School Days: Prepared To Go Solo

6 School days.jpgPrepared To Go Solo

By Drew Dixon
Easton, Missouri

Last summer, I was bored and wondered what I could do to keep busy. I went to our barn to relax and saw my dad’s old #330 bodygrip traps and #1.5 coilsprings. I realized I could begin to prepare for the coming trapping season.

I started getting ready by making a shopping list. I ordered a half-dozen #1.5 coilsprings, five bottles of raccoon lure and five books. When the supplies came, I hung up the traps and made a special shelf for the bottles of lure.

My dad already had a trowel I could use, and I borrowed stakes from my uncle.

I had experience from last season, but this would be my first season of trapping all by myself. I read all of my dad’s old trapping magazines. By the time our Nov. 15 opener rolled around, I could hardly wait.

On the first day of the season, I set four traps on a creek that runs through the 20 acres we live on. I could hardly sleep that night.

Before school the next morning, I woke up and went down to the first set. I was greeted by a medium-size raccoon in my pocket set. I could hardly believe it! The other three sets were empty, but I didn’t care — one was good enough for me!

Later, my dad showed me how to make blind sets, and I caught two raccoons in them. However, most of my raccoons were caught in water sets.

After my early season success, my uncle, Dominic, took me trapping at his 1,000-acre farm. We caught five raccoons, seven opossums and a 20-pound bobcat.

During the three months I trapped my creek, I caught 14 raccoons and five opossums all by myself.

I took all of the raccoons to a local fur buyer near my home. I did not even come close to the amount of fur other people had, but I didn’t care. I felt good because I caught those raccoons. It wasn’t about the amount of money I got — it was about the experience and the memories.

Win Traps and a Membership for Writing:

Young readers who share their stories in The Trapper & Predator Caller can win six traps, a trapper education video and an NTA handbook. A membership to their state’s trappers association or a membership to the Wisconsin Trappers Association for nonparticipating states is also included.

To be considered, send a 300- to 500-word story and a clearly focused original photograph of the trapper or hunter with a catch, kill, fur or trap to: School Days, The Trapper & Predator Caller, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990.

The best stories capture the excitement and joys of trapping and predator calling experiences.

School Days is sponsored by Duke Traps and the Wisconsin Trappers Association.

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