School Days: Trapping the Barn Bandit

David R. Byler, 11, Seymour, Mo.

Uncle calls on boy’s trapping skills to rid his farm of a cat-food-stealing raccoon

On Feb. 5, 2012, my uncle called me and said, “David, I was wondering if you would like to set your trap over in my barn because there is a ’coon that is eating the cat food.”

I said I would!

That night, I went over and set my live trap. I used marshmallows for bait.

The next day, there wasn’t anything in it. The day after that, there was a cat in it. By the next Sunday, all I had caught were a few cats. On Monday the 13th, I caught an opossum. On Thursday evening, I stuck a few more marshmallows in the trap.

On the morning of Friday the 17th, my uncle called and said, “David, what shall I do with you? You just caught a big ’coon!”

“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 photo 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; or email submissions to

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