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Trapping Survey

Hi all,

Received the following message from Peter, who compiles data and studies within our Iowa DNR. If you are contacted to participate in this study please do so. Also please read the following as it is a nationwide study.


Craig Sweet



I am forwarding this heads-up message to my fellow trappers big and small about an important survey that is to occur this spring. If contacted, please take a moment to participate in this survey about trapping and trap types currently being used by trappers. It is important that trappers participate in these studies so that an accurate picture of trapping today informs messaging and programs developed by our state wildlife agencies.

Peter Fritzell

Life member of NTA, FTA, Iowa Trappers Assoc.,member of Maine and Vermont Trappers Associations. 


"We are all often leery of unsolicited calls, letters, or emails regarding trapping which makes us wonder if such inquiries are legitimate or a ploy by anti-trapping organizations to extract data to use against us. However, I wanted to take time to notify our members about the following, upcoming survey being conducted by a legitimate group that will help inform decision making regarding trapping over the next few years.  The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) will begin conducting a national survey of furbearer trappers in 2024.  This will be the fourth iteration of the survey which was previously conducted in 1992, 2004, and 2015.  The goal of this longitudinal study is to capture important information about trapping and trappers in the United States so that Agencies can better understand and promote the activity for future generations to enjoy.  Information gathered in this survey will also help agencies gauge the success of current efforts to recruit, retain, and reactivate trappers, and plan future efforts to increase trapper participation. All US State and Territorial Fish and Wildlife Agencies are members of the AFWA, along with many Federal Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Canadian Federal and Provincial Agencies, and over 45 non-government conservation organizations like the well-known National Rifle Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The Fur Takers of America are also members of AFWA and have been important partners with AFWA for over 30 years in assisting agencies with understanding trapping.  This survey, like the previous three surveys, will be the most comprehensive national survey ever conducted on the technology and techniques used to harvest wildlife by trapping in the United States. The information gathered will allow for a longitudinal assessment of many aspects of trapping. The objectives of this current survey project are to:  1)  determine which types of traps are being most commonly used by trappers for various species,  2) determine which species of furbearers are of highest priority to trappers to capture on their traplines, 3)  determine changes in trap use (sizes, types, etc.) by trappers over time, 4) quantify and assess trapper knowledge and use of Best Management Practices for trapping, 5) acquire basic demographic information (age, race, gender, etc.) on trapping license holders, and 6)  increase state fish and wildlife agencies understanding of trapping as it is currently being practiced so R3 efforts can be implemented to increase trapper participation.  Although AFWA has commissioned the survey through a Multistate Conservation Grant, the survey will be administered by staff from Responsive Management, one of the leading human dimensions survey groups in the wildlife management industry. Surveys will be administered to participants based on lists of licensed trappers provided by wildlife agencies across the country. The surveys will kick-off in April, 2024 but will likely continue through the summer as additional data use agreements and contact lists are acquired by the contractors.  I want to encourage all of our members to participate in this survey if contacted as it will provide invaluable information for the agencies to make informed decisions regarding trapping. In addition, because FTA members represent only about 1.5% of all licensed trappers in the US, it is likely that a high proportion of trappers will not be aware of this survey when contacted as they have not had any advanced notice through The Fur Taker or this Quarterly Report. Hence, it is very important for our members to inform non-members of this survey and why they should participate. This also illustrates a key reason as to why membership in the FTA is important to all trappers as we often have information to share for which most are unaware."

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