WI: Trapper hit with citation after harming goose
April 2, 2010
Wild goose chase leads to beaver trapping lessons
RIVER FALLS - What began as two women trying to help a wild goose, ended
in a fine for one man and a lesson for everyone in beaver trapping.
Friends and fellow University of Wisconsin-River Falls students Daria
Sylvan and Janna Grassel became concerned last Wednesday evening after they
found and freed a goose from a metal trap that had been underwater in the
They lay the goose, which had a mangled leg and was in shock, on the bank
of the river and called police, presuming they should tell someone about the
trap. While the women talked with police, the goose slid into the water and
attempted to swim.
People across the river signaled it was over there. The group sought but
did not find the goose. Sylvan said she wanted to take the goose to a rehab
center; police mentioned possibly "destroying" it.
"I just want the citizens to know the potential danger that lies in the
Kinni," Sylvan said in an e-mail after the incident. "I myself have kayaked
there.I want this to be known so no one gets hurt." Police called area DNR
Warden Brad Peterson, who came the next day to inspect the trap. He knew the
DNR was not trapping in the area, and city Planner Tony Steiner said River
Falls had not contracted with anyone for wildlife control.
Peterson found the underwater trap, which was properly set, attached to a
bait bag and marked, as the law requires.
"Traps are required to be tagged," Peterson said.
The tag enabled police to trace the trap back to UW-River Falls student
from Colfax, Tryston Beyrer. According to the police report, Beyrer
explained that he'd seen evidence of beaver activity in the area while doing
some water research.
The report said, "Tryston stated that he was diligent in researching DNR
laws and has a lot of experience in setting traps;" he thought that would be
a good spot.
Beyrer did not realize a city law (9.24.010) prohibits anyone from
setting traps within city limits that are bigger than 1 1/2 inches. It
specifically states concern about the injury of animals.
Police issued Beyrer a non-criminal citation that will cost him $114.
Peterson commented to police that the trap was not well placed but was
legal according to DNR standards. Police met with Beyrer to discuss trapping
parameters and alternative methods like box traps.
Most involved with the case acknowledge public apprehension about having
traps in a river people use so much for recreation. However, underwater
traps may only be set during legal trapping season, and in most cases, the
trapper needs a landowner's permission to set them.
Beaver-trapping season starts early November and ends March 31. It's
almost the same time frame for muskrat and otter, though trapping the latter
requires a permit.
The River Falls (Wis.) Journal is owned by Forum Communications Co.
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