I don't know much about trapping but this much I do know: whoever wrote the ad appearing in the DNR's Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook teaching "how to release a domestic animal from a trap" has never actually faced that situation.

Unfortunately, I have. Thanksgiving Day, when the trap pictured in this post grabbed my Labrador and wouldn't let go. No matter what I did. The Minnesota Trappers Association ad in the rule book says: Step One: Remain calm and speak soothingly to the dog. There's our first clue that the ad writer is clueless.

My Lab was completely out of control with fear, pain and anxiety. All the soothing talk on the planet wouldn't have stopped him from tearing up his mouth trying to bite the trap open. Nor would all the stepping on the traps flanges by me open it. I ultimately had to leave my dog trapped, run home, get a bolt cutter and my tractor, cut the trap chain and carry Doc, with trap still attached, home in the bucket of my tractor. A crow bar finally freed him.

Next day I found the trapper and determined he had no license, no ID on his traps, was setting his snare traps far above 16" off the ground, was setting traps in deer trails and, finally, gave me a false name.

But the bigger issue here is whether dry land snare and spring loaded traps should be allowed at all in the Twin City seven-county area. Certainly trapping has its place. But is that place where people and dogs are likely to confront them?