In a trance brought on by the warm glow of my Netflix queue, I began to wonder: how did our ancestors survive these long winter months? Short, frosty days that fade into cold, relentless nights can cause any outdoor lover to quickly succumb to cabin fever—even in this day of electronic entertainment.
What did humans do if a remote cabin really was home, and fever was a real possibility? One solution was to run a trapline. Traps were a very effective way to provide food, clothing, and a commodity to trade. Well-set traps could work for the trapper 24 hours a day, even when the elements made going outdoors impossible.
|Make your traps as effective as possible with trapping lures and bait.|
While many would have you believe that trapping furbearers went out of style with the coon-skin cap, the fact remains that it is still a valuable practice today.
When done correctly, trapping is a humane and efficient way to control predators and varmints on your property. It can provide meat for the table and additional income for hunting and fishing supplies. (Or utilities and groceries, if you’re into that kind of thing.) It’s also a great way to get your rear off the couch and learn more about the animals that inhabit the natural world around you. The experience could even be invaluable in a survival situation.
Don’t be intimidated by the world of trapping. While there is a lot to learn, there are plenty of online resources like the National Trappers Association and trapping forums available. To help you get started we’ve compiled this Beginner’s Trapping Guide. It outlines the four most common trap types and the most effective sets for each.
As with all outdoor endeavors, we encourage you to think safety first when trapping. Check your local regulations and take special care to avoid injury to other humans and domestic or non-target animals. Bring a buddy and always have a plan in place in case of an emergency or fall into cold water. We will leave the choice of any raccoon related headwear up to you.