Minnesota Trappers Association Legislative Action Alerts

2023 Legislative Action Alerts:

Post 1

Two very concerning bills have been introduced in the legislature

The first bad bill:
SF1316 (Authors: Hoffman, Abeler, Dibble) HF1299 (Author: Fischer)

In a nutshell:

1)    Would require all conibears larger than 110 to be fully submerged unless specific criteria are met.

  • unless recessed 12″ into a vertical box with the opening facing up and at least 4′ above the
  • unless at least 5′ above the ground or snow (so 1/2 submerged 330s would not be illegal

2)    Dog-proof traps

  • Must have pull triggers only
  • No meat or fish
  • Must have plug 1 1/2″ from the top

3)    Must contact a C.O. within 24 hours of catching a dog or collared animal in a trap or snare. Even if on your own property

  • If the animal is dead, you will lose your license for five years

4)    Snares

  • Reverse bend, washer style, relaxing locks only. No kill-type locks
  • 7′ max on cable length
  • No entanglement bigger than 1/2″ within reach of the cable. So, no snaring in trees orbrush

The second bad bill:

HF855 (authors: Fischer, Becker-Finn, Curran // SF945 (author: Lucero)

In a nutshell:

Would require permission (either verbal or written) to set traps on any non-public property. So even if the water is public, you would need permission to stake traps if the property under the water is private. It wouldn’t matter if the trap is set on floating vegetation, if you are taking it into the bottom, you would need permission. You would likely need permission to trap some large paper company lands because it’s non-public.

Talking points to include in your emails are down below.

As you can see, these bills are potentially very damaging for us. It’s time to contact your Minnesota state Senator and House of Representative member urging them to oppose these bills. If you’re coming to the Trapper’s Day at the Capital on March 6, now is also the time to make appointments to meet your Senator and House member on that day. If coming in a group with the same legislators, you can all attend the meetings together. Schedule 15 minutes if going alone, and 1/2 hour if in a group. When requesting the meetings, tell them you are a constituent, and they will get you in. You can make meetings through email or phone.

Post 2:

Everybody must email their legislators, and the bill’s authors must also be contacted. How elaborate your email is, is up to you. Just telling them to oppose a bill is better than nothing, although when contacting the authors, you should elaborate, so they know why you think the bill is terrible. When emailing your legislators, feel free to use some of the talking points below. Be respectful! Never make threats or derogatory comments. Don’t copy the points word for word on this page and send it. We don’t want the emails to look like form letters if a legislator gets more than one email from trappers in their district. Feel free to add your own words and mix up the order, as long as the email doesn’t get too long. They get tired of reading long emails. Email your legislators at least once a week. You can use parts of the talking points below in one email and then use others the next time you email them, so the email doesn’t get too long each time. Always include the bill number in the subject line. If you’re emailing your own legislator, an excellent introduction to your email could be, “as a constituent of yours, I urge you to oppose SF1316”, then go into your points of why the bill is bad. Bills that start with SF are senate- related, and HF is House of Representatives related. So, your emails regarding SF1316 and SF855 go to your senator, and regarding bills, HF1299 and HF945 go to your House of Representatives. Also, include your address at the end of the email under your name.

Talking points about general trapping and bills SF1316 and HF1299 are directly below. Points regarding HF945 and SF855 (trespass bills) will be on a separate page.

  1. Overall, trapping is currently the most regulated outdooractivity.
  2. Trappers are responsible, caring people that take trapping veryseriously.
  3. Incidental catches of domestic animals are already very rare, and more restrictions will result in name only. No meaningful trapping willexist.
  4. Trappers and dog owners have responsibilities, and the severe restrictions in these bills unfairly shift everything totrappers.
  5. Since 1995, Minnesota trappers have caught over 3,000,000 predators of ground-nestingbirds.
  6. Trapping and snaring is the only effective method of controlling furbearers, especially predators andbeaver.
  7. Trapperscatch the vast majority of predators and beavers for free. Take away the necessary and effective trapping tools, and taxpayers and private property owners will pay the bill for predator and beaver removal due to rising populations.
  8. The vast majority of dogs caught in traps are free-roaming dogs on public land or someone else’s private property. In other words, the dogs weren’t supposed to be on that land orproperty.
  9. What rare instances have occurred with dogs and traps over the years have either been in illegal sets, where another law wouldn’t have mattered, or non-trappers trying to catch animals like skunks in their yards? Again, another law wouldn’t make adifference.Pertaining to Sf1316 and HF1299: Requires fully submerged body grip traps over 4 1/2″.
  10. Since 1995, Minnesota trappers have caught approximately 1.5 million beavers, with only one unfortunate reported incident where a dog was killed in a beaver trap. That as a very unusual incident that is not present in typical water-trappingsituations.
  11. Body grip traps are the most widely used tool to trapbeavers.
  12. Having to fully submerge beaver traps will take away the effectiveness of the trap. Often there isn’t sufficient water within a reasonable distance of the bait to fully submerge thetrap.
  13. It doesn’t make sense to take away an effective tool when there’s been one dog incident in 1.5 million beavers trapped. Experience has shown that body grip traps in half-submerged water sets, as currently allowed, are highlysafe.
  14. Damage causedby beavers is a considerable cost to Minnesota private landowners and taxpayers from road damage, timber destruction, costly beaver removal, etc., Most trappers provide this service for free but need the use of current trapping regulations to do so effectively.

Pertaining to encapsulated traps (Dog proof or D.P. traps):

  1. Encapsulated traps have become one of the most used tools for raccoontrapping.
  2. Minnesota trappers have caught over 1,000,000 raccoons since 1995, with one reported dog (which wasn’t lethal) caught in an encapsulatedtrap.
  3. Requiring pull-only triggers would make nearly every premanufactured encapsulated trap illegal. The vast majority are pull and push-triggered; replacing the traps would be extremely expensive. Pull-only traps are also lesseffective.
  4. Requiring a plug makes bait or scent drawing power much less effective. It seals the odors into the trap, preventing a raccoon’s attraction from a distance, making it less effective. The plugs required in the bill are not commercially available and nearly impossible for trappers to makethemselves.
  5. Current regulations for these traps are already working to safeguard dogs. That’s why they’re called “dog-proof”traps.

Pertaining to snares:

  1. Accidental snaring of domestic animals is already very rare. When a rare occurrence does occur, the domestic animal can safely and without harm be released. Rarely is a dog harmed ordied?
  2. Non-lethal, relaxing snare locks can cause damage to the valuable neck hair on furbearers, due to the rubbing on the neck, greatly reducing theirvalue.
  3. Ifsnares are to be free of entanglement, animals, especially coyotes, can be extremely shy of snares set in the open, where there’s no brush or trees to camouflage the snare, making the set much less effective. Also, removing all the vegetation can cause animals to avoid the area.
  4. Most anchoring of snares is done by tying to a tree, the bill would make that illegal. Staking a snare into frozen ground and especially removing a stake from the frozen ground can be nearlyimpossible.
  5. Snaringis the most common and effective method of catching coyotes and foxes in the snow and is widely used for other animals, such as beavers and bobcats. Foot traps become inoperable in the freezing and thawing of snow in late fall and winter.

Pertaining to a severe criminal penalty and 5-year loss of license for killing a dog:

  1. It’s unfair to a trapper to take away his license for five years if someone’s roaming dog gets killedon public property or someone else’s private property, to which he has permission. The responsibility is also on the dog owner to keep their dog controlled. Is it the fault of a car owner if someone’s dog runs out into the road and gets hit? Should the car owner be charged criminally and lose his driver’s license for five years?
  2. Trappers take the responsibility of trapping veryseriously

Pertaining to body grips on dry land:

  1. The current laws pertaining to body grips in boxes and cubbies with overhangs have successfully alleviated dog catches. Elevated sets are not effective in catching animals, and young and old trappers would have difficulty usingthem.
  2. The Minnesota TrappersAssociation was instrumental in moving the fisher, marten, and bobcat season to the end of December to help alleviate dog and trap incidents, even though the snow and cold make it more difficult to trap. Overall, there have been few hunting dogs caught, and there hasn’t been a hunting dog caught for years. Current trapping regulations already safeguard dogs and still allow meaningful trapping.

Post 3:

Talking points for addressing HF945 (Fischer) and SF855(Lucero):

HF945 is specifically directed against trapping, and although SF855 isn’t specifically against trapping, it definitely would affect trapping.

Pertaining to HF945:

1)    Discriminates against trapping and treats trapping differently than all other outdoor activities.

  • Current law does not require permission for non-agricultural property for recreational activities if the property is not posted. This bill would not change the current law for any recreational activity except trapping. Deer hunting, small game hunting, and predator and hound hunting would not need permission, but trapping
  • Permission wouldbe required explicitly for setting traps along the shoreline from a boat on public waters (including lakes, rivers, and streams) even if the property is not  Many ponds and lakes have multiple landowners that own the land under public water. Trappers would need permission from the owner to stake a trap, even if the trap itself is floating on something like vegetation if the land under the water is privately owned. Duck hunters don’t need permission to hunt and place decoys, fisherman don’t need permission to fish if their lures are touching the bottom.

Pertaining to SF855:

  1. There is no requirement to post land in the bill.
  2. Any entry of land without permission for any purpose (hunting, fishing, trapping), whether by MISTAKE or ACCIDENT, is a crime and will result in the revocation of the license.
  3. All land is treated the same, whether agricultural, wooded, low ground or any.
  4. Setting traps from the shore of public water (lakes, rivers, streams) from a boat is trespassing even if the land is not posted.
  5. It would be a crime not to know the boundaries and ownership of lands you enter, whether public or private. It wouldn’t matter if you are young or old, or if you can afford an electric property locator system on your phone, or hunt or trap in an area without signal where an electric locator system is not available, or if the landowner lives out of state or can’t otherwise be contacted.
  6. If you have permission to hunt or trap private property or are on public land but accidentally cross over the property boundary, no matter how little, you have committed a crime, and your license can be revoked.

End 2023 Legislative Alerts

2022 Legislative Committee Report

Greetings, fellow trappers,

Our MTA lobbyist, Tim Spreck, has reported as of April 29, “There is virtually no chance of anything happening that is negative to trapping in this session.” Nothing is ever certain, but it looks good for trappers this session. The DNR Furbearer Management Committee met on April 8 and discussed our requests for Statewide bobcat and fisher seasons, increasing the bag limit for otters from 4 to 8, and having the otter season run concurrently with beaver season. The committee generally supported the increased harvest but plans to invite the MTA and MFZTA to review and develop season frameworks for evaluation in the 2023 Human Dimensions Trappers Opinion Survey. Once the surveys are turned in they will re-evaluate our requests and make recommendations. Among other trapping questions, this survey, it will also ask your opinions on nonresident trapping which may prompt additional discussions of support for obtaining non-resident trapping in MN. I believe this survey will go out randomly to trappers in the State, so if you know trappers that for whatever reason, aren’t members, first of all, sign them up! But also encourage them to check “yes” to wanting nonresident trapping on the survey. I believe it’s been five years since the MTA voted to allow nonresident trapping in our State, and this could help get the DNR’s support as well!

Terry McElmury -Chair

March-April 2021 Legislative Action Alert

To All;

Most you of you may be aware already of HF 2086 (PDF) a bill that has been introduced once again by Rep. Fischer. This bill would basically outlaw reasonable use of body grip traps on land as well as snares.

There is a Senate companion SF 2142 (PDF) It was authored by Senator Abeler from the North Metro. Senators Hoffman and Wiger are co-sponsors. While I don’t believe this bill got a committee hearing we need to still encourage our Senators to not support this bill.

I am asking all to put out information on both HF 2086 and SF 2142(MN State Internet links)

We need to encourage all members to contact their Representatives and Senators and encourage them to not support these bills because of their detriment to meaningful trapping MN.

Senators: (Link to current members)

Representatives: (Link to current members)

These two bills need to be defeated as they are very damaging to trapping in MN.

Please contact me if you have further questions.


May 21, 2020 – Final Update on Legislative Actions

This is sent on behalf of President Roggenkamp and myself:

Subject:  15845-0001: Final MN legislative issue

The Conference Committee on the Natural Resource Finance Omnibus bill could not agree on removing the wolf language.  The House file is H.F. 2209 and the Senate file is S.F.2314.

Currently, Minnesota Statute Section 97B.645, Subdivision 9 provides for the DNR to allow a season for wolf, after providing for public comment, upon the delisting of the wolf under federal law.   The proposed amendment in the house file would  change the language to: “There is no open season for wolves.”  This would mean that upon the delisting of the wolf federally, we would again have to go back to the legislature to again pass legislation allowing for a wolf season. We already did this and should not have to do so again.

Everyone should call, email and write the leadership in the House, Representatives Hortman and Daudt, and in the Senate, Senators Gazelka and Baak, and let them know you oppose changing current law with the wolf. Keep the comment respectful, short and to the point.  

Basically something as follows:

I support the wolf species in Minnesota, but the wolf population in Minnesota has surpassed all previously set goals.  In areas of the state the wolf population is above sustainable limits, and more than 1000 individual animals above all pre15845-0001: Final MN legislative issueviously set recovery goals.  Without an open season, the MN DNR has no ability to managed the wolf, even in those areas of the state where the wolf is causing harm to other wildlife species including the moose and deer populations, and predation on livestock and pets.   Every year both the state and federal government spend tens of thousands of dollar paying for depredation on livestock, and thousands more on government trappers.  Hunters and trapper can provide this service at no cost to taxpayers if the DNR has the ability to have an open season.  I oppose changing current law which allows the DNR to manage the wolf through an open season. Thank you.

This needs to be done quickly as the special session will likely occur this week Thursday (May 23). Thank you grl

Gary R. Leistico

May 7 Update on Legislative Actions

This email is sent on behalf of  President Roggenkamp and I.

Subject: 15845-0001: How to submit a formal comment on the delisting of wolves

The Conference Committee on the Natural Resource Finance Omnibus bill will be meeting soon.  The leadership in the House and Senate have asked for the Committee reports to be completed by May 15. As in previous emails, the last remaining issue negative to trapping in the bill is the provision to undone the current statute which allows a wolf season in Minnesota when the wolf is delisted under federal law.  I believe the Conference Committee will remove this provision (however, if you have not contacted the Committee members, still do so), but, if the wolf is not federally delisted, there will still never be a season for wolf in Minnesota.   The US Fish and Wildlife Service is currently purposing to delist the wolf in the lower 48 states, and as part of the process must consider public comments. The time to submit a comment is on or before May 14, 2019.  The comment can be submitted by email, and below is the link with instructions.

It is important that comments supporting the delisting are submitted. In part, just the fact that more positive than negative comments are submitted is important.  We would ask you to submit a comment, ask others to do so, place this on the MTA website and on the new MTA Facebook page.  Nothing fancy is required. State you support the delisting of the wolf in the entire lower 48 states to allow the states to manage the wolf.  If that is all you write, most of the benefit of your comment is achieved. Additionally, you can state:

“I support the delisting of the wolf in the lower 48 states. For the 3 years Minnesota was allowed to manage the wolf (roughly 2012-2014), the state of Minnesota, as well as the others states where the wolf was delisted, managed the wolf conservatively and with no negative impacts to the wolf population.  The delisting was beneficial to the natural and human environment in reducing the impacts from wolf predation on both big game populations and livestock.”

You can add your own thoughts and reasons as you see fit. I would advise against being outright negative about the wolf.  The wolf is not bad, not managing the wolf is bad.  If you have questions, please let us know.  We will be filing a comment on behalf of the MTA as well.       

Below please find the link to submit a formal comment in regards to the delisting of the gray wolf:  


Here are the steps on how to submit a formal comment:

  1. Click on the green submit a formal comment
  2. You can either type your comment in the provided space or you can attach your comment as a file and/or attach support documents to your comment. If you plan on attaching your comment and/or supporting documents please review the Attachment Requirements.
  3. Provide the following information requested below.
  4. Submit your comment.

Gary R. Leistico

May 2 – Update on Legislation with Contact Information.

REF: Bills SF 2314/HF2209


I see the governor has came out in support of prohibiting recreational harvest.

Steve Pahlen

On Thu, May 2, 2019, 11:27 AM   Gary Leistico  wrote:

The Conferees for SF 2314/HF2209 have been named. They are Senators Ingebrigtsen, Ruud, Eichorn, Johnson and Tomassoni. The Reps are Hansen, Persell, Fischer, Becker-Finn and Nate Nelson. The provision in this bill that we object to is the one that would remove from current law any future wolf season. You should spread the word and start sending emails and phone calls to these Committee members and let them know that we oppose this provision and that it removes a valuable management tool and revenue stream from consideration in the event that the wolf is delisted. I will try to find out when they will meet but it could be any time beginning today so getting this campaign underway is going to be important.  

Below is the contact information for the Committee members. Thanks.  grl


Bill Ingebrigtsen 651-297-8063   E-mail: sen.bill.ingebrigtsen@senate.mn

Carrie Ruud 651-296-4913   E-mail: sen.carrie.ruud@senate.mn    

Justin Eichorn 651-296-7079   Use Mail Form

Mark Johnson  651-296-5782   Use Mail Form

David J. Tomassoni  651-296-8017   Use Mail Form


Rick Hansen 651-296-6828   E-mail: rep.rick.hansen@house.mn

John Persell  651-296-5516   E-mail: rep.john.persell@house.mn

Peter Fischer 651-296-5363   E-mail: rep.peter.fischer@house.mn

Jamie Becker-Finn 651-296-7153   E-mail: rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn

Nathan Nelson 651-296-0518   E-mail: rep.nathan.nelson@house.mn

Gary R. Leistico

April 30th – UPDATE – from MTA Member’s Conversation from ’email clips’

RE: Subject: 15845-0001: Amendments – TODAY –

There was one attempt to amend on the written permission, but this was withdrawn by Rep. Fisher when he failed to receive the 15 necessary votes to allow a roll call vote on the amendment. A very good outcome except the wolf amendment. In the next week or so, a conference committee will be selected from the House and Senate. Once this is done and published, we will need to contact the conference members to seek to remove the wolf language. This should be doable, but always a concern. Other associations within the outdoor community should help us on this. If you met with, called or emailed anyone in the legislature, if you are a MTA member, you are part of the outcome. Good job. For now. Gary Leistico

On Apr 30, 2019 9:18 PM, Steve Pahlen, wrote:


It was reported to me from Randy the House has passed the DNR omnibus bill, all the negative trapping language that would affect our tools and the way we operate have failed.  It appears there wasn’t even any attempts to amend the bill with negative language.

One amendment that was added and passed was to prohibit the harvest of wolves should they be delisted.  That amendment wasn’t in the Senate version.  We will be following what happens closely.  Hopefully, it gets removed in committee.

If anyone is interested in watching the debate on the wolf amendment they can here, it starts at the 1:09:00 mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XS82UdqhWIM

Thanks to all that made contact today.


On Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 1:27 PM Randy Goldenman, wrote:

It’s going to be a late night.

Subject: Re: 15845-0001: Amendments TODAY –


If anyone is bored they can watch the floor action today.  The omnibus bill is last on the calendar of the day it appears, they are in recess until 2 pm


On Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 10:32 AM  Roggenkamp, Todd  wrote:


I did the same and have made several calls already and got a couple of the aides to pass along concerns.

Todd Roggenkamp

MTA president

On Apr 30, 2019, at 10:08 AM, Steve Pahlen, wrote:

All I sent emails to all of the aforementioned representatives.  It seems that I got auto replies from several and I then sent emails to their legislative aides hoping they may get the message sometime today.  I suggest all do the same.  I know it’s a PIA but it is what it is.


On Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 9:47 AM Roggenkamp, Todd, wrote:

To all –

I have sent this information to Tom Schmoll as well to post on Official MTA Facebook page.

Todd Roggenkamp

MTA President

On Apr 30, 2019, at 9:39 AM, Steve Pahlen, wrote:

Thanks for the heads up Gary,  

Here is a list of names, with links, that Randy sent to me this morning and I’ve been sending to my contacts.



Randy Goldenmann has asked me to reach out to all I know about this bill.  We anticipate the house to vote on it today, as it stands there is no negative trapping language that I am aware of is in it.  We are expecting there could and will be a flurry of attempts to amend this bill today on the floor with negative language.  We are asking you to contact at least the individuals listed below. I realize it’s a long list but do what you can.  Randy has spoken with these individuals in the past and they are very supportive of trapping yet we should contact them as their continued support will be an integral part in voting down any possible amendments that may come up.  It will be a close vote, very close, some of these individuals will need to break away from party pressure..  Also wouldn’t hurt to contact your local representative if they are not named below even if they are supportive, we’ll need all the help we can get.

It is urgent that you attempt to contact them ASAP.  Randy expects the floor vote to happen sometime today, most likely this evening but could be earlier. I realize this is short notice but that is how politics work.

John Persell  651-296-5516  E-mail: rep.john.persell@house.mn

Julie Sandstede  651 296 0172  E-mail: rep.julie.sandstede@house.mn  

Rep. Mike Sundin 651-296-4308  E-mail: rep.mike.sundin@house.mn   

Rep. Mary Murphy 651-296-2676  E-mail: rep.mary.murphy@house.mn   

Rep. Dave Lislegard651-296-0170  E-mail: rep.dave.lislegard@house.mn   

Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL) District: 03A 651-296-2190  E-mail: rep.rob.ecklund@house.mn

Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn  Email: rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn

Rep. Jeff Brand 651-296-8634  E-mail: rep.jeff.brand@house.mn   

Rep. Hunter Cantrell 651-296-4212  E-mail: rep.hunter.cantrell@house.mn

John (Jack) Considine Jr. 651-296-3248  E-mail: rep.jack.considine@house.mn  

Rep. Kaohly Her 651-296-8799  E-mail: rep.kaohly.her@house.mn   

Rep. Jeanne Poppe 651-296-4193  E-mail: rep.jeanne.poppe@house.mn

Duane Sauke 651-296-9249  E-mail: rep.duane.sauke@house.mn  

Rep. Brad Tabke 651-296-8872  E-mail: rep.brad.tabke@house.mn

Rep. Dan Wolgamott 651-296-6612  E-mail: rep.dan.wolgamott@house.mn

Rep. Tou Xiong  651-296-7807

Rep. Patty Acomb 651-296-9934  E-mail: rep.patty.acomb@house.mn    

Here is a sample letter that I am going to send out:

Honorable Representative Persell,

My understanding is there will be a floor vote today on the DNR omnibus bill.  I am a trapper in the great state of MN and I ask of your support and not vote in favor of any negative trapping amendments that may come up.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Steve Pahlen
390 Healy Ave W
Plummer MN 56748    

4/24/2019 – Update from Legal Council:

Last night, the Senate Omnibus Natural Resource bill was heard on the Senate Floor.  I watched the session live on the Senate web broadcast.  It went late, but not as late as some years.  No anti-trapping language was in the bill and no anti-trapping amendments were brought forward.  This is a very good outcome.  The House Omnibus Natural Resource bill has not been scheduled for a Floor session as of now, but could be at any time.   Hopefully we get the same result in the House, but without a companion  bill in the Senate, things are looking pretty good.  Please forward this message. Thanks.

Gary R. Leistico

Suite 300, US Bank Plaza
P.O. Box 1497
St. Cloud, MN 56302

HF 2308 (Authored by Peter Fischer)

– SF 2359 (Senate Authors: Chris Eaton and Jason Isaacson)

HF 1327 (Authored by Peter Fischer)

– SF 927 (Senate Authors: Chris Eaton; Charles Wiger; Foung Hawj; Jason Isaacson; and D. Scott Dibble)

HF880 ( Authored by Ami Wazlawik; Peggy Bennett; Jim Davnie; Jamie Becker-Finn; Carlos Mariani; Connie Bernardy; Mike Freiberg; Cheryl Youakim; Frank Hornstein; Kaohly Her; Robert Bierman )

– SF 842 (Senate Authors: Karin Housley; Erik Simonson; Eric Pratt; John Hoffman; John Marty)

HF 749 (Authored by Samantha Vang; Aisha Gomez;  Jay Xiong; Rick Hansen; and Fue Lee)

– SF 1700 (Senate Author: Jason Isaacson)

As most of you are aware by now, the US House of Representatives passed HR 6784 and now it needs to be passed by the US Senate.

 HR 6784 – Minnesota Wolf Management

Minnesota State and US Legislative and Representative Contacts

The web page links can help you find your representatives for your area.

Contacting your US Representatives:  
Contacting your MN State Senate and House members:
(List of Elected Officials for the State of Minnesota with Contact information.)
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