By: Bears Butt


This evening I have the pleasure of entertaining a few local young men (and older young men and older older men) with my limited knowledge of trapping.  I have been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks (since I was asked to do it) and I want to make it a memorable one for the young men.  I have a goal in mind and that is to have at least one of these young people take up trapping as a hobby, or at least take it as a serious interest and at some point in his life to use what knowledge I can share and put it to use in the field.

We all know that to try and make a living at trapping is almost impossible.  You would have to not only lay out a ton of traps at all elevations and during all the “prime fur” seasons in your local area and in areas not so local, PLUS you would have to conduct an animal control business to keep things going year round.  It would not be easy, it would not be fun (at least to me it wouldn’t).  It would be a lot of work, requiring secretiveness and quiet dealings.  I say this because trying to do animal control work within a city diverse with people differing with your point of view would have to be done on the Q.T.

Well, anyway, back to my presentation.  A couple of key points need to be made tonight and those are the fact that there are “stinking rules” that trappers need to follow and that there is an “ethics” involved with trapping.  HMMMMM, rules and ethics and I’m talking about trapping, not little league soccer.  I can not stress enough the importance of being an ethical trapper, after all, you as the trapper need to have some feelings toward the critter you are targeting and when the catch is made you need to dispatch that animal as quickly as you can. In a lot of cases that means you might have to get out of the truck and hike to the set after a blizzard has drifted your road in keeping you from driving that distance.  Sure, the set might be empty, but YOU set it and YOU HAVE to go check it, just in case it holds your animal.

Another consideration any ethical trapper has to consider is “trap placement”.  Let’s say you are a non trapper and you flat out do not believe in trapping.  You are not against others trapping, but you just don’t think it’s right and so you avoid it.  You don’t really care if your neighbor does it as long as you don’t have to see the disgusting things he is doing in his yard in regards to his trapping.  But, you enjoy jogging and you jog every chance you get!  One of your trails takes you into the hills above your home, where you get to see all sorts of wild life while you are jogging along.  One day you are jogging and you see an animal jumping around and is obviously caught and can’t get loose from what has it caught.  It is not happy and wants to get free and run away from you, but can’t.  You see the trap that the animal is caught in and you suddenly boil up inside and “hate” the person who placed that trap along side your jogging trail…..Do you see my point in “trap placement”?

It is probably perfectly legal to set your trap there, as it’s public land, it’s during the appropriate trapping season, you have your license and you have every right to set the trap there….BUT….

So as a trapper, you have to consider a lot of things and one of the main things you have to think about is “others”.  Place your traps far from public trails or trails that are used frequently by people out enjoying nature.  You have plenty of opportunity to catch your animals away from the places everyone else goes.

Often times a trapper will not consider the fact that he has set a trap where once he catches his target animal it is illegal to dispatch it using a firearm.  How so?  He has set his trap within a city boundary and most cities do not allow the discharge of a firearm within the boundaries.  Something as simple as setting a live trap out to catch an unwanted raccoon or skunk and now you have it caught…what do you do now?  I could go on about ways to dispatch the animals and still be legal, but my point is you need to consider where you are setting your traps BEFORE you catch the animal and have a plan on taking care of it “quickly” and “legally” once you do catch it.

There are a lot of things about trapping that must be considered and these are just talking points that should get the interested and potential trapper to think about before he even purchases his first trap.

I am looking forward to this evening and by the looks of the storm outside, I am going to set up my garage so that the folks will stay dry while I discuss this topic!  If you are reading this and are one of those planning on attending, please come filled with questions, I have answers!

Bears Butt

March 27, 2014

Written on March 27th, 2014 , Uncategorized

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    Bones commented

    Reading about your hides was great, lots of work! Lots of hides I sure hope you get lots of money for them.
    You didn’t say what time your presentation was in your garage, but we won’t be there anyway, hope it goes well.

    March 27, 2014 at 9:53 am | 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.