Wildlife area has 1 trapper, no kill traps

I read your recent article about the dogs getting caught in traps in Central Oregon, and I remembered about that dog killed in a trap at the Denman Wildlife Area several years ago. Is there still legal trapping at the wildlife area? I know a lot of people like to walk their dogs there.

— Christine C., via email

There remains one lone trapper at the Denman Wildlife Area, and he is relegated to the area around the old Little Butte Creek channel, which is normally away from the majority of Denman visitors, says wildlife area manager Clayton Barber.

Trapping is a dedicated use of the wildlife area, and a permit is needed to trap there, and Barber says he has limited it to one per year.

The trapper is allowed to use live traps or small leg-hold traps. The quick-kill traps have been banned at the wildlife area since 2005 under what is known as "Ruby's rule," named after a Jack Russell terrier who was killed in a conibear trap set in January on a Denman trail that links the wildlife area to TouVelle State Park.

That incident is the only known case in which a dog was caught in a trap at Denman.

The trapping season at the wildlife area ends March 31. Beginning April 1 and running through July, all dogs must be on leashes in the wildlife area to protect ground-nesting birds, Barber says.

That leash provision does not apply to dogs being trained in a dog-training section on the wildlife area, Barber says.

Trapping represents a small sliver of the use of the 1,900-acre wildlife area, an outdoor oasis amid the White City industrial area that draws about 40,000 visitors annually. It is owned and run by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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