By: Bears Butt

Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2012

A.M. Report:

Holy Moly, winter is about to happen upon us!  We have a winter storm WARNING that begins today at about 9 a.m. and last until Friday about 11 a.m., deep snow accumulations in the valley expected……NOOOOO!  I want to go trapping not move snow!

Well, whatever we have happen with the weather, I am going to the swamp today and see just what happened on my lines last night.  My plan was to set a few traps on the Big Spring line, but this storm might stop me from doing that.  We will see once I’m out there.  The weather is entirely different way out that way than it is up next to the mountains where most of us live.  Sometimes it’s worse, sometimes it’s better.

Todays lunch will be a bologna sandwich with mayo and cheese.  An almost “staple” in my diet.  As I eat my bologna sandwich, I think of steak, tacos, hamburgers, tuna, chicken and pork chops, and when the sandwich is done, I take a large drink of water and then get back to work.

It was cold and windy last night, so what do I expect as a rat catch today?

10 again.  Actually, with over 90 traps out, 10 seems like a low number, actually I’ll take 10 any day.  That is nearly $100 after they are sold and if Bob and I can make that much each day, we each pocket $50 and that is good.

OH!  I almost forgot!  My expensive boots came yesterday!  YAAAA!  I tried them on last night and they are the most foot friendly hip boot I have ever put my foot into.  Soft and cushy!  Now if they will keep the water out, I will be a happy guy with a big ol grin from ear to ear!  The box says they are tough.  The box says they “breath”.  The box says they are the best commercial boot made.

They are made of a thick rubber from the knee down, a cleat sole, but not a sole that will fill with mud and keep the mud captive.  The toe is stiff so you can’t depress it down, but it does not have a steel insert.  And there is a tough cloth type of material that goes from the top of the foot, all the way to the top of the boot.  A material that looks like you could poke it with a sharp knife and it would not cut it.  Briar and thorn proof and snake bite proof…that is what they advertise.

Will they hold up to the bite from a 5 foot rat?  I hope we don’t have to find out.

More later!

Bears Butt


What a storm!  I made it to the parking spot and the weather was a little breezy but balmy.  Maybe temps were around 40, maybe even 45.  I don’t have a temp gauge so I don’t know for sure, but it was comfortable.

I put on my new boots…AHHHH…nice!  And the rest of my trapping stuff and headed off.  Checking the Trellis line I netted 2 rats.  About usual in my opinion, and normally I would have all of those traps pulled and set somewhere else, but I promised Bob.  Anyway, 2 paid for the gas.

Then loaded up and headed farther West to check the Goose Club line.

The signs at the line are showing me I am making a big dent in the population on that line and it won’t take too many days to have the bulk of them caught.  4 set off traps and one of them really raised my eyebrows.  A conibear that was triggered but did not close.  Nothing was stopping it from closing and when I picked up the stake with the trap it did not close until I touched the trap…then SNAP!  Lucky rat.

My new boots are wonderful!

Hitting the rest of the line I did not start picking up rats until the few traps just before the channel and then things started looking good to fill my goal.

One bait set down the channel had rat crap on the trap, but no set off trap.  That to me is a rat telling me to “kiss his behind”.  I’ll catch him tomorrow.

Around the horn and to the traps Wapiti and I set yesterday yielded a welcome surprise…rats and more rats.  We set some “air hole” sets and of the 5 sets, 3 of them produced and one was set off (already counted above), not bad for 7 sets.

Down at the end of the line, we set 8 traps and 4 of them produced!  A great day of trapping.

Me: 16, Bob 6!  Great Day.

The weather continually got worse and worse to the point that tumble weeds as big as me were being tossed over my head.  The temperature dropped about 15 degrees since earlier and I decided I had had enough fun for one day and headed for the barn.

Bears Butt

P.M. Report

Written on February 29th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

Tomorrow is Leap Day!  WAHOOOO!  Why was an extra day added to February every 4 years?  It has to do with the amount of time it takes the earth to rotate around the sun.  You see, we always consider it to take 365 days for the earth to accomplish this rotation, but in actuality it takes just a bit over 365 days and 5 hours for it to happen.  Mulitply 5 hours times 4 years and that is 20 hours.  Almost another day.  Actually the minutes and seconds that it takes are added to the 365 plus 5 hours and it ends up being “close to exactly” 24 hours.

So, in order for the calendar to show more accurately the days of full moons and no moons and Easter and Christmas and Thanksgiving and your birthday, we add an extra day to February…February 29th.  That’s tomorrow.

AHHH!  A beautiful day is in store for us.

Oh, did I mention your pay?  You work for a salary don’t you?  And you boast to your friends and family, “I work for $35,000 p/year”!  That is wonderful.  What about you on a fixed income.  You are retired and earn a whopping $12,000 p/year.  Not bad if your mortgage is paid for, but when you look at it $12,000 p/year is $1,000 p/month.  Take out the taxes and your health insurance and you don’t get a check.

But my point is this.  On Feb. 29th, you don’t get ANY money.  For you workers, you are working for FREE!  Thank you very much!  Think about it!  You signed up for an annual pay of X amount and that was based on a 365 day contract.  Toss in a 366 th day and vooella!  The boss has you working for free.

So, does this make you want to protest going to work?  I’d say!  So, call in sick, but then that takes away from your pool of sick days allowed.  Call in a vacation day.  Nope, that takes away your time you want to spend with the kids in July.

I think we should declare another holiday and let it happen on leap day every 4 years!  Yes!  February 29th!  Call the holiday “No Pay Day”.  You can sleep in, no business’ will be open.  It would have to  be made a law that no business’ could make their employees work that day.  No midnight madness sales.  No special events that cause anyone to have to work.  No McDonalds, No movies, No sports, No TV, No internet, No anything that isn’t automated.

I love the thought.  What if a robber comes into your home.  No Police!  You would have to do your own shooting and hopefully take the robber out completely, because there would be no ambulance until tomorrow.

If your lights go out.  Be thankful if you have some candles, because no crews are going to be out fixing whatever caused the outage.

Stock up on your favorite drinks and plan on playing with family members.  Board games, crocheting, sharpening your knives, maybe sweep out the garage.

Tomorrow when you wake up and get ready to go to work, remember what I have written here…YOU AINT GITTIN PAID TODAY!

Bears Butt

Feb. 28, 2012

Written on February 28th, 2012 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

A.M. Feb. 28, 2012

Currently snowing lightly, some sticking to the roads.

Wapiti and I have decided to delay our venture and not leave town until around 10:30.  Give the road crews a chance to clean up the slick spots or at least give the roads a chance to thaw.  There is one particular spot on the way that is always the worst on a day like today, and the county guys hit it pretty hard with salt, but it takes a while for the salt to work.  An hour will help.

With only two lines left in action, I plan on only checking the Goose Club line today and hopefully (if Wapiti doesn’t have any objections) set from 5 to 10 more traps along that line to finish setting it.

We may take a few minutes and drive along the next line I plan on setting, one I call “Big Spring”.  Just to see what the sign looks like.  We will weigh that out when the time comes.

Expectations on rat catch for today: 12

Why in the world would I expect that many rats?  Mostly because of the 20 traps I set yesterday, that is all I can say.


Bears Butt

P.M. Edition:

What a cold day it started out to be.  Bundled up really good at the truck and felt like I had too much on by the time we finished.

Wapiti was to be my great helper today.  I’d check one trap while he checked another…..He forgot his hip boots!

So now to quote him:  “I have gone from an almost helper, to no helper at all”.

We made the best of it, he did have on his Buckle up to the ankle rubber boots.  And as one can imagine, was this the only thing that started the day off on the wrong foot, er tire?  Nope.  He arrived at my place with one flat tire on the trailer and no spare…hmmm.

We puffed up the tire and ran up to his place and picked up the spare.  As good fortune would have it, we did not need to change the tire.  It held up all day…Wapiti, if you are reading this, please go and get that tire fixed….

Back on the line….Things started off rather slowly.  No rats, no set off traps, just a casual stroll through the swamp trying to keep as warm as we could.  Wapiti staying on high ground.  We checked several traps before Wapiti finally checked a trap that held a fuzzy critter and he yelled out…WOOPPEEEE!  Now one more to cover our gas.

Several traps later and that job was done.  Rat number two went into the body bag.

The last trap on the first part of this line was a real winner.  A bait (foot hold) trap that had the “dog” completely removed from holding the pan,  the pan completely depressed, the jaws partially closed….this combination NEVER happens, but some lucky rat is out there and does not know just how lucky he was.  We ended up with 4 set of traps counting this one with nothing in them.  Bummer!

As our journey took us to the far end of the line, rats started to fill the bag at regular intervals.  Wapiti, unable to venture into the deep water, stood fast on the edge of the swamp with the body bag open and ready to accept flying rats.  The bag began to fill rapidly.

At the removal of a very large rat, I reminded Wapiti that one of his jobs was to have ready his pistol in case a rate erupted from the undergrowth of the toolies and attacked me while I was preoccupied removing one of its brothers from a trap.  He said he was ready.  Did I see his gun brandished?  No.  I guess his training in Pahrump, Nevada has his instincts so tuned that in an instant he can brandish his pistol and fire before the fangs of a five foot muskrat gnash my throat.

We went on, and Wapiti continued to hold open the body bag until we reached the end of the line.  How many rats were in the body bag?

10.  Rats!  Missed my guess again.  This is getting to be a regular thing.

We then went to setting more traps, our problem was water.  There wasn’t any.  We continued to look and to travel down the corridor of toolies and finally began to look for “air holes”, places where the rats regularly come to the surface for a breath of air.  They all tend to use them and so the ice doesn’t form.  We found a few, very few, but iron was layed and we continued to the end of the line…the Goose Club fence!

We ended up setting 17 traps.  Some excellent sets and some not so good, but what good is a trap in the back of the truck?

Back home, Bob had one rat laying on the skinning shed floor.  One half his gas paid for.

Brek is back with us as our skinner!  YAAA!!!  He can skin a rat in under 30 seconds and not have one flaw in the job.  He had the 11 rats skinned in less than 15 minutes, while Bob and I struggled to flesh and stretch them.  Brek finished his skinning, had a coke, B.S.ed with us and kicked back for the rest of an hour, while Bob and I did our jobs.

All in all…A wonderful day in the swamp!  Thanks Wapiti for coming along and watching my back while I trudged through the ever dangerous swamps of the five foot muskrat.

Bears Butt


Written on February 28th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

A. M. Report, Feb. 27, 2012

Weather will be a factor today and tonight.  20% chance of rain/snow today increasing to 60% by tonight and then 80% by tomorrow!  Accumulations possible.

Well, I plan on Accumulating 12 rats today, my mind says 18, but for this report we will stick to 12.

Goal:  Pull 1/2 of the remaining traps on the Fish Springs line and set the traps I pulled last Saturday out on the Goose Club line.  That should complete that line.

Tomorrow, Wapiti wants to attend the trap line and experience it in a blinding snow storm….it will be an interesting day…more on that tomorrow.

Things look good for a fairly early start today (8:30) and so to reach my goal should be easy…of course there are always the interruptions that seem to occur regularly.  An interruption could be a simple as talking to someone traveling down the road, to a flat tire, to jump starting a stranded motorist, to just plain talking to someone over the fence about daily stuff.  It all consumes time and time is what it takes to properly address a trap line.  All in all, life is good and rats will get caught.

Bob will have his hands full today trying to locate his traps in the burned swamps of Petes place.  I don’t envy him that task.  And wish he would pull those traps and get on with trapping Club 41, our next area.  But he wants us both to hit Club 41 at the same time…oh well.

I have dry boots, fixed and dried rubber gloves, a new bag of carrot and onion bait, water to drink, a sandwich and a brand new week ahead of me.


Bears Butt

P.M. Report

Well, it was a pretty good day out in the swamp all things considered.  I was out there about 9:30 with the toy unloaded and ready to head off.  I experienced a whole lot of blown off flags, which makes for a slow hunt to find the traps.  That really irritates me when that happens.

Anyway, I found all the traps and netted 10 rats total for the day and had 5 other traps set off.

I managed to set 20 new sets on the end of my Goose Club line.  I still need to set about 5 or so more to complete the line.  Maybe Wapiti will help me with that tomorrow.

I hit the middle line, which is Fish Spring and decided to pull all of them…38 traps pulled.  I only caught 2 rats out of the 38 traps, which was actually 2 more than I expected.  I just can’t believe that line.  It screams “rats”, but there just aren’t any there.  So, that is it until next year in there.

The short line I promised Bob I would leave through the run, this year, produced 2 rats and it is sort of disappointing to me to even have to check those traps, but I promised and so I will check it every other day through the rest of the season.

ATTENTION!!!!  I just read the winter storm warning for the Wasatch Front.  It said tonight around midnight it will begin to snow and snow hard through the commute in the morning…snow accumulations 1-3 inches on the valley floor.  YUK!  I don’t want no STINKING snow to ruin my trapping tomorrow.

For the count, Bob caught 4 rats today.

Bears Butt




Written on February 27th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

This one was very tempting to put in the Recipe section because it is a recipe by all means of the definition of a recipe, but I decide to just let it hang out in the un-categorized part.

It is early Spring right now and with the warmer weather comes “warm weather critters”.  Those that have been cooped up all winter in their little hovels and waiting for the sun to warm the ground around them.  Once that happens, out pops their little fuzzy heads and around they begin to travel, mostly looking for something to eat.  After all, they have  been without food for quite some time.

One of those fuzzy little guys that begin to show up about now is colored black and white.  Some striped, some spotted but no matter the color pattern, they have a distinct smell that rivals all other smells (after reading this do a search for  “skunked bad” on this site).

Well, we all know that dogs like to investigate anything that moves in the out of doors and when a dog approaches a black and white critter, the critter will raise its tail in defiance and mutters to the unwarry,  “Come closer and get my rath, you mangy mutt”!

Now I don’t know of any breed of dog that speaks “fluid skunk”, at least not on their first meeting.  So when this encounter takes place, the first and most likely place the “scented dog” will come is home or to its master out in the field.  Good Boy/Girl!  You trained it well!

Upon realizing that you are faced with an ugly scene, your first thought, while catching your breath is “I gotta git this dog a bath!”

I found this recipe in a sports magazine some years back and saved it in my “special place for priceless things”  in the corner of “my part of the drawer” (the wife has the other 2/3rds).

This recipe is supposed to be “THE LA” recipe for de-skunking a pet.  The man that derived it is supposed to be a chemist and his name is Paul Krebaum.  Here is his recipe.

1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup baking soda

1-2 teaspons liquid dish-washing soap.

Mix it up and scrub it into the animals fur.  Being careful not to get it in the animals eyes, nose or mouth.  Rinse the animal with lots of warm water.  Dry the pet and of course give it a treat for being such a well behaved critter.

You should have used all the mixture on the animal, if you did not, don’t try and save any of it.  Just pour it down the drain.

I have not tried this.  So if you get the chance to (chuckle), please leave a comment about it here.  Just scroll down and see the “leave a comment” section.


Bears Butt

Feb. 2012

Written on February 26th, 2012 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

A.M. Report, Feb. 25, 2012

WOW!  High Winds last night!  The forecast said up to 25 mph and I believe it.  These winds are expected to shift from the South to the NW by this afternoon and pick up speed to 30 mph by late this afternoon, as a front comes through with snow.

All of this does not bode well for a muskrat trapper.

First of all, today I expect to spend a lot of time re-tying my locator flags.  I really do not like to do that.  And in anticipation of that I am going to experiment with a “new idea” for flagging.  I’ll not let you know what my idea is until it has been tested.  But I feel “VERY CONFIDENT” it will work and if it does there could be a small “trappers” market for this idea.  A man has always got to be thinking of better, faster, cheaper….!

So, what do I expect besides re-flagging?  My predictions have been so bad lately, I almost hate to advertise a guess, but I will anyway….14 rats.  Why this high a catch rate when my last two days have been so very far off?

It was warm and calm all day yesterday.  The 1/2 inch of ice was all melted off by 2 p.m. and so there would have been some rat movement during the afternoon and into the night, before the winds started.  It was warm all night, with a low of only about 40 degrees (perfect for rat movement).  Plus I had set a new bunch of traps which usually, but not always, tends to yield around 25 % the first night.

And so, until later!  I’m outahere!

Bears Butt

P.M. Report

What a long day!  I made it to the trapping fields only to find snow, blowing and howling winds and colder than an Oly on a winters trip in the Crawfords.

I put on almost every piece of clothing, coat, rain gear, hat, sweater, rubber pants, boots, wool gloves, rubber gloves and face mask I had in the truck.  I felt like a penquin out of a northern ice field.  And still it was cold.

Was I complaining?  Not one bit!  Had my boots been leaking, you would have seen this note posted about 9 hours ago with loads and loads of 4 letter words.  But, since my dear wife allowed the budget to see a way for me to have new boots, I was a happy camper this morning!

I don’t think there was more than two seconds that went by that I did not run my right wrist across the nostrils of my nose…and that went on all day long.  I see how some folks get a very enlarged end of the nose as they age.

Did I say it was cold?

I launched my toy down on the “Goose Club” line, that I set yesterday.  I figured if the storm was going to have me cancel any of my trapping I would at least get this line checked.

It went well…”weller” than expected.  35 traps…13 rats!  Not bad for an old guy and a toy.  In the wind, I even managed to set a colony trap and two other conventional traps!  Back at the rig, with the wind howling I was not even phased…heck…if we get $10 /rat, that was a $130 day.

Driving up to the Trellis and Fish Springs lines, my mind wandered to how the country would look like on August 6th….hot…dry…It almost made me think I was warm.

Unloaded at the stop and ready to head off, I could not help but notice across the street in “Petes place”, the fields were all burned and ugly.  HMMM.

I checked the Trellis line with a big grin on my face, because any more rats was just going to be a bonus to the catch of the day so far…I added 2 more rats to the catch…no other set off traps.  Life is definitely good.

Bob pulled up at the same time as I arrived back at the rig.  The weather had turned hospitable…only a 30 mph cold wind and threatening snow in the distance.  I kept the gate from banging into the front of his truck as we talked.  Mostly about Petes fields all burned up!  Heck, that is where is trap lines are.  All of his flags are burned.  Will he be able to find his traps.  The place is charcoal black!  He was going to go and talk to the owner “Pete” about what happened and hope like heck it wasn’t the exhaust of his truck that set it all ablaze.  After all, he drives out in through four foot high crested wheat grass with his pickup to check his traps.  Did his exhaust cause the problem yesterday?  Did Pete lose any cattle in the blaze?

We talked for awhile and then he headed off to talk to Pete.  I headed off to my Fish Springs line to One:  Pull 1/3 rd of the line and Two:  Catch more rats (I hope)!

30 mph winds kept me going slowly into the wind in order to keep my hat and ear muffs on my head.  It was blowing so hard, I could not tell if my toy motor was running, and only my forward motion told me it was.  Off across the waste lands of Fish Springs and surrounding wet marsh grass I went, to the very end of my line.

I pulled 22 traps as I made my way toward the beginning of the line.

Checking the remaining traps I had two set off with nothing in them and two that held extremely large rats.  I figured the only rats that would have come out of their dens would have to be 50 pound rats with 8 pack abs and that is exactly what I caught.  We will have to look into buying special order conibear traps for future use.  Those rats barely fit in that 4 inch square trap.

So accounting ones among you:  17 rats total for the day.  Bob chose not to trap because of the “inclement weather”….will I be such a puss when I reach 74 like him?  So, Bob’s count is O.

I left the swamp with a belly full of wind and cold.  I punctured one rubber trapping glove on a barbed wire gate and had a wet hand and arm, but I made it through the entire trap line.  That glove is now repaired and ready for Monday’s balmy weather.

Does life get any better than this?

By the way, Bob talked to Pete about his fields being all burned up and Pete said there was a semi truck loaded with large ties that had a problem with one of its right rear wheels and as he drove along, it was spitting out hot metal and fire along the way and did a real good job of starting a series of grass fires on the side of the road.  Then when yesterday afternoons winds caught hold the fire really went to town.  Pete and sons were able to get all the cattle moved and none were hurt.  The truck drivers auto insurance will pay dearly for the “HUNDREDS” of cedar fence posts and barbed wire that will have to be replaced because of the damage.  AH!  The life of a cattle rancher.  If it isn’t hard enough just to tend to the cows calving and an occasional one getting through the fence and onto the highway, what would thay have to do?

Bears Butt P.M. Report

No trapping tomorrow…It’s Sunday and I need a break.


Written on February 25th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

Feb. 24 trapping expectations.

Up early to hit the swamp as early as “an old man wants to call early”.

My goal to day is to swag in about 50 traps out on my west most line, the one I call “the goose club”.  That was my expectation yesterday when my boots failed me.  So, with new boots, I should be able to get the job done today.

My expected rat catch rate for today is seven.  Why seven?  It was windy yesterday, which rats hate.  They can’t detect the predators when the wind is blowing hard.  Then it turned cold and probably froze 1/2 inch of ice.  Cold plus wind is not something rats really like.

Wish me luck and I will be reporting the results of the day later on.

Bears Butt

Feb. 24, 2012 A.M.

P.M. Report

Just got done skinning, fleshing and stretching the catch.  Me – 2, Bob – 8 !!!

I was sure a lot farther off on my guess than what turned out to be real.  No other traps set off either.

I did manage to set another 35 traps on the Goose Club line.  Tomorrow I hope to put out another 20 to 30 traps on the end of that line.  Next week I’ll set the Big Spring line that goes SE from the Goose Club line.  For that I will have to pull some of the Trellis and/or Fish Springs lines.

Big rats today…of the 10 we caught, only one was under 15 inches!!!!!!  And Bob caught one that went over 17 inches!!!!  Those are BIG honking rats!  According to the book, a Large rat measures up to 14 inches.  An Extra large rat will go 14 to 15 1/2 inches…so you can see we are dealing with some very big animals out there.

I always carry a side arm and am ready at the crash of a toolie to draw, aim and fire.  You never know what huge rat will come at your throat when you are least expecting it.

This is the first night of trapping I have not had to bring my hip boots in to dry them or to fix a hole in them!  Thank you Frogg Toggs!

Bears Butt

Bears Butt

Written on February 24th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

After a relatively warm night in the swamps, I am expecting to see many traps filled with fur.  My hope is 12 and as always it is considered a necessity to catch 2 to pay for fuel.

I may even venture a bit farther West and start to set another line.  Lord knows I have a bunch of traps that are not in the water and they sure don’t do any good where they are right now.

Bears Butt

Feb. 23  A.M.

P.M. Report

Before I left the house this morning to head out and check traps, I told Winemaker I was going to be a little later because I wanted to set some traps on the West line.

A bit of background on my hip boots.  I have been having problems with both boots leaking but the leaks have been just “bothersome” of late.  Last night I decided to put a patch on the worst areas of both boots and I did that.  I also inspected the rest of both boots and decided they should last until my new boots arrive.

At the swamp, I donned all my stuff and headed off to check traps.  Three steps in the icy water and water came gushing up into my left boot!  Did any of you hear me cussing?  Water that has a thin layer of ice on top is about as cold a water as I ever want to play in.

I checked that trap and found it empty.  Back at the toy I found the large gaping rip and when I elevated my foot against the side of the toy, the water calmly drained out onto the ground.  My foot was numb.  I went to my second set and by now my foot was in “cold pain”, they type that causes you to hold your breath and let the tears roll down the face.

I ventured out into the water and checked those traps.  Two rats were waiting for me there, and I soon forgot about the frozen foot and leg.  Back at the toy I again drained the water from the hole.  I thought about taking my knife and cutting a hole in the side of the sole to let the water out faster, but I did not do it.

Long story short, I stuck with checking the rest of that line and decided if the pain was too much when I got back to the truck I would head for home.  As it turned out, my pain went from cold and numbing to just plain “I don’t feel a thing”.  So, off I went to check the rest of my traps.  Two hours later I am back at the truck ripping those “pieces of crap boots” off my person.  Both feet totally soaked and the left leg wet to my knee.

My plans to set more traps was ended.  No way could I venture out and put up with more of that cold miserable wet environment.

I pulled off my wool socks and wrung the water out of them both and then put on my shoes for the ride home.  Heater set to the floor setting and the fan on full blast.  By the time I arrived at home, my left foot was starting to have some feeling returning.

I talked to Winemaker about the situation and the need to check and set more traps soon.  Do I forgo checking the traps I have out and wait for those expensive boots I ordered earlier this week to arrive?  Do I go out and buy a cheap pair and hope they hold together until the expensive ones get here?

At this point it looks like I could have saved some money by having the company send those $130 boots by overnight delivery for the additional $50.  I would have had them by yesterday at the latest and would not have lost todays trap setting time.  But I chose to go with UPS Ground for $20 and I am hoping they arrive by tomorrow or Saturday at the latest.  Watch them show up on Monday…that would be ok too.  What kind of boots did I order that cost so very much?  “Godwins Muck Boots”, Guaranteed not to rip because of thorns or briars and guaranteed against snake bites!

I read about them on a forum used by houndsmen back east and south who run hounds through the swamps chasing raccoons and other critters.  All those guys were swearing by their Godwin boots.  And when I say “swearing by their boots”, it is a totally different type of “swearing” than I am doing at my holey boots right now!

So, I warn all of you and I hope the company that makes these boots reads this thread.  I bought them less than one year ago and they are pieces of real crap!  I can not find any name on them except “Caddis”…so take it from me folks  DO NOT BUY CADDIS HIP BOOTS!!!!!

Winemaker felt sorry for me and my situation and said that the price of rats just went up and we went to Cal Ranch and bought a pair of “Frog Tog” boots, for $59 plus tax…$64 total.  Hopefully they will see me through until the expensive boots get here and I can use them as my fishing boots later on.

Catch for the day:  8 rats with 3 other traps set off, one trap was caught open by the trigger catching on the jaw and keeping it from closing all the way…lucky rat.  By the way Wapiti, that trap we set yesterday paid off  with a nice big fat rat!

And so, you can see that life on the trapline is not always sunny, balmy and without problems!

By the way, for those keeping track, Bob had dog problems today and did not make it out to check his lines…so, Bob = zero.

Bears Butt

Written on February 23rd, 2012 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt

Feb. 22,

A great day ahead.  High is expected to be in the 50’s!  That is quite warm for Feb.  The rats should be out all day checking on the sunshine and looking for love.

Wapiti has decided to join me and travel the lines today.  I guess he just got plain bored being retired and wants to check out the holes in his boots.

I’ll show him some of the trapping areas and maybe, just maybe he will get interested enough to join Bob and I on our trapping adventures.  We could use a couple more trappers to get the job done right.  As it is, we can only hit what we can hit and we always leave a ton of areas un-trapped.

I am expecting 10 rats today, but would not balk at 20.  More to come.

Bears Butt

A.M. report

P.M. report

It was a beautiful day…We made it out to the trap line about 10:30 or so, time does not matter, what does matter is that Wapiti and I were on our wheelers and checking iron.

I was trying to inform Wapiti about the area and some of the things I have encountered during my trapping with Bob.  I think I bored him aLOT!

In the end I only caught 7 rats!  Bummer deal.  But I also had 7 traps set off and so, I should have caught 14.  That would have been a lot better deal.  But not so…

One of the traps wasn’t “quite” set off, the trap pan was depressed and only a Milli-fraction of the pan needed to move downward in order to let the “jaws of capture” surround the leg of the animal.  But why did it not do the job it was made to do?  A little bitty stem of bullrush…..OMG…(for those of you not into texting..OMG means OH MY GAUHD), and it was stuck just under the pan and just thick enough to not let the trap dog release the jaws of capture.

It was so very close to doing what it was meant to do, when I picked up the trap to show Wapiti how “down” the pan was, as I raised the trap toward the heavens, a combination of  “gravitational pull” (downward) and the “force of the wind” upon the trap pan by my raising the trap upward toward the heavens, depressed the bullrush reed just enough to set the trap off.  SNAP!

So close.

And so, the day was a beautiful one on the trap line and Wapiti wants to go out again.

We did not see anything exceptional or out of the ordinary on this trip, but we did have a wonderful day…two brothers out in the swamp…mucking our way through and trying n0t to get our wheelers stuck.

One note.  Wapiti wanted to go with me to check a couple of traps.  I had warned him about the depth of some of the runs and the fact that you needed to make sure you had solid footing before putting your full weight on the reeds as you walked.  He acknowledged all was well and we started across the swamp, me in the lead.  As I approached the first of two traps, I turned and there was Wapiti…grasping quickly for something to keep him upright, as his left leg sank deeply into the depths of  “no bottom land”….His right hand grasped a huge clump of toolies and his right leg was planted firmly on solid “something” and the combination of it all allowed him to upright his nearly horizontal body and keep him from baptizing himself in the cold waters of Pete Holmgrens “Trellis Line”.

Later he said, “The water came up to the end of the barrel of his concealed carry”, I trust that means he was close to going for a swim.

He decided he would go back to the wheelers and watch me from the distance.

A wonderful day, great company, and a few cooperative rats.  Thanks for joining me Wapiti and thanks for the JU-JU treats.

Bears Butt


Written on February 22nd, 2012 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt

Feb. 21, rain/snow mix today.  The plan:  Pull all my traps down Arrow Head and set them on Extreme Fish Springs.  I will only check a couple of my best producing traps on the Trellis line today, giving me more time to set the traps I pull.

Tomorrow’s high is expected to be in the 50’s!  I need iron in the swamp to take advantage of the rats moving in that balmy weather.

Snap!  Snap!  Snap!  Goes the traps! Wiggle!  Wiggle!  Wiggle!  Goes the rats!  KaChing!  KaChing!  KaChing!  Goes the Cash!  GaRin!  GaRin!  GaRin!  Goes the Bears Butt!

More to this report later this afternoon!

Bears Butt

9 a.m. Feb. 21, 2012

P. M. Report

WOW!  What a surprise.  As I proceeded to set traps, I ran out of Swamp!!!!!  I could not believe my eyes.  The toolies quit and the water just flooded out into the salt grass!!!!  I was ast0nished!

I set 7 traps after pulling 43.  OH WELL!  Tell me things don’t come around when you don’t think they will.

Tomorrow will be a fun day.  More tomorrow!

Bears Butt.

Written on February 21st, 2012 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS). | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man

Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.