, does Footloose Montana receive any taxpayer funds, no matter how many hands they pass through, like other Montana non-profits?

    As the charges of using state property for political purposes, doesn’t the history of the trailer require a clarafication, retraction and an apology?

    Now as to using state property for political purposes, doesn’t using the state computer web system qualify as misuse for a blogger such as yourself?

  10. MT Cowgirl when you are done lieing about “trying to contact” me about a comment feel free to contact me so we can eliminate one of your lies.

    • Dear Mr. Maxwell, Thanks for your comments. You are welcome to respond to my email at mntnacowgirl@ on the record or to continue post your views here in the comments as you have done above, whichever you prefer.

      • You say you have tried to contact me, tell your readers where we’d all like to here this. As for “on the record” interview me about your suppose claims. I can back mine up with actual facts unlike the opposition that continues to spout lies. I’m waiting….., I would assume you have my contact info since you have tried before?

        • Your email was posted on your organizations website- again you are welcome to respond to the post now here in the comments too, as you have done. I’m sure readers would all be interested. If your organization has listed your email incorrectly on its website, you are welcome to email me your correct address at my email, which i’ve provided above and will do so again here mntnacowgirl (at)

  11. Trappers are simply knuckle draggers who haven’t realized the rest of the world has left their caves. There is no way to convince them of the harm and pain they cause and they certainly aren’t worth the effort. They can yell all they want but I don’t hear them. We are going to get this done!

  12. Oh right, Trap Free Public Lands filed the complaint. No agenda there at all.
    As for trapping, just wait until some beavers mow down all your pretty aspens or a skunk is under your porch or in your organic chicken coop. Then you’ll understand that trapping has a societal value.
    Or, be freezing your can on the DEW or some icy radar site somewhere, that fur hood is nice. Or even a nice fur collar on a jacket, or fur lined mittens. I’ve got a pair of bunny fur mittens I made myself. They are wonderful.
    Or, if you like, a beautiful fur jacket nicely done. Not my thing, but nontheless beautiful and functional.
    Sorry, but I’m okay with trapping, AND hunting, AND fishing for food AND fun. AND I like rodeo, too. And circuses. And big juicy steaks.

  13. It is the duty of all who oppose trapping to dismantle and disrupt any trap you find, especially on public lands……there is a huge difference between justice and the law.

  14. I’d like to refer everyone to the blog’s comment policy. Impersonation and posting under numerous aliases (one person pretending to be many) is not allowed.

  15. Grasping at straws.

    Once this is all sorted out, you should apologize to Mr. Maxwell.

    Even your supposed “sources” are not good.

    • Harold, I have offered my info to the writer of this blog to contact me, as she says she asked yet I gave no response. She is free to contact me OR comment on the above comment destroying the lies she posts.

  16. This is what happens when the MT blogosphere goes a week without one of its major sites. Frustration and bile build up, and now we’re getting a week’s worth on the first contentious issue that comes along. Can’t wait to see what goes up tomorrow!

  17. I’m surprised Tim Ravndal hasn’t been here to comment. I’ve seen him driving his truck, plastered with his anti-Obama bumper stickers, around Helena with a bed full of traps. Not that it will be a surprise to anyone that torturing animals is recreation for that guy.

  18. So a giant “IF” it was illegal for me to use our trailer for political purposes under 2-2-121 which also states a public facility, wouldn’t Trap Free be under the same violation for setting up at public schools? Please learn the laws before spouting ignorance. “Public employees and public officers” it’s common sense.

    • Jason,
      I’m not going to get into a long discourse with you about your use of the trailer, but FWP has a totally different interpretation of 2-2-121 than you do, and their opinion is the one that counts. According to FWP, your interpretation is wrong.

      • Its not an interpretation its a fact. Just as Trap Free set up at a public facility (schools)…. It does not apply to them or us.

    • Jason, keep on using the trailer for educational purposes, you’re doing a great job and hopefully some of the anti-furbearer management folks on this site will drop by one day for an open-minded discussion on the merits of trapping as one tool used in furbearer management and harvest.

      • Adam, Are you an FWP employee? If not how is it you are able to authorize use of state resources? Also “furbearer management” is a ridiculous phrase.

  19. I don’t intend to post under a number of different handles like some people here. But if I did, how would I go about it? Would I have to use several different devices or can anyone do this sitting at one computer?

  20. I apologize to those who are sensitive to these kinds of images, but people need to know the truth about trapping

    • It’s images EXACTLY LIKE THIS that speak more clearly than ANY WORDS.

    • I wonder why MTA doesn’t post pics of what trapping really is about? No photos of animals caught, bashing them in the head or elsewhere, gutting, skinning….don’t they want the public to see what they do? Couldn’t they defend themselves better if they showed what they actually do? Or…would the public be (more) against them and their intimidation tactics, childish manners if MTA really showed what they do? Hmmm….

  21. I wonder how many days this living creature suffered like this….

  22. Toby L Walrath | July 3, 2014 2:01 PM at 2:01 PM |

    On behalf if the Montana Trappers Association I would like to state that the information provided by this blog post is filled with erroneous information and shows a complete lack of fact checking. There was a false complaint filed by KC York, however in 2010 KC York’s organization was found guilty of violating political practices- not the MTA. As for the supporters list, that was a list of organizations who contributed in some way to an event held by the MTA. Mtcowgirls post is demonstrative of groundless, fictional and libelous charges. What is the difference between the words I have written here and the words written in this post? I can prove mine, mt cowgirl can not .
    Toby Walrath, President Montana Trappers Association

    • Dear Mr. Walrath,
      As Chairman for Trap Free Montana Public Lands, in reference to your proof of your words:
      Please share the findings from the CPP financial investigation regarding MTA and MEWM that found it was false ?
      Please provide the findings the Montana Trappers Association and use of FWP equipment to oppose I-169 claim was false, legal and who authorized the use?
      Please provide the proof of what organization you say I was responsible for in 2010?
      Please provide the violation this said organization was found guilty of and proof of my role in this?
      After all, we are talking the facts, correct?
      Thank you

      • Montana Trapper | July 3, 2014 5:48 PM at 5:48 PM |

        York enjoying your Facebook timeouts? There is another one waiting for your Fridays log in. Link the pictures to the original source, pretty easy to figure out. 2 down 10 to go.

        • How very grown up and mature of you, Jason. Not surprised though.

          • Is this individual actually publicly bragging about harassing people online by making false claims to facebook to block access to another’s facebook page? That’s not very smart, nor is it a great way to represent your trappers organization.

          • Kristi,
            I assure you if I post on this site I will post as myself. Unfortunately a page like this anyone can post anything they want and sign it anyway they want. It’s pathetic that you assume so much.

    • Mr. Walrath, It’s been 3 days and as requested we’re still waiting on your proof in your claim, “the difference between the words I have written here and the words written in this post? I can prove mine.”

  23. Sharona Gilbert | July 3, 2014 3:35 PM at 3:35 PM |

    I guess if people have a question on whether or not using the trailer was legal or not they could contact FWP themselves and ask rather than have a useless argument on a blog. Better yet, FWP should make a statement. I would contact Ron Aasheim at

  24. Done! Thank you Sharona!

  25. Ron’s emails are public per Montana public records law, can someone please post the response?

  26. Cowgirl, First let me say that 8 times out of 10, I agree with what you’ve written. I an not a trapper but understand why there are trappers and believe they do have a place in wildlife management. What I don’t understand….. and this is going to rile a lot of people up, is why dog owners think it is ok to let their dogs run off leash on public grounds. We are dog owners and love our dogs, and aside from hunting, they are never off leash on public lands. BTW, don’t tell me to move either as I’m a native. Most of this trapping debate would be eliminated with people keeping their dogs on a leash. And the trappers’ association, you need to police your own better because the few ‘lazy’ trappers who don’t go far into the backcountry or place their traps close to trails are giving you a bad name as well. Clean it up. (Now I’ve probably ticked off both sides)

    • That’s a good point about dogs, Jean. If you insist on letting your dog “be free,” and not heel trained or under any kind of real voice command, then it is incumbent upon you to know how to release a trap. And then, if and when your dog gets in a trap, adverse-condition it. End of problem for that dog.
      As for “lazy” trappers, I don’t really agree. Traps weigh, skinning is stinky wet work, although it’s really satisfying to get a good fur, some so nice you’ll never sell at any price.
      There are some bums, sure, but stealing traps is illegal. If you kids do that — do a good job or you’ll be soooooory.

      • Skinner, there are no lease laws on NFS land, nor is “voice” command useful once a trap has sprung. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why they call them “traps”. Traps are meant to be on animal rails, and there is no law or stricture against animals or humans using those trails. Blaming the victim is pretty useless here.

        I grew up in the Bitterroot and have known a few trappers, old school. They all pretty much said the same thing, that modern trappers are lazy. To be fair, most of them were, too, and I suspect two or three of them were poachers; one I know was, given the Bald Eagle he displayed on his porch. (That was the guy who introduced me to John Trochman and the early incarnations of the Militia of Montana. In case you want to check on the veracity of my story, his name was Bud Jellison, and he lived in Stevensville, until moving north.) The real point is this, spring a trap, take it 50 yards off its intended set and it will never be found. Every anti-trapping advocate I’ve ever met knows that, and none of your fearful chiding will change that fact.

        For those running home to momma law as some kind of club of righteousness, here’s the actual point: the laws are changing, as they should. Some are using illegal and unethical tactics to keep the law ‘safe’ from the actual will of the people. To caterwaul about we all need to accept and follow the law in a post highlighting those who have no respect for the law carries more than a small oder of desperate hypocrisy.

    • Sharona Gilbert | July 5, 2014 4:26 PM at 4:26 PM |

      There is the problem I have with that idea Jean…”aside from hunting”. Either dogs are leashed on public lands or they aren’t, period. No special treatment for hunting dogs vs non-hunting. And currently, there are plenty of public lands that do not require a leashed dog.

  27. Blogs no longer relevant? Nice work, Cowgirl. Skinner: you’re a psychopath.

  28. Drunks for Denny | July 4, 2014 9:15 PM at 9:15 PM |

    Sigh. I used to think I was a progressive, but 90% of my my friends think I am a commie, so I guess I am the odd man out.

    I think that trapping is okay, everyone has a right to try to make a little extra income from public lands….that President Jefferson envisioned to be a vast Indian lands, not a freakin’ Subaru yuppie playground, BTW.

    Sure it’s cruel, but as some one earlier pointed out, so are factory farms, eating oysters on the half shell, swatting flies, harvesting vegetables, yada yada yada. Let’s not go there.

    Against all my best wishes, more and more I am ready to start voting TEA. Where is the number one anti-anything Matt Koehler to weigh in on this, how trapping is killing the lynx?????????

    • Matt and Skinner battle it out at New Century of Forest Planning but the link to the forum sends comments into Cowgirl’s spam box.

      Attacking named commenters from behind a pseudonym is cowardice.

    • The problem, DforD, is that public lands *are* a “freaken’ Subaru Yuppie playground”. Even worse, in my opinion, is that they are also a ‘fat redneck on 4 wheelers’ playground. Whether either of us like it or not, this isn’t 1805, and public lands don’t belong just to those who want to trap or hunt or fish or hike or log.

  29. Thanks for helping to expose the horrific practices of trappers and the lies and deception they try to pull on the public. Of COURSE they are going to take their “pro” arguments to bizarre places because they do not want the light to shine on what they are doing. The public is becoming more and more outraged with trappers, and trapping on public lands WILL be outlawed at some point in the near future. It is just a huge travesty that so many animals will suffer and die in the meantime. Please keep the light shining on what they are up to. Those of us who are anti-trapping have no other motive than to prevent suffering. Ask trappers what THEIR motives are (killing for fun, foreign fur markets, “freedom”, etc.). Trapping is not “heritage”. It is legal torture.

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