Sharing the trails

Did you know that trapping can occur on public and private lands any time of the year? 

No one wants to see a dog get caught in a trap intended for a coyote or a bobcat, but occasionally it happens. 


Wyoming has world-class wild spaces that draw trappers, hikers, fishermen, skiers, and many other recreationists. Many dogs recreate off-leash in the same places where traps and snares may be set. Knowing when trapping seasons are open is one important step to preventing your pet from getting caught.  It is your responsibility to understand the risks involved with having pets off leash as well as the local rules and regulations regarding your pets and recreation.

The height of trapping season is October - March when the furbearing animals’ fur is at its thickest. Here are some tips that can help pet owners reduce conflicts with traps:

  • Learn how to release your pet from traps and carry the proper tools when your pet is off-leash.

  • Leash your pet when you visit new areas or during the height of trapping season (Oct - Mar).

  • Train your dog to sit or stay calm when restrained. 

  • Do not let your dog wander under fences or onto private property. 

  • Take a Trapper Education class and learn to recognize areas where traps and snares are commonly set like creek beds, draws, fence lines, canal banks, prominent rocky hillsides, and private lands adjacent to public lands.

  • Follow all laws, ordinances and regulations for the area and for the type of recreation you are participating in. 



***If your pet is currently caught in a trap, do not use this form, and please
call our reporting hotline 1-877-943-3847 for law enforcement assistance.


How to release your pet from a trap

It is a good idea to know how to remove a trap or snare before you recreate outside with your pets. Keeping your pet safe is your responsibility. Read on to see how to release different traps and what tools you may need to carry. 


If a pet is accidentally caught in a trap or snare, you can remove it with some simple instructions.  Here is a small instruction booklet to print and take with you as well as some videos to watch on how to release your pet from various trap types.


You may find it helpful to carry a toolkit for trap release and fill it with some or all of these tools to aid in the release:

  • Airline cable cutters that can cut 3/16” wire at the tip

  • Stout rope ⅜” - ½” diameter by 8’ long (can be used as a muzzle so your dog can’t bite you or to aid in the release from body grip traps)


​​Creek beds, draws, fence lines, canal banks, prominent rocky hillsides, and private land adjacent to public land are all common areas where trap sets can be found.

A. Yes. Traps set to catch wildlife classified as predatory animals may be set any time of the year.
A. Print and read this small instruction booklet to be prepared. Call your local game warden to report the incident afterward.
A. No, but you can educate yourself on where to expect traps through a trapper education class, a trapping mentor, or even your local game warden
A. The Wyoming Game and Fish regulates furbearers such as but does not have regulatory authority over animals classified by statute as predators like coyotes, red fox, raccoons, skunks and some others.

Furbearer Working Group

The Furbearer Working Group (FWG) is an interactive group of Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel representing the Regions and work units throughout the Department. The goal of the FWG  is to provide insight, perspective and recommendations on issues and/or concerns related to furbearer management and trapping in Wyoming. The FWG supports science-based trapping methods and management of Wyoming’s furbearers while taking into consideration social and political concerns associated with these activities on the landscape.

You can contact the Working Group here

We need your help!

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department asks for your help in collecting data about our wildlife. Any captures you report are anonymous and very helpful. We are specifically interested in knowing the locations of the species below that you may have encountered while trapping.

Canada lynx · Fisher · Least Weasel · River otter
Spotted Skunk · Swift fox ·  Wolverine 


Trappers visit more remote locations than others and your sightings can help us manage wildlife populations, even those not classified as furbearers. For example, information from trappers was crucial in identifying both historic and recent locations for spotted skunks, the focus of at least two research projects through the University of Wyoming. This trapper-reported information helped determine survey locations, develop a predictive distribution map for the species in the state, and collect much needed genetic samples, none of which would have been possible without these reports.


Wildlife Reporting Form




Conserving Wildlife - Serving People