Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pooch falls prey to fox trap

Trapper agrees to pay vet bills

Express Staff Writer

Robbie Self displays the fox trap she and her dog, Daphne, encountered on West Fork of Warm Springs. Photo by Willy Cook

Except for the painful memory of the experience, year-and-a-half-old Husky mix Daphne has recovered from taking the wrong step in the woods west of Ketchum. Daphne walked into the steel jaws of a fox trap.

Daphne's owner, Robi Self, a dog sitter and dog walker, said she took her dog and three others for a hike in the woods a mile or so west of Board Ranch on Warm Springs Road over the holiday weekend.

Self suddenly heard Daphne, who was unleashed, crying in pain. Catching up to her, Self found the dog struggling to get free of a fox trap. Self managed to open the jaws of the trap and free Daphne.

She said she promptly called Idaho Fish and Game to report the incident. She talked to F&G officer Lee Garwood, who she said went to the trap site, found a permit that had come off the trap and identified the permitee. Self said the trap permitee apologized and offered to pay veterinarian expenses for treatment of Daphne.

Although Garwood could not be immediately reached, F&G Regional Conservation Officer Gary Hompland said fox trapping for fur—along with trapping for raccoon and badger—are permitted year-round in the valley on public lands unless otherwise prohibited. The area where Daphne encountered a trap is on the Sawtooth National Forest.

He said the Wood River Valley has a large population of foxes many of which are semi-domesticated enough to mingle with humans.

Hompland recalled an incident involving a valley contractor who reported that a fox stole workmen's tools—and even walked away with paper plans for the building project.

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