Safe Trails
Danger: Trapping Ahead


Dog in trap

Idaho earned a D in our State Trapping Report Card. Idaho allows all types of traps, allows trappers to leave their traps unattended for three days (72 hours), does not require trapping education, and only requires trappers to report non-targeted animals if they are dead. Live animals, who may be injured, are to be released and don't need to be reported.

Changes Needed in Idaho

When it comes to trapping regulations, there is much room for improvement in Idaho. Two of the most important issues for safeguarding the public and companion animals are:

  • Animals Are Left Too Long in Traps: As things stand now, trappers are allowed to leave their traps unattended for three days (72 hours) between checks, leaving any trapped animal to die a slow, painful death. This needs to change. All Idahoans can agree that less time to suffer in a trap is a good thing.
  • Use Warning Signs Where Traps Are Set: Trappers are encouraged to use this warning sign, courtesy of the Idaho Trapper's Association, to inform recreational users that traps are in the area. However, posting the warning signs is currently voluntary. If signs were required to be posted, it might help warn people who are out walking their dogs that traps are set in the area. (See Bella's story below.)

Canada Lynx in Idaho

The Canada lynx was documented in Idaho for the first time in more than 15 years when it was reported that the imperiled cat was inadvertently caught in a foothold trap in January 2012 in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Wolves in Idaho

Wolf trapping is legal in Idaho. In 2011, Congress stripped Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in the Northern Rockies. In response, both Idaho and Montana opened wolf hunting and trapping seasons with an aim to dramatically reduce wolf populations. The cruelty of wolf trapping in particular has garnered media attention.

Project Wolf is a movement to protect wolves through education and communication.

Other Non-Targeted Animals Trapped in Idaho

View Born Free USA's database of non-targeted animals reported trapped in Idaho.

Bella's story

Bella is the companion dog of a U.S. Forest Service contractor. She almost died when she got caught in a Wildlife Services snare set for wolves in Boise National Forest. "Stuck for 9-10 hours with a cable choking her neck, foot and torso, Bella chewed off her own foot in a desperate attempt to free herself." Read about Bella's harrowing story and both her and her guardian's recovery from their injuries.