The arrival of wolf trapping season in two weeks has left some animal owners in Montana concerned for the safety of themselves, as well as their pets.
On December 15th, recreational wolf trapping will resume on public lands all across Montana-- and one group is offering tips on how to keep other animals safe from being caught in the traps themselves.
In her second year living in Missoula, Phoebe Bean said she's already become very selective about where she walks her dogs.
"If you hear from somebody that there's trapping going on in an area, I will not go there,” Bean said Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a shame because they're great places that I then don't have access to because of the traps and the dogs."
The nonprofit organization, Footloose Montana, is issuing a public service announcement with tips for people to keep their animals safe.
"We encourage people to give us reports when they see a trap and take a picture of it and give us exact locations so we can post that,” said Secretary Connie Poten. “Wolf traps are especially dangerous because they're so big and there's always bait near them, so its hard to dodge them."
Poten said trap locations can be added to the website www.footloosemontana.org, and additional trapping information can be found at http://fwp.mt.gov/eBook/hunting/regulations/2016/wolf/index.html
There are several trap-safe areas across Montana, including the Blue Mountain Recreation area in Missoula, where Bean said she takes her dogs often.
"Here its restricted and protected, so people that bring their dogs here may not know about it if this is their only dog walking area, but for people like me and a lot of my friends who are ranging all over the hills around Missoula where there aren't restrictions, there is a concern."
Wolf trapping season lasts from December 15th-March 31st.