Montana trappers reminded of center swivel requirement

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants to remind trappers that the requirement for all traps to have a center swivel and an additional chain swivel becomes effective this coming trapping season, Nov. 1, 2019.

Modifying traps to meet this regulation will take a significant amount of time and expense on the part of trappers, and FWP wants to thank trappers for their support of this regulation change and their willingness to adapt and modify their equipment as increasingly humane options are developed.

The center swivel requirement applies to all ground-set foothold traps that are set for furbearers or wolves, and traps set by recreational trappers for coyote, weasel, skunk, fox, badger, or raccoon that are not lethal-sets. Body-grip, submersion sets, and snares are lethal-sets and are not subject to the center swivel requirement.

Traps set for the specific purpose of livestock or property protection are not subject to the new FWP regulation. This is because statutory authority for livestock protection lies with the Department of Livestock.

When modifying traps, keep in mind that the definition of a “Center Swivel” is (underlined words may be added by the Commission at August meeting): a swivel located on the underside of the trap as near the center of the base plate as reasonably possible. The swivel can be attached directly to the base plate at the center, attached to a D-ring centered on the base plate, or can be included in the chain at a point no more than five normal chain links from a centered D-ring or base plate attachment point at the center.