Rustic Maverick and His Start in Trapping
By Gypsy Trailblazer
Hello my friends, welcome back! I would like to share the second part of my conversation with my good friend Rustic Maverick. AS I mentioned before, due to the terrain where he lives, cell phone signal can be very poor so we keep in touch by exchanging text messages. The discussion continues…
(A picture appears in a text on my cell phone from the view of windshield with a tree line next to a creek with the caption, “X marks the spot!”)
Gypsy Trailblazer (GT): How does someone set up a trap line?
Rustic Maverick (RM): To set up a trap line the best place to start, if you are new to this, is with friends and family that own any sizable tract of land. Sizeable can mean as little as 3 acres or less, if it is a good animal habitat such as a marsh, swamp, woods, or agricultural land. After friends and family then its neighbors, people they may know, and then complete strangers.
As a trapper, you need to look for a habitat. Preferably, "prime habitat,” and what I mean by “prime” is land that holds the most abundant resources that a certain type of critter needs. Those needs will be different for each type of critter you are after. New trappers may ask, how do I know good habitat from bad. Well that is where reading and studying all the written material you can find comes in. Like any profession, you need to educate yourself so that you can make the best, most successful decisions. Learning is not and should not be limited to written material. You also need to be out there looking and observing wildlife. Just because I can read about how to cook does not mean I can cook. Like I've said before, knowledge is useless until it is put to use.
For the most part the best way to find good trapping ground is to find water or wet areas and the land around it. Streams, ponds, swamps, and creeks are all good starting points. Everything needs water and most watercourses become travel routes by default. Especially in winter if they freeze over. Also, if you find water where different types of habitat meet, such as woods meeting corn or any crop fields, those are excellent places to ask permission to trap on. The more variety in the land use, the more critters it will hold. You find these places by driving around and looking for them, the old school and expensive way, or use Google Earth and save a lot of time and money in the searching process. You can then hunt down who owns it and knock on their door. I believe there may be apps with landowner names and acreage you can use to find trapping land too.
The spring season is a great time to “study” your surroundings. Paw prints and tracks in the mud will give you a wealth of information as you prepare for your trapping season. Take pictures and notes; use the off-season to study the critters and their activity. What does it look they are eating? Can you tell their travel path? All this key information will pay off when it is time to set your traps.
See you next time! Thanks for reading....
Bravo Echo Out,