The Inhumane and Unwise Trapper

January 9, 2016:
By Blake Alma, 

When you first become a trapper, you might think you can just walk out into the woods with a trap and some bait to get some furbearers. Unfortunately, it is a lot harder than just that. It requires knowledge and patience. We more experienced trappers have begun this way, well at least I did.

When I first began learning the art of trapping, I started off with the live cage and then the foothold trap. I remember when I caught my first opossum with a coilspring foothold trap. I caught it with our left over chicken nuggets from dinner. I place the bait right in front of the foothold trap. I didn’t know anything about different foothold sets, I just baited it. That is all I did! I look back and I’m only shocked to remember that is all I did trap an opossum. I just think and laugh, I find it funny, that I was so dumb and I still got an opossum. Ah, the memories of trapping, for you will never forget them. However, that is not all the story!

Trapping should be done as humane as possible, well I learned that the very hard way! That very opossum that was in my foothold trap, was very inhumanly treated. I left it in the trap for days and days. Yes, stupid ol’ me. You always learn from your trapping mistakes. I didn’t have time to skin it, so I just left it there until I had time. However, I never did get to skin it. When it comes to furbearers, it is survival of the smartest. That is how God created animals, for some are smarter than others. Coyotes are smarter than most, opossums are normally dumb, well besides this opossum. This opossum was smart! After the many days of me leaving in that trap, and found some time to skin him up.

I approached the trap only shocked to see him gone! I got closer to the foothold and notice that his foot was still in the trap. He had chewed it off! Well, I saw why they called a foothold trap a foothold trap then… Yea, I know why not leave an animal in a trap for a few days. Not only is it inhumane, it is now illegal! Every 24 hours you must check your traps and dispatch of your catches!!! The animal’s foot became so numb, that he was probably able to chew off his foot painlessly, but now he will always have one missing foot. He would be limping around for the rest of his life. Now that is inhumane. I only hoped to re-trap it and put it out of is misery. I never did re-trap it, but I did sure learn from my mistakes. Being inhumane and unwise while trapping are the worst mistakes you will make as a trapper. I encourage you to learn from my mistakes, so that you might learn the trapper’s art. Never be inhumane while trapping or else you will be as unwise as me. Always be ready to learn from your trapping mistakes, for you will become a better trapper than ever before!