School Days: Working His Way Up to the Big Ones

Joshua P. Johnson, 12, Rhinelander, Wis.

Wisconsin boy is becoming a good beaver trapper and aims to tan a trophy catch this year

My name is Joshua Johnson and I am 12 years old. I have been trapping for five years.

It all started when I went trapping with my grandpa. It looked like fun so I thought I would give it a try. My uncle gave me a small trap for Christmas. It was a start.

The first year I started trapping, I tried to catch a weasel, but I did not get anything. That summer, my dad gave me the idea of trapping gophers so that I could get some experience trapping. Over the next couple of years, I trapped some weasels and tried for some larger animals like fishers or some canines. I didn’t have much success with the canines.

Earlier this season, I trapped a muskrat and a few more weasels. That is all I caught until April. That is when I trapped my first 29-pound beaver. I took it to my grandpa and he helped me skin it so that I would know how to do the next one. The next day, I trapped a 42-pound beaver that I skinned out and put on the board by myself. I cannot wait to do the next one that I catch.

I hope to catch a really big beaver this year or next year. I will get that big one tanned. For now, I am working on catching the small ones first and working my way up to the big ones.

“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.

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