Enough is enough for this Pennsylvania trapper
The endeavor known as trapping requires skill, patience and attention to detail. Those who do it well enough to enjoy repeated success have likely either taken up apprenticeship with a seasoned mentor or have gained authentic knowledge of the trade through years of personal trial and error.
Being new to trapping, I have neither experience nor knowledge on my side, but I’m giving it a go anyway. One could say I’ve found myself ensnared by the lure of the trapping challenge, its traditional, primitive ways and the constant battle of wit between man and beast.
I’ve done just enough trapping to gain a sincere appreciation for the sport, but not yet enough to be any good at it. Two seasons into my trapping quest, I’ve managed to catch three skunks and a neighborhood house cat – weak statistics for an outdoor writer who’s supposed to know what he’s doing out there.
But I’m humble enough to admit at this stage in my trapping infancy that I’m still not smart enough to outsmart a possum. To my defense, I’ve only dabbled thus far, using mostly live traps and food baits for less than a week at a time. Perhaps I haven’t taken it seriously enough.
After deer season passes, however, I plan to hit it hard – putting all of my theoretical, self-taught online wisdom to good use as I target the mink, raccoons and red foxes roaming my property. I believe I’ve done enough research to finally make it happen this winter.
I’ve dyed my new coil-spring traps, readied my tools, scouted my set locations and am in the process of procuring assorted gland lures. Fur prices are not quite high enough to get excited over, but there are plenty of predators running around- certainly enough to make protecting my barnyard flock and local ground-nesting fowl a worthwhile pursuit.
So as I venture forward, I hope I’m lucky enough to catch something respectable this season, because I’m pretty sure merely setting traps is not adequate enough to qualify me as a real-deal Pennsylvania trapper just yet.
Perhaps this winter I’ll be fortunate enough to officially join the ranks