Wildlife groups seek investigation into trapped wolf photo (updated with photo)

The photograph of a smiling trapper in front of a living wolf in a leghold trap surrounded by bloody snow has angered wildlife groups and captured national attention.

But Idaho Department of Fish and Game official said the trapper broke no laws.

The trapper had all of the necessary permits, permission from the landowners and he had participated in the mandatory wolf trapping class, conservation officers found when they investigated.

“They couldn’t find that he did anything illegal,” said Mike Keckler, Fish and Game communications chief.

Had the trapper followed guidance provided in the trapping class he would not have photographed himself with the live-trapped animal, Keckler said.

“We would have preferred that he dispatched the animal before taking the photograph with it,” Keckler said.

The Center for Biological Diversity sent letters to both the Forest Service and Idaho Attorney General, Lawrence Wasden, today requesting investigations into the actions of the trapper, a Forest Service employee.

Wasden's spokesman Bob Cooper said the attorney general doesn't have the authority to bring criminal charges. That is done in Idaho by county prosecutors.

The picture, first posted on Trapperman.com, is below.

Michael Robinson, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity said Idaho state law makes it a crime for a person who “causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty.” It also requires that “destruction of animals for population control” be carried out humanely.

“These photos make plain that the trapping and hunting of wolves being allowed by the state of Idaho are less ‘wildlife-management techniques’ than scapegoating of wolves,” said Robinson.

The groups say the wolf also was shot by others, which Keckler said could not be confirmed. That would violate laws against interfering with hunting or trapping said Brett Haverstick, Friends of the Clearwater Education & Outreach Director.

"Regardless of what was in the trap, if an investigation finds that laws were broken, we fully expect those individuals deemed responsible to be prosecuted,” he said.

Making it possible for potshots to be taken at a captive animal — and photographing the results — before ending the wolf’s suffering appears to violate this law, as well as common decency, Robinson said.

The trapper's name and his telephone number were posted on many animal rights sights and he has received death threats, published in comments on web sites.

The Forest Service is not planning any action against him since he did nothing illegal and was trapping on his own time, said Elayne Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest.

The agency has received many calls in Grangeville from people unhappy with the picture and trapping as well as from trapping supporters Murphy said. But they are not alone.

"This has affected all levels of the agency," she said.
wolf in trap
Photo from Earth Island Journal

In the Linked Story

Gotta love how "hunters" were taking shots at the wolf as they awaited the trapper to arrive.

A US Forest Service Employee? Really?

Seriously? The person in this photo is a US Forest Service employee in Idaho? Good lord, where are the black helicopters and outrage from the far right on this one?


...baby. Karma.


Keckler is an official? I think not.. just and employee hired to face the press so the real officials don't have to answer hard questions.

Mike Keckler is an official

Mike Keckler is an official at IDFG. He is the Communications Bureau Chief.

He used to be with KBCI 2 news. YES, KBCI.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Animal rights wackjobs

Ok lets hear it from all the animal rights re tards out there.So sick of this urban human filth.Don't like Idaho then get the @#$%# out

Seems to me that the Indians

Seems to me that the Indians were here in Idaho before the "urban human filth" yet they had a high regard for nature even though they were hunters and trappers for survival . . . if you don't like that concept you may have to take your own advice. . . Bye-bye.


Indians were trappers?

How about the TRUTHFUL stories of Indians herding buffaloes over cliffs?
I suppose that is perfectly humane. No injured and suffering animals there huh?

Well guess what bozo

Anyone who knows me on these boards knows that I am from a 5th generation Idaho family and that my father is Northern Paiute so you can take my iDAHO ROOTS BACK A FEW THOUSAND YEARS.

said the guy using a human

said the guy using a human filth computer to post on the human filth Internet, or is your computer made of buckskin and your Internet access powered by a wood fired stove?

He's the last surviving Timelord from a dead Gallifrey


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Hunting is a legitimate part of Managment.

is it good management to

is it good management to snap a picture in front of a wounded, trapped animal?

It's good practice to present on the scene evidence, it is...


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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So, no laws were broken?

But Rocky finds a picture thats "pretty ugly" on an artice entitled "Wolf torture and execution continues in the Northern Rockies".

Ironically (or not) Rocky posted this a day after his pathetically written blog on wolf kills in the State of Idaho in which he tries desperately hard to classify people in this state as either "wolf lovers" or "wolf haters". If you're a wolf lover you dont hunt. If you hunt, you hate wolves with a passion. Do people actually view Rocky as a credible source of information?

Yeah, he's really shown his

Yeah, he's really shown his Bunny Hugger side lately.

An example of what hunting shouldn't be.

I support hunting. I don't support trapping, bear baiting or trophy hunting but I won't deny anyone else's right to participate in a legal activity. I think these photos show the dark side of hunting and trapping. I grew up hunting with my father and grandfather. They had a true Idahoan respect for wildlife. Hunting was a priviledge and was done for food not for trophy. When an animal was killed it was treated with skill and respect, not with some stupid warhoop or moronic raw-liver-eating ritual. My grandfather taught us to respect and appreciate nature, to not kill or injure any animal that we didn't intend to eat. He was an extremely well respected man. There are still a few people like him left but it seems like hunting has been taken over by some kind of phony macho types. People who hunt only because they think it would be cool to kill something. People who don't have a clue about what to do with the animal after they kill it. People who somehow think it is okay to trash campsites and shoot trees and highway signs. People who drive around with their kill strapped to their vehicle for everyone to see like it is some sort of badge of manhood. People who have no respect for wildlife. People who take pictures of their poor hunting and trapping skills. To the true hunters, you have my respect, to the hunters like this you have my disgust.

good point

Fully agree. I'm a devoted hunter and fisherman, but also a big proponent of the idea that the kill should be as quick and humane as possible. I won't fight against trapping because it walks a fine line with hunting rights, but I won't support it either.

I truly agree with you on

I truly agree with you on this. I found the photo to be the reason why so many people are AGAINST hunting. This is not the norm for those of us that do hunt.

Thank you for your post . .

Thank you for your post . . . though I'm not a hunter, you have my respect for sticking with the ethical values your father and grandfather instilled in you. I believe that the trapping (torturing)of animals has no place in the 21st century. As far as I'm concerned the man responsible for the horrid suffing this animal endured has reduced himself to level a lower than that of the animal he so proudly "trapped". He has NO respect and NO conscience, as evidenced by his huge grin in the photo. Sadly, he is hopeless but I hope all hunters will instill the same values upon their sons and daughters that your father and grandfather passed on to you.

I brake for squirrels

they just want a cut of the insurance money...


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Kudos to the writer of "an

Kudos to the writer of "an example of what hunting shouldn't be". I don't hunt, but I support hunting and respect the True Hunters. I am a conservative, animal-loving long-time resident of Idaho who does NOT support the animal rights agenda. But I am appalled that anyone could revel in the suffering of any animal. Why do we allow political agendas to fan such hate?

I don't support trapping because of the amount of time an injured animal is left to suffer. On another "wolf info" site, a rancher spent more than six minutes videoing a dying calf that had been half eaten alive by wolves. How is that any more "right" than leaving the wolf to suffer longer while the trapper posed for a picture? Both actions were morally wrong.

Disgust is a mild description of what I feel for both of these men.


What a cruel and disgusting photo.

Ratdog, you have no idea

How much I agree with you. This is beyond, FAR, beyond why and how people should hunt. This man has blackened the already black eyes of hunters everywhere and I am ashamed that not only does he apparently work for The Forest Service, that he actually possesses weapons. Shame on him - not for trapping legally which he legally did, but to have this picture taken and let it out to be published. You, sir, are a disgrace to sportsmen and sportswomen everywhere.

And SHAME on Governor Otter

And SHAME on Governor Otter for decreeing the "emergency" that led to this disgustingly cruel method of killing. He is an embarrassment to Idaho.


I do alot of fishing above Idaho city at Crooked river and north fork of the Boise river when I find a trap I deposit it in the center of the north fork,so if you are missing one go swimming.Regards


throwing metal into the middle of a great fishery and beautiful river. Outstanding conservation work! (sarcasm...heavy sarcasm).

I believe you could be fined for what you're doing. However, if you were to "accidentally" trip the trap you'd probably be ok.


I find it hilarious that you are smart enough to admit to breaking the law on a public website

it seems ...

to be a law worth breaking. Our lands, your trap? How's that for a bit of socialism.

Go read Webster's, child and use the word correctly

You're as bad as if I'd wriiten it and used fishmonger or orgiastic.


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Did you hear the one about the orgiastic fishmonger?

two catfish walked onto a sandbar...

They were mourning the father of the whale tail, Dr. Porsche.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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I demand that the CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL WHATEVER demands the Attorney General to investigage OLDGUY.

He has clearly BROKEN THE LAW and he has ADMITTED it.

--give me a break.

Oldman you;re an idiot just the like person who took this photo and the person who posted it.

Multiple lynching already?


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Start the National Boycott

Of all Idaho ag products.


Stop getting pregnant and there will be fewer Idahoans?

Have fun paying too much or starving, Chick.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Don't like it then get out?

Kind of like you did with middle school

Our kids call it middle school, we called it "junior high'.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Sorry stupid

I have a college degree.About time you head back to California isn't it?

Allowing any animal to

Allowing any animal to suffer like that while someone sits and smiles is sick..you can tell he has suffered for hours..look at all the blood in the snow...a forest service employee getting his jollies at the suffering of an animal....sounds like someone needs a new job..one where he works with nothing that is living..washing cars would be good. How long was that animal in that trap? All so you can be pictured and proud with another living thing that you are torturing? How many things has he killed in his line of work? People like this give hunters a bad name...

375 and COUNTING!

May the trappers luck go up five fold next season! May the hunters shoot many and tag what they must. Remember WOLFIES, 375 is just what was tagged! USFWs, IDFG and the Idaho State Militia got many more.


What a disgusting example of a "Human Being" and those too that support his deplorable blood-1ust. POS one and all.

The guy can't help someone

The guy can't help someone came by and wounded it before he got there. Its not his fault.

The Smile...

... on this POS' face says he approves.

there is only a wolf there.


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Why shouldn't we tolerate animal cruelty?

"Cruelty to animals can be evidence of emotional disturbances, which could later lead to violence toward humans. Infamous serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz "son of Sam", Albert Desalve "The Boston Strangler" and many more, have notorious histories of animal abuse in their past. Psychologists and criminal profiling experts have shown a strong link between animal abuse and violence against humans."



"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

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Whenever I find traps I just make sure they get

turned into the local recycling center as scrap metal...

Good way to end up in jail

By Idaho code any of you disturbing a legally set trap are violating the law and I will be the first one to turn you in.