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My First Furbearer


Steve Timmons

     This memory came from the attempts, when I was a little kid, of trying to catch rabbits in a cardboard box, by pulling a string when they stepped inside.  Naturally this never worked, and my trapping dreams ebbed because no one in my family was involved in this sport and I was a city kid. Movies like Jeremiah Johnson got me thinking about trapping whenever I would see them; I loved every minute of that timeless classic.
     Finally I moved out into the country with my parents when I was 14 years old.  This got me back to the trapping idea.  I wandered around the area where my home was, a five-acre lot, and hunting rabbits every chance I got.  A year down the road, an employee of my Stepfathers, I learned trapped animals!  I talked to him every chance I got and finally after my parents talking to him some were convinced that I could do this safely on my own.
     My first traps I ordered were two Duke 1.5 coilsprings, which I had purchased from the Snare Shop.  I ran to the creek the day after getting my first license and set only one of these traps.  I lured it with Mojo Coon lure, and the set was just a simple pocket set, that looked if I can recall, rather bad, being it was the first set I had ever created.
It is really amazing to look back on that day, and to remember it so vividly.  I remember it was raining and the creek had came up about a foot.  I was wandering as I walked if my knee-high rubber boots would be enough.  They were.  During the next few days, my set got robbed several times and finally one day I rounded the bend and saw a fur ball just lying there beside my set!  I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  My first thought was that it had to be a beaver, because well you really couldn’t tell lol.  I raised my pellet rifle and shot it in the head from about 15 yards.  The ricochet flew by me hitting the trees!  I was leery to get very close so I walked to about 5 yards and squatted beside it and pulled the trigger a second time.  This was much more effective sending it into spasms.  I didn’t want to just stand there and watch this all happening so I put my foot on its head sending it under water and after a little while it was dispatched!  My first coon! I was walking all the way back to my house on cloud 9!  I took some pictures and then placed it in a bag and froze him.  The employee that told me of trapping later showed me how to skin raccoons and got me re-interested in this great sport.
       Another thing that was nice to recall is how my first trapping days were done with such limited experience and few tools of the trade.  I have since then accumulated many traps, including snares, footholds, and conibears.  It is odd how things come with time and experience.  I used to be so excited to catch an animal, and now it seems almost as if it has become an obsession.  As soon as I get home from school I run out to my truck .22 in hand and drive off to check and set traps.
      It was fun recalling this from my trapping file in the back of my head somewhere.  Hopefully I will have something in one of my traps tomorrow.  I would like to wish you a Good day and God Bless.