Without fail, come early September I start getting the itch to work my trapline. Trapping is better than Christmas for an old guy like me but I seem to be the only one in my house who feels that way.
So instead of rambling on, telling stories of seasons past to my beautiful wife, I’ve turned to a more productive use of my time when that old trapping feeling hits.
I get going on preparing myself, and my gear, for the season ahead. The great thing about this goes beyond saving my wife from listening to me pine away about four legged critters, it always leads to a bigger harvest and more fun working the line.
If you are wondering what to do with yourself when the fur isn’t flying yet then read on for what you can do to prepare yourself for a great upcoming season.
How to Secure More Trapping Territory
One of the most productive things you can do before the season hits is securing more territory for your trapline. No matter if you only trapped public lands or already have a couple permissions in place, getting more land to cover is never a bad thing.
Many young trappers I talk to dread getting out there and pursuing new territory. Most feel uncomfortable going up to strangers and asking to trap their land. And there is only one way to get over this unnecessary fear, get out there and do it.
Either pull out a topo map or drive around and look for places you can ask for permission. Write down the addresses and go back home. Look over your options and decide which locations fit your trapline and furbearing targets best.
Pick a day or two to go and ask for those permissions. While this isn’t a job interview with a fortune 500 company, you do want to be presentable. When asking for permissions you don’t want to give off any Deliverance vibes. Great tune, bad look.
Don’t go knocking on doors during meal time or late in the evening. When you ask for a permission introduce yourself and be straightforward. People respect people who respect them. Don’t be pushy or salesy. Let them know exactly what you would like to trap and the exact time period you would like to do so.
A lot of farmers will be leery of having a trapper on their land for a whole season, so the first time around just ask for a week. You will get a lot more yeses that way.
No matter if you get a permission or told to kick rocks be polite and thank them for their time. It’s the right thing to do and you just may get that permission sometime in the future.
When you do get a yes, be sure to ask if it is alright to stop by before the season starts to look for your set locations. And be sure to only trap where you have been given the ok.
Get Your Traps and Gear Tuned
You won’t be catching many furs if your gear isn’t up to snuff. A lot of trappers think that they can get their gear ready the night before opening day, but that is a big mistake.
You will want to start checking out your traps and other gear at least a couple weeks before the season begins to allow time for tuning and repair.
I’ve never had a year go by where tuning wasn’t required. For details on tuning traps read my write up on it.
Doing this ahead of time will save you time and money. Repairing traps will prevent you from having to make last minute purchases and will prevent any missed opportunities on the trapline.
Take care to check your waders, clothing, and boat if you use one. Gremlins tend to find their way into a trappers gear and having the time to address it before the season begins will save you from having a disastrous year.
If this doesn’t get you in the mood for trapping season I don’t know what will. Now I didn’t mention preseason scouting in this write up since that’s a subject for another time, but you should also be setting time aside for doing a thorough scouting. Between getting new area and tuning your gear it will opening day in no time. Which will make both me and my wife happy.
For more trapping tips check out these articles