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Trapping and Dogs in Juneau

Trapping, like hunting and fishing, is a legal activity in much of the Juneau area.  Unlike hunting and fishing, trapping involves the use of traps that capture any animal that they come in contact with.  Traps do not distinguish between pets and wildlife.  Trap sets are meant to attract and capture animals. 
Your dog will not know that traps are to be avoided.  It is your responsibility to keep your dog safe by knowing where and when trapping is legal in Juneau.  When you are in these areas with your dog, you must watch for signs of traps and keep your dog close to keep your dog safe.
View information about trapping in the Juneau area presented the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at the Trapping Season and Dogs: Sharing Juneau's Trails program.  Click here.

View ADF&G Trapping Regulations for SE Alaska click here  (Juneau is in Area 1C)
November 1 thru April 30  -- trapping season open for wolf and coyote
November 10 thru February 28  -- trapping season open for wolverine
November 10 thru April 30  -- trapping season open for beaver

December 1 thru February 15  -- trapping season open for river otter, red fox, lynx, marten, mink, weasel, and muskrat


Marten is target species for most trappers in the Juneau area.

Trapping seasons for the more common target furbearers starts December 1.

For information on trails and areas closed (or partially closed) to trapping, traps, and releasing a dog from a trap - click here

The Department of Fish and Game has closed the following areas of CBJ to trapping:  (click here to see map)
  • A strip within 1/4 mile of the coast between the end of Thane Road and the end of Glacier Highway at Echo cove.
  • Auke Lake and the area within 1/4 mile of Auke Lake.
  • The area of the Mendenhall Valley bounded on the south by the Glacier highway, on the west by Mendenhall Loop Road and Montana Creek Road and Spur Road to Mendenhall Lake, on the north by Mendenhall Lake, and on the east by the Mendenhall Loop road and Forest Service Glacier Spur Road to the Forest Service Visitor Center.
  • A strip within 1/4 mile of the Douglas Island coast along the entire length of the Douglas Highway and a strip within 1/4 mile of the Eaglecrest Road.
  • Within the US Forest Service Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.
  • Within the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge.
  • A strip within 1/4 mile of the following trails (except that traps with an inside jaw spread of 5 inches or less which are set at least 5 feet above the ground and snow are allowed if more than 50 yards from the trail):
  1. Herbert Glacier Trail

  2. Windfall Lake Trail

  3. Peterson Lake Trail

  4. Spaulding Meadows Trail, including the loop trail

  5. Nugget Creek Trail

  6. Outer Point Trail

  7. Dan Moller Trail

  8. Perseverance Trail

  9. Granite Creek Trail

  10. Mount Roberts Trail

  11. Nelson Water Supply Trail (off Mt Roberts Trail)

  12. Sheep Creek Trail

  13. Point bishop Trail

  14. Amalga Trail

  15. Auke Nu/John Muir Trail

  16. Eagle Glacier Trail

  17. Point Bridget Trail

  18. Salmon Creek Trail

  19. Treadwell Ditch Trail (from Eaglecrest to Treadwell)

The City/Borough of Juneau has closed the following areas to trapping:  the area within 1/2 mile of any public or private street, road, or right-of-way in the borough   (CBJ Ordinance 08.45.030)


Treadwell Ditch Trail is closed to trapping after July 1, 2011.  The Alaska Board of Game unanimously accepted the proposal by Grateful Dogs to close the Treadwell Ditch Trail to trapping.   Thanks to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for its support for the proposal.  Without the support of the Department, it would have been much more difficult to persuade the Board of Game to accept the proposal. 


Learn how to recognize a trap set and how to open traps. 



Releasing Your Dog From a Conibear Trap

This is a conibear trap, and if your dog is caught in one, it is in serious trouble , as this trap is designed to kill. See instructions below on how to release an animal from this kind of trap -- it is difficult and time is of the essence !

The Conibear Trap - Shown in sprung position. Carry 2 long, strong, boot-type shoestrings with you at ALL times.

To release the trap, tie one end of a shoestring to the top loop of the spring where it runs along the jaws, run the shoestring through the bottom spring loop and then back through the top spring loop.

Then, stand on the trapchain, pinning the trap to the ground and haul up on the shoestring This will compress the spring. Pull and take up the shoestring until both sides of the spring meet. Tie off the shoestring and repeat the process on the other side of the trap, if necessary.

In the picture at the top, the trap is set and ready to kill your dog.

#1 are the springs . They are very powerful and when they are triggered, they push the pivoted jaws closed -- the X at the pivots widens.

#3 are the jaws . They do the crushing.

#2 are simple safety catches you put on while you are setting the trap in place. They swing off once that is done -- safety off and the trap is ready to fire.

#5 is the "dog" or bit of metal that holds the jaws together . It is under a lot of pressure and has a very shallow, rounded groove in it that hold one jaw against the other.

#4 is the trigger . These are thin stiff wires that the animal presses into as it enters the den. Once these wires are bumped, they slip the piece called the dog (#5) loose and the two pairs of jaws come down (#3) under the crushing drive of the springs (#1).

Important Review Tip:

A conibear trap closes with about 90 pounds of pressure
, and if you try to horse the jaw of the trap open by hand (a natural reaction, as the jaws will be crushing your dog to death), you are unlikely to succeed in getting your dog out alive.

The trick is to focus on the SPRINGS to the left and right of the trap , and to follow the procedure, as outlined above, to take the pressure off the springs .

Once the springs have been compressed with a dog leash or piece of boot lace , put the safety catches on, and repeat on the other side.


Copyright (c) by Patrick Burns.


More Information on releasing your dog from a trap can be found at:


Conibear (Bodyhold) Traps

Leghold Traps


All Traps

  • Click Here  - Info from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (video)

  • Click Here - Info from Nova Scotia Natural Resources

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