Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > February 4, 2005


Hi Folks -

As this article explains, the state of Minnesota has no limits on the number of beavers, muskrats, minks raccoons that a trapper can catch. This counters the propaganda of the National Trappers Association which says "In every state and province in the United States and Canada which have furbearer trapping programs, seasons, harvest limits and trapping methodology are strictly regulated by the state or provincial management authorities."

Trapping is *not* a strictly regulated activity, despite what the animal killers like to tell us.


Posted on Fri, Feb. 04, 2005

Soudan man charged with trapping too many fur bearers

WILDLIFE:Minnesota DNR officers say they confiscated pelts from 44 pine martens, 13 fishers and eight otters.


A Soudan man has been charged with seven counts of trapping violations and could face more than $27,000 in fines.

Fred Paul Precht, 49, was charged Jan. 12 with seven counts of small-game gross overlimits and an eighth count of failure to comply with game and fish laws, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued Wednesday.

"I've been here seven years. I've never seen a trapping case like this," said Rich Sprouse, public information officer for the DNR's Division of Enforcement at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.

The charges resulted from a December investigation into Precht's trapping activities near Isabella, according to the news release. DNR conservation officers Marty Stage of Babbitt and Kipp Duncan of Two Harbors encountered Precht in the woods near Isabella checking traps.

Upon discovering that he had more traps out than he initially acknowledged, they followed Precht to his home in Soudan and obtained a search warrant to check for furs.

The officers found 44 pine martens, 13 fishers, eight otters, 12 mink, 85 packages of beaver (some with more than one beaver), 31 muskrats and two raccoons, the news release said. A trapper may take only five pine martens and fishers combined in one season. The limit on otters is four. There is no limit on beavers, muskrats, mink or raccoons.

"We suspect there's a fair amount of overlimit (trapping) going on, but it isn't that often that we're able to make those cases," said Greg Payton, DNR enforcement supervisor at Eveleth.

Precht could be liable for a total of $27,600 in fines and restitution charges. He could also face more than seven years in jail.

Precht did not return phone calls to comment on this story.

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