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Ignite the passion for the


Dear Woods-N-Water News:

Both of my Granddads trapped as young men, mostly to supplement the lean income during the depression. Their stories and accounts of running a trap line fueled my young mind, and I couldn't wait to follow in their footsteps. I really don't remember the age I started trapping, but I do remember that Granddad gave me six #1 Victor long-spring traps to start with. I wasn't strong enough to depress the springs myself so my Dad would set them at home and wedge a piece of wood under the pans and I would load them onto a sled and pull them about a half a mile to a small creek that flowed behind our house. I would try to determine the best locations for my "sets." I think I caught my first "rat" by accident rather than any skill.

By the end of the first season I had caught three rats and one possum. I skinned and stretched my prizes (with much help and guidance from my Granddad) and sold them to a fur buyer that ran a junk yard in Homer. In following years I learned more about my craft by trial and mostly error. I still remember the thrill of my first coon and mink catches, and the sleepless nights waiting for daylight so I could run my line and see what I had caught. After mastering water trapping I decided to try my hand at dry land trapping. With the help of books and guidance from Granddad I was soon catching red and gray fox along with coon (no coyotes in those days). I still remember the anticipation of checking traps and the sights and smells of a rat marsh. I thought I would never quit trapping but lower fur prices and a new found passion, deer hunting slowly replaced the trap line.

To this day almost 50 years later when I see rat houses in a marsh or see a fox cross the road my mind goes back to those great times spent on the trap line. I wish more kids could have the experiences I had and I would hope that if you know a young person you will try to ignite the passion for that still burns inside of all sportsmen.

Sincerely

Steve Bradley


June 01, 2011

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