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

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