By: Bears Butt

Well, well, well am I ever disappointed.  Those $130 boots I bought have developed a leak, right behind my right knee!  I felt water come into the boot last Saturday, but I thought perhaps I had stepped in too deep and it went over the top.  Today, it did it again!

I can not see any hole inside or outside, so there is a flaw that needs to be rectified.

When I got home the first thing I did was call the store I bought them from.  He asked me a series of questions and then said to send them back and they will replace them with a new pair.  I asked if they had had other complaints and he said “none”.

So, until further notice DO NOT BUY “Godwin Muck boots”…..It’s a good think I’m here to test these sort of things for you folks.

Bears Butt

March 2012

Written on March 19th, 2012 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt

A.M. March 19, 2012

The last full week of rat trapping has come!  Big plans for this week are in the mill and I’m ready for it!

Weather today is unsettled, highs in the 40’s, chance of rain/snow today, tonight and into tomorrow morning.  Some winds.

Yesterday was a day off from the trapping as you all know and so with the winds, snow, rain and down right ugly weather, what do you suppose the rats did out in the swamps?

They sat in their comfy little environs and watched KRAT T.V. and listened to RAT104.5 Country on the radio.  The more brave of heart might have ventured out to find a common meeting hovel and those are the ones most likely to find themselves faced with “do I enter that den and take my chances”?  Or “do I turn my skinny little tail around and head back home to my little ones”?

Those questions are asked daily even in our human lives.  What would you do?

And so, how many of those that left the safety and comfort of their own dens will I have captured in my cold steel traps?  The Brave of Heart, who chose to enter the den to find…whatever…and ended with their head firmly held in the jaws of death.  88 traps await those Brave of Heart, and they had two full nights of decision making moon glow at a time when mating seems to be what is on every juvenile and adult rats mind in the swamp.  Would rain and snow and sleet and hail and high winds keep them in the safety of their little dens?

I say 20 chose to venture out and take their chances with the rat police and the scolding of their long time winter mates back at the den.  With older male rats taking the lead, followed by their adult females trying to catch up with them before they make that final “plunge” into the den of inequity.

It will be a “dress for very cold and wet” day in the marsh!

Goal:  Check the 88 traps on Club 41 and then over  Doris’ Pond and set as many traps as can be reasonably set to catch the expected 10 to 15 rats that harbor in that area.

Check back later for the results of today’s activities in the swamp lands!

Bears Butt

P.M. Report

It was ice breaking cold out on the line this morning, but it soon warmed up to a comfy…say…40 by 11 a.m.  The added water raised the level of the lakes about 6 inches and so all of my traps were that much deeper than usual.  I had to search for each of them and it was a pleasant surprise when I pulled up on the chain it had a rat in it.  Most of them were empty.

Resetting the traps to accommodate the additional water took quite awhile.

I pulled 16 traps around Club 41 in hopes of setting that many at Doris’ pond, which I managed to get done.  I called the next person, Mr. Peterson, and he is all excited to think I would come back to his place and catch more rats.  I will do that “first thing” in the morning.

Rat count…Me 14.  Bob is still out, but when he gets in I’ll post his catch right on this line ____18_______!

Written on March 19th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

I am planning on using this recipe one of these days and before I lose the magazine I found it in, I thought I would post it up here and then it will be saved forever and ever.

So, what made me think of this?  Yesterday was St. Patricks day and a tradition at my house is Corned Beef and cabbage.

I have thought for many years, “why can’t other meats be ‘corned'”?  Obviously they can by this recipe.

So, even if your name is Lester Mcfink and you live in the deep south, only have access to a .177 cal. pellet gun and the biggest game around your parts are squirrels, you can use this recipe.

I read about this in the January 2012 copy of Fur-Fish-Game, which, by the way is probably THE BEST magazine printed for outdoors type people.  It has something for everyone in every monthly issue printed.  When you have a copy, you just can’t throw it away.  You save them and they stack up neatly.  You can share them with friends (be green and re-cycle).  And even after you have read them several times, you will enjoy them again at a later date.

So, back to the recipe.  It was submitted to the magazine and was printed under the “Letters from the readers” section.  A person named Ron Weiss from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania submitted it.  I give a hearty THANK YOU to Ron Weiss for this.

So Ron suggests you use a chunk of meat in the 2 to 3 pound range.  No bone and sliced less than 2 inches thick.  A good choice since most of my wild game meat is cut less than that anyway.  And if you are going to Corn up some squirrel, they aren’t more than 2 inches thick in the first place.

Ron says not to worry about the sinew because the brining and cooking will melt it away.

Ok, so my take on all of this is this:  Why does the meat have to be in one big chunk?  Why not take some smaller pieces and put them all together to get the 2-3 pounds?  Maybe it will be too salty, I don’t know.  If you try it and it is too salty, let me know on here by leaving a comment.  I’m sure other readers of this will want to know as well.

So, here is Ron’s recipe:

In a boiling pan pour in 2 quarts of water.  Add in 1/2 cup of canning salt (I don’t know what that is, but will find out.  1/9/2014 I found out that canning/pickling salt is salt with nothing else added and it was suggested that Kosher salt is a good salt for canning!  There you have it).  Then 1/2 cup of Morton’s Tender Quick (it is a salt that is very finely ground and it contains nitrites that kill bacteria).  2 tablespoons of sugar (I think brown sugar would work as well, just sayin).  2 tablespoons of pickling spice.  4 bay leaves (I think I will leave this out when I try it, maybe not).  8 whole black peppercorns and a fresh garlic clove all crushed up.

Bring all of this to a boil.

Let it cool.  Put your meat in a plastic bag, glass or ceramic container (NOT A METAL container) and pour the cooled mixture over the meat.

Now put it in a cool place, like your refrigerator for 5 days.  Ron says to turn it over a couple of times during those 5 days.  I would turn it over at least once each day.  Heck, you are probably going to go and get a beer anyway at least once during the day, why not turn it over then?

So, after the 5th day it is pickled real good.  Pour the mix off the meat and if you don’t like your meat really salty, Ron suggests you rinse the meat off.

Now here is where Ron and I differ.  He says to use a pressure cooker to cook the meat with 1 and 1/2 cups of water.  He says 45 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.  I say, just put the water in a pot and boil the meat up until it is tender to you.  Fork tender!  We all know what that is.

When the meat is all done up good.  Put it in another dish and place it in the oven to keep warm.  Use the broth in the pan to cook up some spuds, carrots, cabbage or whatever meets your fancy for the rest of the meal.

Ron, Thanks again!

Now, once the meal is all cooked, don’t throw the broth away.  Put it in freezer bags in amounts that will just fill a Thermos bottle and freeze it for later.  I have found that a hot Thermos bottle of the broth is WONDERFUL when you are out on a cold day hunting or ice fishing.  Nobody I have ever gone hunting or fishing have turned it down.

So, there you have it.  It seems to me the hardest part is the 5 day wait.

Bears Butt

March 18, 2012

P.S. Lester, if you are out there and try this on some squirrel please let us all know how it turned out.  Thanks!


April 19, 2012

I took 3 pounds of various packages of venison out of my freezer and mixed up the brine..soaked 5 days etc.  Then I split the meat up into 3 different packages and re-froze two of them.

I boiled up the first package and we ate it just like corned beef bought from the store.  This meat was better than the store bought.  Very good in every way.  It actually tasted much like beef.

A few weeks later, I pulled out one of the frozen packages and thawed it.  My thought was to cook it on the grill and see how well that went.  It did not go well.  I cooked it as if it was a normal steak and when we sat down to eat it was tougher than a jackrabbits hind leg, just below the knee.

The next day I baked it in the oven and it got really nice and tender, but when we sat down to eat, it was so salty it made your tongue hurt!  Nasty!  And so as not to throw it out, I told Sherry I would boil it the next day and see if the salty taste would cook out.  And it did!  And we ate well on the evening of the third night.

So, it looks like meat brined in this way will have to be boiled in order for it to be edible.

Lester?  Boil up those brined squirrels and give us an update on here.

Bears Butt

Written on March 18th, 2012 , Recipes
By: Bears Butt

This could be put in with Jokes I like, but I decided not to.

Last night Brek was skinning, Bob was stretching and I was fleshing and we were talking about people in the South doing the same thing.  Brek said, ya, we skin the rats and sell the hides and save the glands.  We make lots of money.

I said, Ya but, they do the same, but then they sell the rat bodies to the local restaurants and they clean them, cut them up and cook em and folks buy them as a delicacy as “marsh rabbit”.

Brek took a long look at me.

I glanced over at him and then went on with, AND then the restaurant folks sell the heads of the muskrats to the local dentists!

He looked puzzled at me.  So did Bob.  (and so you see a total work stoppage in the fur shed).  I continued to flesh the rat I had on the board until I was done.

Then looked up at the two of them, both staring at me.

Brek broke the silence with “why would a dentist buy a muskrat head”?

I picked up my next rat hide to flesh and put it on the board.  Bob went back to stretching his rat and Brek just sat there staring toward me waiting for the response.

I said, “You know how those Redneck people look with them buck teeth?  Where do you think they get them teeth implants”?  The ladies get the bottom ones and the guys get the top ones!

Totally made up by me!

If you are sporting some of them teeth,  let me be the first to tell you they look GREAT!

Bears Butt

March 17, 2012

Written on March 17th, 2012 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt

March 17, 2012

Top ‘O the mornin to ya!  Happy Saint Patricks Day to everyone!

This is a farm work Saturday and so the trapping will be this afternoon.  And it will be a quick as we can check of traps and get back home.

Weather is calling for high winds all day.  Sustained winds at 35 with gusts to 60 mph.  Possibility of low visibility due to blowing dust and of course out where we are trapping; blowing tumble weeds.

It blew all night so my expected catch is 15 today.

Gotta Go!  Some of the fellas are starting to arrive for coffee and donuts!

Bears Butt

Finished up with the farm work right at noon.  Cut up a couple bags of carrots for bait and headed out.  Arrived at the parking place just at 1 p.m.  Got my gear on, loaded the toy and saw Bob just about to one of the internal gates.  Fired up the toy and went as fast as I could to open the gate for him.  We talked for a few minutes, he had finished checking his Club 41 line and had 5 rats.  Much happier than he was the day before with only two rats.  He still had 70 some traps yet to check on his way up the highway.

I jumped on the toy and headed off to check traps as fast as I could.  I figured it would start raining soon and I wanted to get all the traps checked before that, if I could.  No dust settled under my feet as I went about my lines.  “Stop, hop and jump back on” was the motto of the day.  Of course there was always a little celebration at the set when I caught a rat.

I’ll try and describe it:  Upon seeing a rat in the trap, a fist is made with the right hand, then it is brought up to a point even with the elbow, and then is shoved outward and across the body, stopping just before passing the left side of the torso….and of course a “yes”!  is verbalized out loud.

Can anyone else have as much fun as me?

As I progressed around the lines (plural, as I have three distinct lines) in my rapid fashion, I could not help but notice the weather changing.  The wind was blowing like 90, dust was everywhere and when I drove into the wind I had to turn my baseball cap around backwards to keep it from flying off.  I thought of myself as “Little Riding Butt from the Hood”.

With the burlap sack at my back, I noticed it beginning to press hard against me as I proceeded.  The storm was coming and sprinkles were hitting me.  I stopped long enough to cover my camera with a plastic bag, and to put on my rain jacket.  Off I went in a huff and a puff, down the trail to the next set.  Round and round and up and down until I found myself suddenly back at the truck.  The wind was howling by then.  Dust was an issue big time and my eyes were filled with grit.  I thought to myself (of course who else would I think to?) It is so dusty I would not even open a can of beer unless I was inside.  It would fill with dust so quickly, you would end up drinking mud.

Quickly undoing all that I had done earlier in preparation for the trap checking, and loading the toy in the trailer, the last thing I did was count the rats in the bag.  I dumped them on the ground and then began putting them back in the bag and counting aloud…one…two…three…four…five…You know the drill….toward the end it went like this…twelve…thirteen..fourteen and a toe nail!

I only had two set off traps and one of them held firmly a toe nail from a rat.

14 rats!  One short of my expected goal.  Loaded up everything, battened down the hatches and headed for home.  I beat the rain storm.  Dust was a whole nuther matter.

Since Brek will not be here to skin these rats until tomorrow, Bob and I put our catches in a refrigerator he has.  His bag of rats was already in the fridge when I put mine in and so I went in and ask him how many he caught.  He said………………………………………………………….14!

A great day of trapping if I do say so myself!

I pulled one of my colony traps as a rat evidently got inside and decided he did not want to perish in that environment and so it TRASHED one of the doors.  I traded it for another trap and brought it back to fix the door.  I have a place for it later.  It’s dangerous out there on the trap line.  Large rats waiting to jump out at the unwary trapper in an instant.  Ripping up heavy gauge wire traps with their vicious teeth and claws.  Breaking chains from the trap stake and chewing off the stakes that anchor the trap in place.

Tomorrow is Sunday and a day off from the trap line.  I have gassed the rigs, checked the oil and am ready for an early start on Monday.  I have goals and will tell them to you on Monday morning.

In the mean time I hope you are all enjoying the St. Patricks day evening with a cold brew of green, perhaps some corned beef and cabbage and above all else are safe and sound and in good health!

Bears Butt P.M. report


Written on March 17th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

I know this is too late for this year, but you might want to consider it for next.  Keep this website in your favorites or bookmark it now.  Nothing worse than being caught on St. Patrick’s day without something “green” on.  And in case you are one who always seems to end up with some toilet paper hanging out the backside of your pants, this just might save you from a severe pinching.

Besides, what is more associated with St. Patrick’s day than the color “green”?  Nothing I can think of, unless it’s Corned Beef and Cabbage and a large mug of cold green beer.  I love this meal!  And the leftovers make wonderful meals and sandwiches and the broth is excellent heated up and poured from a thermos on a cold day fishing or hunting!  Yum!

Here is the website, you might want to avoid the rush for next year and order today:

Bears Butt

The day before St. Patty’s Day, 2012

Written on March 16th, 2012 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt

A.M. March 16, 2012

As the trapping season is coming to a close for Bob and I, I thought this mornings report should reflect on some of the things that we encounter while out in the field.  These things don’t happen everyday of course, but you never know what to expect around the next bend or over the next hill.

As with anything dealing with water, anything can happen…just like my spill at the beaver dam a couple of weeks ago.  Bob has a special care he needs to be constantly aware of, his tracheotomy tube.  One dunk over the top of that and his will drown.  So he is extra careful while trapping and tries his best to hit the shallower areas.  One thing I have to say about him is he is just like the EverReady Bunny…he just keeps on going.  Here is a picture of him walking out of a swamp with a sack of rats on his back.

Notice his left hand is in a blue colored rubber glove.  He ran a phragmitie stick through it and has to keep it covered with a waterproof bandage and needs to take special care to soak it every day to keep the infections out.  At the time of this picture he could only use his left hand to pull up the pan of leg hold sets.  Other than that he could not use his hand for anything.

Other things we encounter is the wild life.  Daily we will see the birds.  Hawks, Owls, Eagles, Geese, Ducks, Killdeer, Sandhill Cranes, to name a few,  and the assorted smaller song birds.  All of the birds have their individual character that really spices up the sounds we hear in the swamps.

I had a chance to go Snow Goose hunting a few weeks ago, but they had not migrated down in sufficient numbers at that time and the hunt was cancelled.  Now that the hunt for 2012 has ended, I got to see what a Gaggle of Snow Geese really looks like and I took a few minutes out of the trapline to go and check them out a bit closer.  They sure are a raucous bunch when you get this many together at one time.  It reminded me of rendezvous.

We see other signs of animals as well while out and about.  Tracks mostly.  Coyote, Fox, Weasel, Mink, Rabbit and surprisingly enough on rare occasion a Bobcat or even a Mountain lion.

It’s all part of the adventure and fun to play in their yards.

Well, as for today:  After taking yesterday off, I have decided I have enough traps out on Club 41 for this year.  Bob had his floats and 17 traps out as of the day before yesterday and I suspect he set a few more yesterday.  He may have even run into a couple I set where he should be trapping.  My next setting of traps will be at Doris’ pond and over to Steve Petersons place, next week.

I expect 20 rats today.  And with a forecast of winds tomorrow that are expected to be sustained at 40 mph and gusting to over 60 mph, my new idea will really get the test out in the swamps.

Until later!

Bears Butt

P.M. Report

Sorry it’s so late, but again my butt is kicked.  One would think they would get used to it, but maybe it’s my age…kicked is an understatment.

It was a pleasant day out in the field today.  Not so windy that it was disturbing, not hot at all and actually a pretty nice day.  One to reflect on what was around you most of the day.

I met one of the cattle owners who shares the lease on the club property and talked for some time with him.  I am not one for remembering peoples names and so I can’t tell you who he is, but he lives in Perry and is a good friend of one of my friends.  Anyway, he didn’t have much of any idea about trapping and so I showed him some of the traps and how they worked etc.  He was appreciative of the lessons.  I told him I was hoping for a 20 rat day.  The next time I saw him I told him I had caught 15 rats and was less than half way through my line.  He was impressed.  I was a grinny faced happy trapper.

To say the least I was having myself one very fun day of trapping.  Good weather, lots of rats, few traps set off with nothing in them….life was/is good.  Then here I came upon a trap that should have had a rat in it!  I had to take a picture of it just for your viewing pleasure.

It’s hard to see, but the pan is pressed downward as far as it could go…what stopped it?  A piece of carrot that I use for bait!  WAHHHH!  That would have been another rat in the bag!  Notice his “droppings” in the forground.  OOOOOOOOO.

Carrots are good bait.  But from now on I am chopping them up finer.

I pulled 7 traps that have NEVER in three years of trapping this place, ever caught any rats….a place I call Dead Pond…. There isn’t any sense driving 1/4 mile out of my way just to check traps that never have any thing in them.  The place looks “ratty”, but there have never been any rats caught there in the 3 years I have been trapping it.  In future years you won’t see me setting any traps there…are you listening rats…I will never set any traps there.  (maybe they will move into there and I’ll catch them next year…hehehehehe).

I gave up 2 trap sets to Bob, as he saw them today and is welcome to entertain them while we are on this place.  Scratch them from my line and add them to his.  I hope he remembers tomorrow.

I called Doris and she is excited to think I am coming to catch the rats at her pond.  And she happened to be at Steves place when I talked to her and he is happy I will be trapping his place as well.  I told her that Tuesday was the day I will set both places.

Life certainly is good is it not?

Bob had a good day yesterday…he caught 12 rats!  While I was off playing.

Today, he caught 11!  Good day for him, but he is not happy about Club 41.  He thinks he needs a boat and lots of floats to adequately set his area of the club.   I agree.

Bottom line for me today 31.  A great day in any trappers book.

And as for skinner Brek, he had the 54 rats Bob and I caught the last two days, but also one rat that brother Rick tossed into the mix from trying to catch the Beaver down at Willow Creek.  Thanks Rick…I owe you a beer!

Bears Butt


Written on March 16th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

Hey folks!  Do you have a young hunter in your home or who looks up to you to show them how it is done?  Here is your chance to donate $20 to a very good cause and give that youngster a chance at one of  SIX guided turkey hunts this year (2012)!

It’s from the United Wildlife Cooperative (UWC) and R&K Hunting Company.

What they have lined up are SIX youth hunts for turkey this May!  Get all the details at:

What a deal for SIX lucky youth hunters.  The hunts will take place in Northern Utah and includes a turkey training camp, lodging, food and it’s all done on private property!  Oh, and the flyer I got says there will be some live entertainment!

Now this does not mean the youth will be turned out free and wild at this camp, there are rules involved.  The biggest rule is that one parent or guardian will also be there with the youth hunter!  So, Dad, Mom, Best Buddy…Get that young hunter entered!  You could also be there to see their turkey get harvested.  Maybe even get to video the whole thing!

WOW!  This sounds like the SIX lucky winners will be treated like real celebrities….Well of course they will be treated that way…because they WILL BE CELEBRITIES!!!  And they will get a chance to shoot a wild turkey!

Get your kids ready by making sure they have passed the Utah hunter education course in plenty of time to be eligible to enter this contest.  Only 4 weeks left!  So, GET IT DONE!  NOW!!!!

Written on March 15th, 2012 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt

We had two days of trapping to take care of last night.  A total of 50 rats needed to be skinned, fleshed and stretched.  We worked until nearly 8 and boy was I tired.  I’m the flesher, and I have to bend over the fleshing board to get my job done…believe me 50 rats is a lot of rats.

Brek has been our skinner this year and he seems to love the job…or maybe it’s the pay…I’m not sure.  He does an excellent job and is VERY fast as skinning.  I think he averages around 40 seconds to skin a rat.  And the skinning job is perfect!  I can tell you this about his skinning, I can start a fleshing job, Bob can start a stretching job and Brek can start a skinning job; all three begin at the same time…Brek will be on rat number two before Bob and I are done with our tasks on our rats one.

Here is a picture of Skinner man himself, holding 3 rats.  Is he trying to make his teeth look “buckie”?

If you have never seen a pile of 50 rats, take a look at this.  My camera can only get so much of the pile, so trust me the pile is big.

Well, I’m taking the day off from trapping and we are going down to SLC to see the International Sportsman’s Show.  Taking Front Runner and Trax to get there.  Winemaker, me, Weasel and Hot Spark are all going.  Maybe we will run into something fun!

Bears Butt

March 15, 2012

WOAHHH!!!  Do you see the date on this posting?  What does it tell you?  Hint.  Julius Caesar.  “Et To, Brutae”!  “Beware the Ides of March”!

Written on March 15th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

A.M. March 14, 2012

Another early rising day.  Lots to do today.

Bob is planning on making it to Club 41 and I told him to use the day as mostly a “reconnoiter” day.  Drive through the club, look around, set a trap or two, mostly set floats.  I said I would be zipping back and forth around the club property and would run into him somewhere along the way.

At the end of the main road through the club is a turn around that I call the culdesack.  All the water the flows through the club eventually ends up at this point and it really flows hard over a dam they have built to help back it up.  He could put all the floats he has right there and probably fill them up daily.  He will decide.

My goal is to set another 30 to 40 traps today.  With my past experience it will be difficult to set that many because there just isn’t the rat population one would expect on the remainder of the club.  I also plan on visiting an interesting looking area I saw on a Google Map.  It looks like it could hold a few rats, but then it might not even be a swamp.

Expected rat count for today:  20.


Bears Butt

A beautiful day in the swamp!  Very comfy.

Bob did make it today and he was pretty excited.  I think he put out about 17 traps, but not sure.  We split up and I never saw him again until we got home.

I set another 22 traps and am at the end for Club 41 with about 97 traps.  I will set Doris’ pond and Steve Petersons next week and then the season will be over.

Catch today…20!  With 9 set off!  I can’t understand those.  Anyone give me hints on how to keep that from happening?

Bob caught 9 rats and had a bunch of set offs with either feet in them or nothing.

Over all a good day.  I have some pictures to post up, but not tonight.  My rear is kicked!

Bears Butt

Written on March 14th, 2012 , Daily Trapping Events | 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.