By: Bears Butt


This begins our 3rd week of trapping for this season.  So far we have enjoyed a very fine catch of fur and if God will allow, we should see more of the same this week.

Saturday evening found us in the trapping shed faced with 5 raccoons and 64 rats to process.  Skinner Man took good care of the raccoons and was right on time when Weasel came in with his newly caught fox!  Skinner Man had just begun to skin the pile of rats and so the process began…the only hitch was Bob…where is Bob?  Well, we found out later his butt was kicked and he had elected to take the evening off from the skinning shed.  So, up stepped Weasel to take his place.

You see, we each have a job in the shed…Skinner Man skins and tosses the hide to Weasel, who turns it fur side out and does a preliminary QC on the hide as to how dry it is….if it is dry enough to continue to put it up he will then brush the fur to rid it of any debris that may be in/on the fur and of course that fluffs it up some.  Then he turns it skin side out and tosses it to me.  If however, the fur is too wet to put up this day, he spreads it out on the drying rack or hangs it in a place the heater can dry it overnight.

My task is to flesh the fat and meat off the hide.  My task also exposes any bite marks that may be in the hide.  Often times a rat will be bitten pretty good (bad), but you would not know it looking at the fur side, it’s when you turn it to the skin side, that you can see the breaks in the hide.  Removing the fat and meat exposes the holes.  When I’m done, I toss the hide to Bob, who positions it squarely on a wire stretcher, pins the nose to the end of the stretcher and pulls the hide as tight as he can get it down the length of the stretcher.  Sliding hooks mounted t0 the sides of the stretchers are positioned and hooked into the hide to hold it tight.

Then Bob hands the stretched fur and stretcher to Weasel who hangs it on an over head wire to finish the drying process.

When someone does not show up to do their part of the job(s), someone else has to step up and take that job over…each job must be done even if only one of us shows up.

Saturday night found us with an extra man…Crock!  Crock came to see the process, B.S. with us about outdoors stuff and to see the skinning of the fox.  He also gained two extra bonus pieces that can come from fur trapping and I’ll get to that in a minute.  The important thing here is, Bob didn’t show up, so Weasel stepped into his shoes and Crock took Weasels job…well, Weasel still did the QC and combing, as Crock was wearing clothes that none of us wanted to see get soiled with the ugly of the trapping shed.  So, his job was to hang the rats on the wire in groups of 25 and make sure that none of them touched each other…another very important part of the process.

So, it’s vitally important that when you put the hide on the wire stretcher it is kept square with the world (so to speak).  By that I mean the eye holes are equidistant from center to side of the stretcher and on the other side, the feet holes are equidistant from the sides of the stretcher.  A lop-sided hide really looks tacky and will cause you to lose money when the buyer comes to grade them.  I will repeat the above picture (since I know you have forgotten what it looks like).

BobDoIHaveTheFeetStraight And the question is asked: “Are the legs holes straight on this one Bob”??

That’s an inside joke, and VERY FUNNY to us!  (Insert smiley face here)

Back to Crocks newly acquired “Good Stuff”.

So, as well as I can remember, Crock asked about “Coon Bones” and I told him that there were two male coon carcasses out in my truck and he was welcome to go and cut out whatever he wanted…he jumped at the chance and soon came back with two very nice coon bones.  Since this is a family show, if you do not know what a coon bone is and you are interested in knowing, please look it up on Google…I’ll leave it at that here.

Yesterday was Sunday and I received this email from Crock:


Well I cleaned up those two Coon Bones.  I have not yet decided how to “display” these bad boys,  So I googled it and there is no real examples of what you do with these things.  I will have to figure something out.  However, I am sending Brek a message cause wikipedia tells me that a Coon Bone on a string(to wear around her neck) is how you tell your lady she is the one for you.  While the rest of us some how missed the boat and still got a wife, what better way in this day and age to set yourself a part from other potential suitors than with such a memento of your devotion.  Surely no woman could resist such a fine example of true love.  Lucky for him he learned about these early in life.


Thanks Crock!  I needed that laugh and I hope Skinner Man takes it to heart!

Life in the trapping shed is always a joy!

So, today is Monday, the beginning of week three!  What does old Bears Butt expect today?  Well, its been two warm nights since I last checked the traps…22 traps in the Seeps and 49 traps on the Trellis and don’t forget the 7 live traps at the top of Bull Run.

My guess is one raccoon, 2 rats from the Seeps and 20 rats from the Trellis.  22 rats and one coon.

I’m pulling the Seeps traps today and hopefully will get them reset on the Trellis somewhere.  Another long day ahead!

Bears Butt

February 24, 2014


It sure was a warm Spring day today…high must have been close to 60 degrees.  Lots of birds chirping and high flying swans and snow geese squawking.

Well I didn’t catch a raccoon….but I did catch a stinky old skunk…YUK!  One shot him, which was good, but he still did his thing in, around  and on the trap.  I managed to dump him out and get it re-baited for tonight.

When Weasel went with me last Saturday, I told him to set a Conibear in a run that had some mud sign in it.  I told him if there was a rat in it today that he could count it in his catch….He caught one!

As I was pulling the Seeps lines, Craig stopped up by the highway and yelled my direction.  I went up and met him and his boy Maverik came out of the truck and over to talk.  Maverik had caught 4 rats from the pond (the same pond I have already trapped) and would I buy them from him?  Of course, now for the price….$5 each, unskinned.  He took it!

When I got through pulling the Seeps lines I went back to his place and found the rats in a bucket and put his $20 under the bucket and then left a note on the windshield of the truck telling him where the money was.  Any future rats he catches will be the same…$5….And he will let me know when he has some.

The Seeps kicked out 5 rats counting Weasels, which was a pretty big surprise to me, actually twice what I expected.  But I pulled those traps and now only have the live traps to check up at Bull Run and the Trellis.

I managed to re-set 17 of the traps I pulled today and should be able to set more of them along the Trellis tomorrow.

OH.  And I caught 16 more rats along the Trellis for a 20 rat day for me!

I came home with 25 rats…my 20, Weasels 1 and Maveriks 4…By the way, Bob paid the $20 to Maverik….He will get re-reimbursed when we get our fur check.

Bob caught 14 rats today….so a total catch of 35, plus the 4 of Maveriks gives us a 39 rat day!  We will take that anytime!

Which is worse for me?  Plowing snow or dealing with trapped skunks?

Bears Butt

Written on February 24th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events

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    Lalie commented

    I love your stories Wynn, you make me laugh!!!! 🙂 Lalie

    February 24, 2014 at 11:20 am
    Wapiti commented

    Nice catch today Mr. Butt. Crock could take the coon bone and add the Kangaroo bag to it and have a match. Keep it going boys, and it will be a very nice season.

    February 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm
    Bones commented

    Sounds like this week started off great!!!

    February 25, 2014 at 7:38 am
      Bears Butt commented

      Yes it has! I just hope the rest of the week continues like that. You never know.

      February 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.