By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the owner of three hunting dogs, Brett Harberts is aware of the concern over body grip traps.

Seven dogs have been killed in Minnesota this year by the traps, and Harberts doesn’t want his dogs to suffer a similar fate.

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He has a staying: “If there is public land and there os trails, do not assume there is a trap, expect there is a trap.”

Harberts wants to show dog owners what to do if their pet is unlucky enough to get caught in one.

There are two methods, he says, to freeing your dog, and both involve squeezing the springs tight enough, so the safety can lock and the trap can open. The first method is the rope method.

“Step one: Thread the string where it meets the rotating jaws of the trap,” Harberts said.

In an example, Harberts threads rope through the large rings of the spring. He ties one end around his foot and pulls on the other end of the rope, which squeezes the spring close enough to clip the safety. He does the same thing on the other side. (To see this done, watch the video above).

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“Now you have both of these depressed, and you are able to open the jaws and release the pressure off the dog,” he said.

The second method is the one Harberts favors, and it’s easy to teach. Instead of using rope, you use industrial zip ties. You squeeze on the spring and pull on the zip tie.

“No safety, and it’s ready to go,” Harberts said.

Note that these methods require carrying along rope or zip ties, and having knowledge of how the trap works.

Harberts says the traps are silent killers. The dog can’t make a sound once caught, and time is of the essence.

“This isn’t an answer. This isn’t a solution,” Harberts said of the release methods. “Our solution is to get these traps up off the ground.”

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The rope method for releasing the traps can be found on page 34 of the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping handbook.

John Lauritsen