By: Bears Butt


After a full day of trapping and several hours in the skinning shed, Weasel, Squirrel and I hit the range for some “bow time”.  Squirrel and I had to post up our week 3 scores for the league and Weasel is trying for a personal best at practice.  For some extra fun, Squirrel and I had a shoot off to see who would owe who 50 cents.  We worked with our handicaps and when it was over Squirrel beat me by 12 points.  My game was way off, well, maybe it was right on, I’m not sure at this point in the learning curve.  But the score I turned in for week 3 was not very high, 97.

I missed the paper several times and I’m not sure why.  I’ll blame it on lack of practice.  Maybe I was tired from the trap line and skinning shed.  Maybe I needed a couple of beers.  I don’t know for sure, but one of these weeks, I’ll get into a groove and settle down.

Bears Butt

February 21, 2015

Written on February 21st, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


My friend Lynn made me an arrow rest that looks very similar to this one and placed it on my bow.  The arrow shaft rests on top of it and helps to keep the fletchings (feathers on the back of the arrow) from hitting the bow.

Last night I went to the archery range to post up my third weeks league score.  I was pumped to get a good score with my new found knowledge (taught in the last two lessons).  I have not had the practice I need, but none the less I can practice and still post up my score.  All of this “getting good at archery” takes thousands of arrows being shot.  So, the other day I was told the arrows I am so proud to own and shoot are the wrong size for my bow.  Not that they aren’t good arrows, they are just not flexible enough for the bow weight I’m shooting right now.  Maybe in a year or so when my bow weight it up around 45 pounds or so.

Well, Chris wanted me to try some arrows she had at home and met me at the range with them last night.  Really nice looking arrows in a 600 spine weight.  Just what I’ve been told I need to be shooting out of my bow.  I was quite excited to try her arrows and was ready to shoot all of hers (11 of them) and then my 5 and see the difference.  When the lane captain called for the archers to go to the line, I was ready.  I nocked up one of her arrows, set myself, drew back and anchored and followed through with one of my best shots….The arrow came off the bow twisting and turning all the way to the arrow bunk…I missed the target, but safely planted her arrow in the bunk…undamaged.

However, when I went to place number two arrow on the rest, the rest was gone!  I looked down range on the floor and there that little bugger laid.  This is not good and my night was over before it had even began.

Chris let me use some glue they had there for securing just this sort of thing back onto the bow, but it would have needed an hour or so to dry in order to be secure enough to shoot off it.  So even after a half hour of trying to get it to secure to the bow, I knew I was defeated and packed up my stuff and came home.

I have since secured it with a double sticky backed picture hanging material and it seems to be holding very well.  In fact, this sticky backed stuff was quite un-forgiving as where I placed the feather arrow rest on it, there it was and there was no un-doing what I had done.  I had to trim off the excess picture hanging stuff around the arrow rest.  And I was very careful in placing that on the bow.  All is well now and I will add some of this double sticky stuff to my growing bow shooting bag.  The bag for which I have not gotten from DI as yet.

I have also changed my order for arrows from Lancaster and asked them to make them 600 spine weight arrows for the four that they still owe me.  We will see how that goes.

Bears Butt

February 20, 2015

Written on February 20th, 2015 , Archery stuff
By: Bears Butt


Took yesterday and went to Uncle Donalds funeral.  It was a great service.

Now back to trapping.  Remember that the other day I set a whole pile of traps out.  I now have 106 traps set and ready to catch muskrats.  Those same 106 traps have sat for two nights and with between the number of traps and two relatively warm nights, I really expect to catch a pile of rats today.  I’m saying 30 and that might be conservative.

We will have to wait and see how the catch goes and I’ll update you on how it went later today.

Bears Butt

February 20, 2015


The weather was cold and windy.  By cold I mean unseasonably warm for this time during a normal year, but for lately I had to bundle up with most of my gear and then by 10:30 I was taking stuff off.  I ended up wearing my coat all day however and the wind was blowing pretty good all day as well.  But, as I ran my lines my blood was pumping pretty good as the traps seemed to all have had some kind of activity.

Back home the count was 40 rats!  That is the most rats I have ever caught by myself in one day!

I had also had 2 raccoons hit my traps.  One was able to back out of the trap because a leg bone had gotten between the door stop and the door.  A second had gotten into a trap and ate the contents of the bail and then left without the door going off.  The reason the door didn’t trip was mud and debris under the trap keeping the trip lever from pressing down to fire it.  I didn’t have any muskrat bodies to rebait with and so I used small boxes of raisins.  I’ve never used raisins before and so it will be interesting to see if they work.

Bob came in with 6 rats and so we had a very good day of trapping.

On the downside is all the time it takes to skin, flesh and stretch and tonight (Saturday) will be the big night for doing that.  My back hurts just thinking about it.


Written on February 20th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Monday was Presidents Day and the kids had the day off school.  So, since Kenzie had not gone out on the trap line with me I asked her if she wanted to go and she jumped on the chance.  It was a great day to be out in the field…pretty warm, about 50 degrees, a little bit of wind but not too bad.  We did get to see some pretty big dust devils however.  Kenzie was a great help especially finding my floats which were high and dry from the water going down in the ponds.  It was a very fun day.

She even posed with my brand new Studio C sign:


We ended up catching 17 muskrats this day and I told her I needed a picture of her holding one or two…..she said I would eventually get a picture of her with one….but it didn’t happen until we got back to the skinning shed where she said she wanted to give skinning a try.  Her dad (Weasel) took this picture.


Kenzie did a very good job at skinning two rats!  She never did the typical girl thing of EWWWWWing or anything like that.  She just mustered up and did the job!  And I must say they were both skinned perfectly!  Good job Kenzie!

While we were on our way home that day, we stopped in Corinne to get a soda pop and we parked right next to the big historical sign that gives a brief history of the town of Corinne.  For those of you who don’t know about the small town of Corinne, it was a major hub in its day.  With the site of the Driving of The Golden Spike, just a few miles to the West of town, it quickly became a town of major proportions.  It’s location next to the Bear River and in a part of the valley that afforded access to trails (roads) in all four directions, it became a hub for moving goods to the mining areas of Montana and dry goods to Oregon and other points West.  Rails and wagons.  With the type of men who work those kinds of jobs, it also brought gambling, drinking and of course women of a shady style to town.  Corinne came very close to becoming Utah’s state capital.

So, here we parked next to this big sign that tells a similar story to what I just described to you:


So, I quickly read the sign out loud so both of us could hear the story at the same time.  It’s funny that I have lived here my entire life and have never stopped to read this sign before.  I’m sure I’m not alone in that regard.

Anyway, back to the sign and its story.  If I was a person assigned to making a sign like this one, I think I would make dang sure I was spelling and punctuating each word and sentence properly and if I didn’t know something I would certainly ask someone.  As I read this story in my quickest way, when I came across one certain word, both of us began laughing at the same time.  You see Kenzie was reading silently as I read aloud, we came across the word at the same time.

How do you spell decision?


Kind of imbarrassing.


Well, today is Wednesday, what do I expect with todays trapping?

Yesterday I pulled the 53 traps on Bull Run and managed to set out 25 more on Fish Springs.  I also moved 10 traps on Fish Springs down the line a ways.  It was quite a busy day for this old man and to only catch 9 rats yesterday was actually a good thing as it got us out of the trapping shed earlier than we usually are.

My floats just haven’t been paying off like they usually do and I haven’t figured that one out yet.

So, from the float sets I should catch 3 rats.  The West Trellis line and Arrow Head should produce 2 rats and Fish Springs should kick out 12….total 17 rats expected today.

Also, I will be setting some traps around the float sets on the Trellis line.  It will be a busy day again today.  I have archery lessons tonight and tomorrow a funeral for Winemakers brother, Don.  I’ll be taking tomorrow off from trapping.

Bears Butt

February 18, 2015


It’s a very good thing I set some traps yesterday, without those traps out, I would have only caught 2 rats today.  As it turned out I ended up with 15 rats.  No traps on the Trellis were even set off.

I managed to set a bunch more traps today and now have a total of 106 traps out.


Written on February 18th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


A long day ahead!  I’ve decided to pull my traps on Bull Run and make an attempt to re-set them on the Trellis line.  I’ll leave the 6 live traps on Bull Run and hope to catch a million raccoons there.  I’ll leave them out there until I’m done trapping for the season.

My expected catch today is, 3 at Bull Run, 3 at Big Spring, 3 on the West end of the Trellis and the two at Arrow Head and 6 from the floats.  15 rats.

Gotta Go!

Bears Butt

February 17, 2015


Maybe Bob is right…the run just might be over!

I pulled the 52 traps over on Bull Run and caught a bonus 4 rats….AND A RACCOON!!!!   YEAAAA!

Hit the rest of the lines and it was poor trapping.  Ended up with 9 total rats!

I did manage to set 25 more traps out on Fish Springs but none at the Trellis.  Tomorrow I’ll set more traps on there.

With only 9 rats to skin (Bob took the day off), Brek ended up skinning 6 in the time it took me to skin 3, we finished in the shed before 5 tonight.  A good thing to have behind us.


Written on February 17th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

FloatInActionToday is Presidents Day and what that means the most to me is the kids are out of school!  YEEAAAA!  At least that is what they are saying.  But bigger than that is the fact that I’ve been trying to figure out a day that Kenzie could go trapping with me.  She asked me about two weeks ago, just after I started trapping this year, when I was going to let her go out trapping with me.  Well, today is the day.  It wasn’t decided until last night, but she jumped on the chance when I asked her.

She has no clue where in the world this trapping place is and so she will learn a thing or two about the geographics of the area around us, to include Stinky Springs and Connor Springs, just to name two.

I am in hopes that she gets to see a trapped raccoon as well.

OK, what are my expected catches for today, after two days of sitting out?  Well, the nine floats I put out each have two traps on them.  I do expect to catch a rat in each of those traps.  There is 18 rats.  The 8 other traps I set should yield the typical 50%…so add another 4 rats.  The traps at Fish Springs have been paying off really well, but I’m catching rats faster there than expected and so I do expect there not to be too much out of those 18 traps…let’s say 6 from there.  That leaves that raccoon infested Bull Run and even though I have already caught a record number of rats from there, I should get 6 or 7 good rats…I’ll gamble with 7.  There you have it, 18 + 4 + 6 + 7 = 35………..That is saying alot!  And then if Bob catches is usual 10 or so, we are going to be in the skinning shed a looonnnnggggg time tonight.

Bears Butt

February 16, 2015


Boy Howdy was I up in the night when it comes to catching rats!  When Kenzie and I got to the floats……There wasn’t any water!!!!!

Craig had me pull one of the boards that blocked one of two pipes and almost all the water drained out from where it was backed up!  My floats were high and dry and one was even about waste high when I went out to pull it back to find another place for it.  We ended up re-setting them in water that is flowing here and there, but I also am going to swag a bunch of traps out while the water is down.  I should catch a lot of rats before Craig decides the board needs to go back in.  They have moved all their cattle from that side of the road and so his attention should be elsewhere, and that should give me time to catch a bunch of rats.  Those rats will be all confused about where the water went and should be looking to plug the hole!  Mini beavers you know!

So, where I had been figuring 18 rats, we caught 3!  With the way things were, I feel very lucky to have caught 3.

So, on to the rest of the lines and things were looking bleak down on Fish Springs.  Nothing in the first 9 traps and then we picked up 4 rats in the last 9 traps!  YEA!  Coming back toward the truck and with 8 traps out, we caught 4 more for a total of 11 rats.  Then on over to Bull Run.

I told Kenzie where the live traps were and asked her to go check them while I loaded up the toy with two more live traps.  She went that direction but when she saw rat carcasses scattered all around it sort of freaked her out a bit and she spent some time talking to herself.  She did say, as I approached, there was something furry in one of the traps but that she thought it was a cat.  I reassured her it if was a cat I would let it go unharmed.  Turns out it was a raccoon….FINALLY!  She didn’t want to see the results of a 22 flying through its head and opted to go back to the truck….fine by me.

So we went on our way to check Bull Run….final result….6 good rats and 5 more lost to those miserable raccoons!  I did set two more live traps and skinned the two rats to bait them up while out there in the swamp.

Things are looking slim on Bull Run now.  Very little to no sign and it is wasting my time to check it any longer.  I’m going to pull the traps there but will leave the live traps to catch coons.  It will be worth the stop to unload the toy and check them if I can catch a bunch more raccoons.  I hate raccoons about as much as I hate moving snow or dealing with bulls.

Back home, Bob had gone out trapping yesterday and brought 6 rats back, today he had 5 more to add to the collection!

Kenzie, bless her heart, wanted to skin a muskrat and came up to the skinning shed and did just that!  With a little instruction, she had number one rat skinned in a relatively short time and she did a perfect job!  Nose, Whiskers, Eyes and Ears!  Then she put another one in her lap and did that one just as good!  She earned herself an easy $1 for doing those two rats!  Good Job Kenzie!


Bears Butt

Written on February 16th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

18Traps15RatsThis picture is from the other day, I had set 18 traps out on Fish Springs and when I checked them the next day, I had 15 rats and two other traps set off with nothing in them.  Only one of the 18 traps was untouched!  A great line of traps.

I wasn’t afforded time yesterday to post up anything and so I’ll try and make up for it today.

The trapping went fine yesterday.  I got a fairly early start (9:30 a.m.) with is early for a Valentine Day.  Winemaker is a very understanding wife.  Rather than insist I stick around an be with her for the day, she let me go out and find my “Muskrat Love”!  Having taken off the day before  to go to the big city with her I knew my line would be compromised by raccoon damage and boy howdy was I right.

First off I had to get out to “The Trellis” line to set the floats that Bob made last summer.  There was an article in one of the Fur-Fish-And Game magazines that showed how one guy had made some light weight floats that he used on his line.  Bob picked up on that idea and fashioned some of his own.  Then he bagged them in sets of 3 floats and all the parts needed to make them work.  I loaded up the toy for the trip out on the Trellis line.

PackUpTheMuleI’m so very thankful to have this machine to carry my gear.  So with 9 floats loaded, off I went down the line.

Arriving at my first float set destination I decided it might be a very rewarding thing to post up here some pictures of how the floats look and how they go together.  Besides, pictures are worth a 1000 words and you guys get tired of reading my stuff anyway.

So, the parts include the float itself, two stop loss traps and a stake.

BobsFloatPartsBob made cutouts for the traps to set down a little into the float and it helps stabilize the trap.  He also put “quick links” on the side of the float to attach the trap chain.  This really helps to quickly attach the trap and also, to disconnect the trap should it break and need replacing.

QuckLinkWhile on dry ground I assembled one of the floats.

FloatAssembledWell, that looks really good.  The objective is for the rat to climb on top of the float to rest or to eat and we have found that a swimming rat has a very tough time not climbing on top of something floating in the water.  We bait our float sets with “anise oil carrot pieces”.  The licorice sent of the anise oil seems to attract the rats quicker than just plain old carrot.  I’m experimenting with different flavors this year and yesterday I put out the typical anise oil and also “banana flavored” carrots.  I alternated the float sets, one with anise the next with banana.  Tomorrow when I check the traps I’ll make note of which seemed to work best.

So, this float looks good on dry ground, how about in the water?


This particular set is in water that is almost waste deep and in my effort to get it in place for this picture, I was inching my way out making sure I was on pretty solid footing when suddenly I stepping in one of the dreaded under water rat runs and without warning I found myself in water over my belt!  If falling through the ice makes you suddenly forget your senses, so does filling your boots with ice cold water!  Back to the float.

Floats will work just like Bob made them, but they work better if you put some mud and other water plants on them as an additional attractant for the rat.  Rats build their own resting places out in the swamp and a good trapper will always place a trap on top of those spots and so to make these floats look a bit more natural it is important to add material that the rats are used to seeing.  Then lace it up good with carrot chunks and there you have a nice little rat rest stop.  The object is to catch them and when they find themselves held firmly in a trap, they jump off the float and the weight of the trap takes them down to a watery grave.  They can only fight the weight of the trap so long before they can’t keep their heads above water.  (Much like we are with our current tax structure.  I wish someone in power would enact a 10% flat tax across the board).

So, with boots filled with water and my butt totally soaked and cold, I waded back to the toy to get the next float.  I set all nine of them and then along came one of the land owners with his son and another young cowboy on horses.  They laughed when they saw how wet I was and I was pulling off my boots to dump them out.  Then he told me to “pull a board” from in front of one of the drain pipes and lower the water level.  I joked with him saying I’ll pull both boards!  He yelled at me as they rode off to only pull one board.  Well, that will help lower the water level quite a bit and maybe I’ll be able to set more traps than just the floats.  I’ll decide that tomorrow.

Well, with the floats out, I headed down to Fish Springs to check those traps.

Life was good to me and I pulled 12 rats from those 18 traps.  Coming back toward the rig, I decided to set a couple more traps and ended up setting 8.  Add those to the 18 on the floats and I managed to add 26 traps to my arsenal.

Then over to Bull Run.  I had dreamed that all four of the live traps had an animal caught but when I checked them….nothing!  And yet, between the traps is the trail the raccoons are using to enter the swamp.  Not one of the rat bodies scattered around the ground was touched.  I don’t get it.

When I went down the line checking those traps I was not a happy guy.  I did manage to bring out 10 good rats, but I also lost 11 and a trap to raccoons!   Bull Run has been quite a surprise this year with the total number of rats it is kicking out.  Bob gave me two more live traps to work with and I’ll put them down the line at Bull Run.  I sure would like to know how to get rid of those raccoons.

It’s nice to have today off to allow my boots to dry.  One is pretty good right now, but the other is still really wet.  I’ll be putting the hair blower in it when I get through writing this.  I also need to make up another few batches of carrots.  I’m going to try peppermint as well as the other two.

Bears But

February 15, 2015

Written on February 15th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Today is a day away from the norm.  Winemaker and I are headed to the BIG CITY of Salt Lake to attend a conference on locating our ancestors.  Most of our ancestors are out of reach via email, phone, text etc. and so there must be another way to reach them and this convention is supposed to help us do that.

The game plan is to get up early, (we almost did that as it is 6:30 a.m. right now), drive to Ogden, get on the Trax train and ride it to SLC.  From there we will pick up one of the three internal trax trains that goes through out the city and hopefully we will get off the right stop to attend the convention.  Once finished with the convention we will reverse our course to come home.

It will be a very different day for us.  The rats will have to wait!

Bears Butt

February 13, 2014 (Friday the 13th…..hmmmm)

Written on February 13th, 2015 , Uncategorized
By: Bears Butt


Yesterday I set 4 traps to try and catch raccoons on Bull Run.  This morning I hope to find 4 raccoon in those traps!  We will see.

I also set 18 more rat traps down on Fish Springs.  I now have a total of 71 rat traps out.  The weather is going to be unseasonably warm again today, and last night’s temps were mild and no wind.  The rats should have moved around very much last night.

My expected catch today is 30.  That is saying a lot, but the 18 traps I set should pull through with 10 or more, while the other 53 should yield around 10 themselves.  I have high hopes on the Fish Springs sets and on a rat run during the night coming into the Bull Run area.  I’ll stick to 30.

I’ll post more coming up once I get home from checking traps.

Tomorrow I’m taking the day off from trapping and heading to the big city to spend the day with Winemaker and going to an Ancestry Show and classes on how to research your ancestors.  It will be a fun day.  We plan on taking Tracks to add to the adventure.  What that means in the trapping business is that I will not set any new traps today.  But, believe me, when I get home from trapping today, I have a whole shed full of hides that need to be fleshed and put up on stretchers.


Bears Butt

February 12, 2015


It’s late…like 7 p.m.  And to tell you the truth…MY BUTT IS KICKED!

Got to the trapping line about 9:45 this morning, not early, not late….NO raccoons visited the traps last night.  At least not the ones designed to put an end to them.  Sure, wouldn’t you know it, I catch 9 rats in 9 traps and get damaged to the max by raccoons and then I set traps to catch the coon and NOTHING.  My luck.

Oh well, back to the line.  It wasn’t such a bad day, but not exactly what I expected either.  The line I call Bull Run produced 10 rats.  That was about right, maybe a little low and I only lost one rat to raccoons.  And only a couple of set off traps with nothing in them.

The big surprise came over at Fish Springs.  Remember I set 18 traps yesterday and the norm for a one night set of trap is about 50 percent.  At least 50  percent is a good number.  Then it goes to 25, 10, 5 and none.  That is pretty normal.  Well out of the 18 traps I caught 15 rats and had two other traps set off.  Only one trap was un-touched.  Amazing percentage.

So, I ended up with 25 rats while Bob came in with 10 of his own….a pretty good day…35 rats!

We spent several hours in the shed, and thanks to Weasel brushing and helping with skinning, we got all 88 rats processed.  50 stretched and hanging and the rest drying.

My butt is kicked and I’m out of here!


Written on February 12th, 2015 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


Lesson 6 last night and I almost missed it.  After trapping all day, then skinning 32 rats (with Bob of course), my butt was whipped bad!  All I felt like doing after 6 p.m. was sitting back, relaxing and drinking a few brews.  I could have gone to bed right then.  Well, I called Weasel, who was already at the archery lanes and told him to tell my instructor, Chris, I wouldn’t make it.  Then I sat back, watching a little tube, and drank two beers.  I was starting to feel human again.  So I ate supper and felt great.  I told Winemaker I was going to the archery lesson and off I went.

I’m sure glad I didn’t miss this one.  Chris had us shooting at a single target, about the size of the one in the picture above.  Well not quite that big, but pretty big.  It’s the same one we are shooting at for this league shoot I’m in.  But that is not the point of this writing.

Chris had us shooting our 5 arrow ends and after the third end, she came over to me and Sandra (both of us shooting recurve bows) and said something like this: “There is one thing we have not told you recurve shooters about arrow alignment with the target.  When you look at the compound bow shooters you see all sorts of stuff hanging off their bows that helps them get aligned with the target.  They not only have sights, but bubble levels.  Your bow must be level in order to consistently shoot where you want it to shoot”.

Now that is not exactly what she said, but that is what I took from it.

She went on.  “When you draw back your bow and get into your anchor position, align the bow string up with the shaft of the arrow.  Concentrate on the target and follow through with your shot”.

I was skeptical and told her as much.  But then said I would try it.  When I did, the arrow hit at 12 o’clock above the X, about 8 inches high.  HMMMMM.  I looked over at Chris, who was looking back at me with a smile.  My thought went to alignment, and how the arrow hit straight up and down from the center of the bull.  I nocked another arrow and followed the same routine.  The arrow flew like it had a mind of its own and lodged into the X!  Amazing!  I finished with four of the five arrows around and touching the bulls eye!

Chris took a picture of my X arrow and sent it off to e-land.

I was so elated, I told her “Chris, you just unleashed the beast”!!!!

My next 5 arrows felt really good and all came within the 4 count ring of the X.  After that they got a little wild, but still within the counting rings.  She said she wanted me to walk away from the shooting lanes and concentrate on something totally different than shooting.  Go look at the activity board or something.  Which I did and when I came back she had put a ballon over my X ring and four count rings.

I asked her about the balloon and she said just shoot it.  Now here is where things get really interesting.  I concentrated on a spot on the balloon and fired my first shot.  As big as that balloon was how can I miss with my new found knowledge?  Well, I did miss it.  In fact I missed it with all 5 arrows!  How can that be?  I readied myself for my next 5 arrow end and shot them with the same result…misses!  This is crazy!  I was doing so well, now what is going on?

Chris took the balloon away and posted it next to my target.  Told me to shoot two arrows at my target and the next three at the balloon.  My two arrow targets hit in the 3 count ring on my target and my first arrow at the balloon was dead center.  I shot the next two at the deflated balloon, hitting close enough to it that if it had been inflated they would have popped it.

There is some psychological thing going on here and Chris didn’t explain it to me.  I’ll be digging in to find out just what was playing with my mind and why I didn’t pop it with my first arrow.

So, there you have my lesson number 6!  Look out scoring rings, I’m coming to poke holes in you!

Bears Butt

February 12, 2015

Written on February 12th, 2015 , Archery stuff | 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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