School Days: Iowa Boy Runs Trapline With Grandpa

10 School DaysFW

Hunter Kalter, 13, Iowa

The duo sets traps for muskrats, beavers,
coyotes, foxes, raccoons, mink and otters


My name is Hunter Kalter. I am 13 years old, and this is my third year of trapping.

My grandpa and I managed to catch a pair of coyotes, five raccoons and six muskrats within the first week of the season. The muskrats were caught in a farmer’s stream. The first four ’coons were caught in different trail sets. The fifth raccoon was caught in a #1 trap right below a small dam.

The coyotes were caught two nights after the first raccoon. They were caught in a farmer’s field a mile away from our house. After they were dispatched and skinned, they sold for $132.33.

We trap in a 5-mile radius from my grandpa’s trapping shed due to the stroke my grandpa suffered nine years ago. The stroke really affected his mobility and makes it hard to trap. He stills goes out every morning to teach me how to trap though.

I have been watching my grandpa trap since I was 6 years old. Once I was 10 years old, I was able to start trapping as long as I was able to maintain A’s and B’s in all of my classes. Since then, I have been catching most of what we catch in our season.

Our schedule is very proactive — from about 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., we check and set traps as well as eat at lunch at our favorite little diner — The Little House. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. or later, we skin, flesh and stretch.

We catch muskrats, beavers, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and mink. We are currently working on catching an otter. It would be the first for my grandpa and I.

I have learned many things from my grandpa. I have learned how to set cubby hole sets, coyote land sets and drowner sets. Our main traps are the 2×20, 1×10 and 3×30. These are square traps that automatically kill the animal that steps through them. My grandpa has taught me to respect not only the animals that we trap but the land as well.

“School Days” is sponsored by Duke Traps and the Wisconsin Trappers Association. Winners receive six traps, a Wisconsin Cooperative Trapper Education video, an NTA handbook and a membership to their state’s trappers association. To be considered, send a 300- to 500-word story and high-quality photo of the trapper to School Days, Trapper & Predator Caller, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990; or email the story and photo to Please make sure to include the trapper’s name, age and address.

TR_20141001.pdfThis column appeared in the October 2014 Trapper & Predator Caller issue.

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