Author Topic: So I want to be a trapper?  (Read 9975 times)

Offline karim18

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So I want to be a trapper?
« on: April 28, 2014, 12:02:27 PM »
Hey Guys,

In the process of getting "Trapper Education" in order to be able to apply for a trapping license in IL, but would like more resources. Any recommended sites, forums, articles, videos and books?

Thanks,
Karim

Offline trinharder

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 12:13:13 PM »
Wow; its been decades since I trapped and wish I could give you the resources you are looking for. I learned it all the hard way by trial and error and eventually got really good at it, on predators especially. My best advice would be fur fish and game magazine, trapper and predator calller magazine, as well as national and state trapper organizations. If possible, find a local trapper to mentor you. I think the best education I had was the annual meeting of the Colorado trappers association back in the '70s. I can tell you though, once you get it, its like riding a bike. You can think like a coyote or a fox and just "know" where they will be and "know" where to place a set. Best advice I can give (for predators) is if you find a good spot for a set, put at least 2 sets in. You'll double and triple all the time.

Offline cajun68

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 04:40:47 PM »
Get over to (Wolfernation) its got podcast, video, and a ton of other cool stuff.

Offline Cedar

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014, 04:54:48 PM »
One of my mushing mentors, and I got the last of his dogs, had been a trapper in the Yukon Territory from the time he was 12 to when he retired at age 78. He ran 150 miles of trapline and he had 12 'cabins' on that line. He said he broke every aluminium snowshoe that they made and he would only use wooden ones. Also his 8-12 dogs never stranded him, but the one year he went to a snowmobile, he said he did more walking that winter, than he had done in his entire life (and having the privilege of knowing him, that had to be alot of miles on foot that winter). He stocked the cabins before snow fell and ran all winter until the fur was no longer in prime.

So apparently if you want to trap and make money, you need to have a really long trapline and get to know it well. You are also apparently rough on equipment. Know you can get stranded.

R.I.P. Jack. I miss you and Holger both. Hope there is a heaven where they allow snow and McKenzie River Huskies.
http://www.quesnelobserver.com/mobile/obits/?id=9998326

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Offline Ken325

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 03:29:58 AM »
I made a lot of money trapping as a teenager.  We worked it like a job, 8 hrs a day, often in terrible weather.  Then people started throwing red paint on fur coats and the money dried up. We could not make a profit so we stopped.  Also, you need a lot of land as you will quickly clean out an area.  It is a good skill to have, but I would not do it to make money unless fur prices are good.  It is hard work in cold weather most of the time.  Also, you will have expenses.

I haven't kept up with trapping info on forums and other places.  Dave Cantabury has some info on his wildernessoutfitters you tube channel.  That is a fantastic channel by the way.  I learned about trapping by hanging out with old men.  I'd say focus on finding something that works well, then get a mass production mentality.  We would run 60-100 traps a day for about 3 days then we would pick up and set out a new line.  Me and my partner made about $200 each on a weekend when large raccoon furs were getting $30 each.  At the time it was better than working fast food.  But I do have to say I was cold and wet most of the time when we were running traps.  I will also say that you will catch things you don't want and it can be cruel unless you set lethal or drowning traps.

Offline Adam s

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2015, 03:15:16 AM »
Get over to (Wolfernation) its got podcast, video, and a ton of other cool stuff.
Exactly what Cajun said, Clint has a lot of very good information in the podcasts and videos.

Offline Tex4k

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 02:49:56 PM »
Wolfernation is a good source also trapperman.com, there are a multitude of trapping supply places that carry books and videos. Your state association will be able to help also.

Offline John Doe

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 04:47:40 PM »
Long before the internet my buddy & I would read Fur, Fish & Game from cover to cover in the school library. Boy that brings back memories- trudging through half frozen swamps at 5AM checking our muskrat line before school...
But hey, I saved up money from trapping & bought my own car as a Sophomore- whish I still had that '73 Nova!

Offline Ken325

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 08:26:54 AM »
I bought a John boat, trailer and motor with one years profit.  My partner bought a pickup.  That was pretty good for a 16-17 year old when minimum wage was about $5.   The red paint thing started when I was 18 and prices dropped.  When prices dropped from $30 for a jumbo raccoon to about $17 we were barely clearing a profit after paying for gas and other expenses.   Like I was saying, we would run 60-100 traps per day.  We would catch about 1 out of 3 traps, so 20 to 30 coons for 2 days hard work.  One day to set and one day to run.  We would run for 2 days if we could (3 day weekend) but the catch rate dropped quickly after the 3rd day.  Most were not jumbo size, so when prices were high we made $500-600 per weekend and we divided this between 2 people after deducting our expenses.  Our cost were about $100 for gas and supplies.  When prices dropped we made about $260 per weekend, minus $100, and divided by two for my partners half.  We went from about $100 per day (of hard work in cold wet weather) to about $35 per day.  At that rate it was not worth it.  We would get up about 5 am and we preferred drowning sets.  That means wading around in cold water at 5 am in January-February weather.  You would run or set for hours then you had to skin 20-30 coons before going home.  Now imagine carrying 50-100 traps over long distances while wearing hip waders and cold weather clothing or imagine carrying all that gear and 20-30 raccoons.  We could not have done it like we did if we were not young and tough.  Then on top of that we would have to move a lot because you will drop the population quickly.  We trapped mostly rivers so we had to drive a lot.  In TX rivers are supposed to be public land up to the second bank, but a lot of land owners do not see it that way. We would clean out about a 2 mile stretch of river in a weekend, so no way you could do this on private property.  One of the reasons we went out early in bad weather was to avoid land owners who disagree with the public land thing.  Again, we could not have done this if we were not young and tough.  As an adult I think you would be far more likely to get into trouble with land owners and game wardens.  That could affect your profit.  I do not want to say how we set our traps or what we used for bait.  I will say that we did did occasionally catch a house cat, skunk, or other critter that we did not want and I feel bad about killing them.  That was another reason that I stopped trapping.  You can be an ethical hunter but if your trapping you will occasionally catch something by mistake.  To sum up my experiences, when prices were high we made about 2X minimum wage and we were happy with this as teenagers.  When prices dropped we made less than minimum wage.  So, could you do this for a living?  Probably not, as you need a lot of land, you are limited by trapping season, and prices change.

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2015, 08:36:47 AM »
we would run 60-100 traps per day.  We would catch about 1 out of 3 traps, so 20 to 30 coons for 2 days hard work.

If you don't mind eating coon, a person could certainly live on that for protein.  If you canned what you didn't eat fresh, you could sustain yourself through the leaner times when you weren't getting as many animals in the traps.

Sorry....  One of the other "trapping" threads had a discussion about surviving by eating what you trap.  I thought I was on that thread.

.

Offline Ken325

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2015, 09:24:48 AM »
I think that a few traps would be a great thing to have in a survival situation.  I would rather not eat raccoon, but I would if I was hungry. 

Offline helix2301

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2015, 09:37:05 AM »
Hey Guys,

In the process of getting "Trapper Education" in order to be able to apply for a trapping license in IL, but would like more resources. Any recommended sites, forums, articles, videos and books?

Thanks,
Karim

They call it a fur takers licence here in pa its a hunter safety course plus trappers course.

Offline DWESmith

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 04:55:33 PM »
This is a good YouTube series for northern trappers. https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC_e5Pe08Fqc7QIb27oPw4FQ

I've been trapping wolves for my in laws for the last two years. I took my BC trappers course 4 years ago now. I've got 3 wolves, a fisher, and an ermine by myself so far. Assisted with 12 wolves and quite a few coyotes. I also nuisance trapped 41 marmots (groundhogs are a kind of marmot.) one summer. I hope the link helps.

Offline surfivor

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 06:06:15 PM »
That was my childhood fantasy, not to be a fireman but a Trapper. There's a movie called trapper. must have  come out in the 1970s. Ever see it?

Offline machinisttx

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2016, 03:54:59 PM »
I think that a few traps would be a great thing to have in a survival situation.  I would rather not eat raccoon, but I would if I was hungry.

Nothing at all wrong with raccoon. Usually a little fatty. I'd rather eat squirrel though.

Offline Chris Gilliam

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Re: So I want to be a trapper?
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2016, 04:47:49 PM »
I eat coon. Would be better if I could cook.
Clint Locklear is great to learn from, good guy. Listen to his podcasts at Trapping Radio.
MeatTrapper is a pal of mine, great vids, great guy: https://www.youtube.com/user/beavertrapper99
There is a little trapping stuff on my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPe5Uz99PjPgiZA4L-TTucg
And the best videos on skinning and putting up fur: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCporYDck6ZOfqtqQX7SLs5g