Well, here we are - All Hallows' Eve! While the ghosts and goblins are out filling up on candy and mischief, I’ve been preparing my tools and taking inventory for the start of the 2015 Fall fur trapping season here in New Hampshire. I have to say, I’ve finally started to turn the gears on making things easier during the harsh fall and winter harvest seasons. Earlier this year I purchased a utility cap for my pickup truck, which I hoped would aid in better storage and organization of all my gear. Quite frankly, I don’t know why I didn’t get one sooner. I spent the first few years of trapping working out of an open truck bed, and once I got tired of shoveling and digging through snow and ice to reach my equipment, I settled on a tonneau cover for the vast majority of my trapping seasons. I’ll admit it served its purpose – but with an 8-foot bed, it made for rather aggravating effort to reach all of my gear. Now, with the eight-foot bed cap, I have plenty of space to crawl in and reach everything; plus, two side compartments for axes, hatchets, catch-poles, and miscellaneous hardware. Now, an entire season’s worth of equipment is stocked and ready to go, rather than just the “here’s and there’s” for every different property or season. It has already paid off in a big way for my year-round animal damage control calls. It didn’t cost me deep in the pockets either - $50 bucks and a case of beer was all it took for its previous owner to hand it over. I’ll admit I spent several weeks on that cap with the waterproof sealant and WD-40, but that cap is as sound as a dollar now!
In between loading and unloading cordwood, I also managed to rig up a gambrel pulley system for skinning out my catches. Last season I just hung a gambrel from the top beam of my workshop – and while it did its job, my skinning took twice as long, stopping to readjust my catch higher or lower during skinning. After acquiring a boat winch, some coated cable and a few pulleys hung from the workshop support beams, I can now adjust the height needed with a couple cranks of the winch. Saves my back with some of the larger coyotes, and also saves the frustration of getting my catch at “just the right height” to work on. I purchased this homestead a little more than a year ago now, so it’s taking time to figure my way around the shop. Now if I could just get the workshop organized, I think I’ll be in pretty good shape when the fur starts piling up.
The proposal to re-open a bobcat hunting/trapping season passed the preliminary stages earlier this month; to much distain from a small chunk of the public. I tip my hat to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department for listening to their biologists rather than the cries from the misinformed, and those with a vendetta against the trapper. Its nice to know that Facebook doesn’t have majority rule over logic and reason (yet)!
Speaking of social media, some of you may have noticed that I have opened up a Live Free And Trap Instagram account. Instagram is a social media platform similar to a “Facebook” or “Twitter”, the only difference is that its primary focus is to share and present images. I have to admit that out of all the social media platforms I use to help tout the gospel of Northeast trapping, I think this Instagram bit is my favorite! I have decided to use this Instagram account to tell the story of my trapline; sort of like an image journal. I intend to take (at least) one picture a day from the trapline, and post it to Instagram in real time. It will be like all of y’all are right there with me on the ‘line! There’s so much more raw emotion and beauty that goes into running a trapline other than just catching and skinning critters. You are subject to whatever Mother Nature wishes to dish out, every day, for a little less than 6 months out of the year. It’s no surprise that it just also happens to be the harshest months out of the year as well. When I hike the trapline every morning and night, I notice so much; it’s the little things that really catch me off guard and peak my interest the most. That being said, the daily images I post to this Instagram account will not only portray the catches and action, but the beauty of what I’m immersing myself in all season long in New Hampshire’s forests and mountains. If you have an Instagram account, you can access mine via the link at the top of this page - click the top right camera icon next to the Facebook and Twitter links.
Some of you have already started your Fall trapping seasons, and some are getting started tomorrow. I wish you all the best of luck on the ‘line and hope the Trapping Gods see your traplines fruitful, and your fur sheds full! I’ve got a ton of backlogged articles on ADC trapping, product reviews, and trapping how-to’s, as well as my periodic check-in’s during the season – so check back regularly!
Keep your blades sharp, and your mind sharper.
Live Free And Trap!