Mountain and an old Conibear trap found at the entrance to a sette the dogs entered.
Let's begin with the most important thing: Conibear traps kill a lot of dogs and cats, and they can take your fingers off.
To repeat: Conibear traps can easily kill a small dog and cat and maim you.
Read that again. Do it once more. Got it? Good!
Now for some knowledge. Did you know that Conibear traps were invented by the animal rights folks as an alternative to the far safer leghold trap?
Conibear traps were first designed by Frank Conibear in the 1950s in Canada, and were the first substantive improvement in traps since the leghold trap was invented in 1823.
The development of this type of trap was paid for by an animal rights group, and the trap was designed to kill very fast. This sure-kill trap design was subsequently approved by the International Humane Society.
Ironically, because this type of trap kills almost instantly, and is very difficulty to release even if you are standing right there when it fires off, this trap is a very serious threat to cats and small dogs which might otherwise be unharmed if entangled in a modern leghold trap or a snare.
In my opinion, a Conibear should only be used in a water set on muskrat (#110 Conibear) or beaver (#330 Conibear) or in a tree set for coon. If you are looking to get rid of a nuisance raccoon, consider a cuff-type trap (sometimes called an egg trap) as there is zero by-catch with these devices.
Since we're about to enter trapping season, those who do not trap but who take dogs out into the woods should know how to get their dogs out of a trap if it comes to that. Click here for simple instructions.
The previous link was cited by The Anchorage Daily News who went on to use it to develop the very nice graphic, below, on how to get your dog out of a Conibear trap. Remember, that if there are no safety catches on the trap itself (there generally are), your shoelaces are a tool that is always with you in the woods!