By: Bears Butt


Today is basically my last day to prepare for trapping!  Yesterday my package of new gloves came in the mail and that made me really happy!  Have you ever seen a happy trapper?  Well, I’m it!  I’d insert a “selfy” right here but I’m not sure I know how to do it.  Just picture a bearded guy with thinning hair and a big old smile that goes from one ear to the other ear and put a gap between his two front teeth….there you have it!


Sort of like this!

When you think about getting ready for the trapping season you might think heck it’s just a matter of tossing in some traps and heading out.  Not so for this old guy.  I have to have my toy to haul my butt around in the swamps.  That means a trailer to carry the toy, gas, extra stuff like tools in case of a breakdown.  It also means the snow pushing blade has to be removed (have I told you how much I hate to push snow?) and a whole lot of little things too numerous to think of right now.

It also means making sure I have extra stakes, which means a trip to the field to cut them…every little thing takes time.

Oh, speaking of time, I finally got my new trap ready for the water!  I’ll make a story out of that really soon, maybe tomorrow…it just takes time…

There are carrots to chop up and add that secret scent to that we discovered worked so very well last year!  Muskrats look out!  We are about to descend upon your quiet little abodes!

The trapping shed needs some attention too, I see the Tyvek covering has blown off the South side….more time!  Inside the shed is a general sprucing up that is needed as well and make sure the heater is going to work.  Who knows, maybe a mouse has made a nest in it (or out of it)…I don’t know I have not been inside that shed since the Hardware Ranch Elk Fesitival….I had to go in and get some traps for show and tell.

You can expect to see some pictures of the inside of the rig when I’ve got it ready to head West…It is actually a work of art to get all that stuff packed in for the first day afield.

I talked with brother Bob last night about the “plan”….he is ready to lay out some more steel and “Skinner Man” Brek is ready whenever we start piling up the rats.  Bob also told me he is having trouble with a thief on his line.  He has lost 4 traps and who knows how many rats, just in the last two weeks.  Yesterday he found one of his leg hold traps set off on top of the stake….I told him that was the game warden that did that, just to let him know he is watching his “checking” days…..there are rules about when you need to check your traps and leg holds are an every other day deal (48 hours).  There are stinking rules for everything!  But these rules are there for a reason and we need to follow them if we want to continue to enjoy this activity.

So my part of the plan calls for me to set the Conner Spring and Bull Run areas first.  My spread will then be moved slowly in a South West direction until I reach the last drainage before “the dam”.  Bob will cover “the dam” and drainages to the West of that.  Once I’m finished trapping the “interior”, I move to the Trellis, the small drainages in that area and Fish Spring.  As those lines begin to produce less and less, I will move my traps to Big Spring and the Goose Club areas.  There are 3 areas to trap there and they cover a whole lot of ground and require a whole bunch of traps, but once those are trapped out it’s time to move on to Club 41, Doris’ place and Petersons.  I also have a new area to trap this year that I call the “Bull Arena”.  The owner of the bulls and I have made an agreement that he will move his bulls and give me a week to trap that place.  I told him I would only need 4 days to trap all the rats out….we will see how that goes.  Bob looked that area over last November and told me he didn’t find any sign at all.  I told him I would catch close to 100 rats out of there.  Again, we will see.

So, there you have the outline of the schedule for this years trapping.  Not much different than any other season, but we will have at least an extra week of trapping at the end than we usually have.  But then if Spring comes early like old Bears Butt is predicting, we might find ourselves quitting before we really want to.  There is no sense taking rats that have their fur slipping as those would cause our average income per hide to drop significantly and we don’t want that.

Our overall goal is to net near the “top lot” price on our furs at the auction!  A do-able goal, but it will take a whole lot of extra work on our part!  If the rats cooperate, we will make it happen!

Bears Butt

February 8, 2014

Written on February 8th, 2014 , Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


Today was going to be dedicated to muskrat trapping preparation, instead I felt it necessary to go to Logan and visit with a friend who is checking out the internal workings of the Logan hospital.  He is acting as a sick person, but in reality he is undercover making certain that all the staff members are doing their assigned duties properly.  He is doing as good as can be expected right now!

Once back from that visit, I had an important task that needed immediate attention….A hair cut!

I believe my last hair cut was just before the muzzleloader deer hunt (could someone verify that for me?) and sitting in the chair at Wyatt’s BS, I made that comment and asked that he trim me up so as to give me until June to be back.  He did well!  I’m not certain it will be June until I see him next, but he did an excellent job of making my ears show back up on the sides of my head.

Of course we talked about the upcoming muskrat trapping and things of that sort and when I was about to walk out, he said to me, “I gave you a 1200 rat hair cut”!!!  Is that a prediction?  Is that a vision on his part?  1200 rats is a lot of rats, but for his sake, I will put that down as my personal goal catch for 2014!

1200….how close will we come?  Next week I will set my first set of 2014 with my fingers crossed and that number firmly planted in my head!

Bears Butt

February 5, 2014

Written on February 5th, 2014 , Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


I think someone up above is playing with me…we awoke to about 4 inches of fluffy white snow this morning.  My plan did not include shoveling snow today.

Am I supposed to be THAT flexible to include moving snow today?  I will go out and shovel my driveway and then make my decision to plow or not.  If I plow then the Sweetbreads on the stove will have to wait until late this afternoon.  I’d rather stand at the sink and pull sweetbreads apart for 4 hours than plow snow for 3 1/2 hours.  Have I ever told you how I hate to plow snow?  I think I’ve mentioned it on here before.

I have a pot of sweetbreads that includes 9 packages of the delicious little guys boiling as I am typing and they are my priority…sorry neighbors, it will melt by July I’m sure.

These sweetbreads are part of my trapping preparation this week, just like my atv trailer was yesterday and my newly developed trap is tomorrow.

Gotta go for now!

Bears Butt

February 4, 2014

Written on February 4th, 2014 , Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


This picture is of my new toy hauling trailer rear gate!  Can you imagine yourself following me and my trailer down the road?  Almost brings a tear to your eye doesn’t it?

The trapping season for me will begin next week, probably Monday and from that day until I finally pull my traps I’ll be totally consumed with trapping and the activities that come (go) with that.

Bob has lined up Brek to be our skinner again and he will save us a bunch of time.    We have a much better plan this year than we have had in the past and the quality of the rat furs should be much better.  Not that we haven’t had the top lot every year, but we plan on doing a much better job of drying the furs and maybe even combing them before putting them on the stretchers.  Sure it will take more time, but we should net a very high price at auction by doing this extra step.

So, this week will be mine to get everything ready for the trapping season.  You think all that would have to be done is toss some traps into the truck and go, but that is not the case.  I have an atv with the snow plow still on it and the weather is calling for a chance of snow every day this week.  When do I dare take the plow off  ?  The trailer needs the bearings greased and the lights checked.  The traps are already to go, but I’ll need to go cut some extra stakes.  The rats always tend to eat a few stakes during the season.

I made a special trap that I’ll show you when I get it completed.  It’s called a floating colony trap and I sure hope it works.  If it does it has the potential to capture 10 or more rats in one night.  How awesome would that be?  I’ll have a lot of experimenting to do with it to make it work, but that will just add a little bit more fun to the trapping days.

Besides getting ready for trapping, I have a bunch of little things to get done around the house before the first setting day.  I’ll have a busy week!  It’s already started!

Bears Butt

February 3, 2014


Written on February 3rd, 2014 , Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


Today was the first day of the North American Fur Auction (NAFA) local fur pickup for 2014, so I met up with the driver and got some of the bags and tags they insist we use to put our furs in.

While there I saw a couple of guys dropping off their bags of furs and even though I didn’t see into the bags, they appeared to be full of either coyotes or foxes.

This will be our first year to sell our furs through the auction house and it should be an interesting one.  The one thing that we won’t have to deal with is the local buyers who like to throw the shaft at the trappers.  It actually makes me feel a whole lot better knowing exactly what we are going to do with our furs, what is expected of us in putting them up and bagging them and the schedule for when the bags of furs will be taken to the pickup driver.

I have always hated the haggling over the price we would accept for our hard earned rats.  This way, we know we will get whatever the buyers pay at the auction and even though we are at their mercy, so be it.  Last year we could have made a bunch more money had we gone through the auction house.  As it ended up, my butt still hurts from the screwing we got.

Sure, we will have to wait for the fur check, as the auction that our furs will be in does not take place until June.  That’s OK!  It will allow us more time in the swamp picking up a few more rats before they start to slip.  Maybe we will hit the 1,000 rat mark this year!

Anyway…step one has been taken for this trapping season!

Bears Butt

January 3, 2014

Written on January 3rd, 2014 , Trapping Stories | 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.