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A Kiss of A Lifetime
by Pride Halford

   It was a bright fall morning, and the opening day of trapping season.  I had put a beaver damage control job off untill now, but had to get it done so that I could trap on the rest of the 4500 acres that this landowner controlled.  The beaver had dammed up a drainage ditch and dug a bank lodge under the landowners new road.  This particular dam almost filled the opening under the only bridge that crossed the ditch.  It was 12' wide and 8' tall.  The top of the dam was about 18" from the underside of the bridge and had a very obvious cross-over.  I collected what I needed and crawled under the bridge, from the down-water side, and onto the dam.  My intent was to put a 330 on the top and bottom of the cross-over.  In order to position the trap on the top side of the dam, I laid a beaver stick accross the depression where the beaver were coming out of the water, and crawled out and put my chest on it so that I could reach out and put the trap under water in the channel. After setting the trap and positioning the dive pole, I held the trap in place with one hand and reached back behind me for a stabilizing stick.  Just as I turned back around, something very wet hit me in the mouth.  Not hard, but good and solid.  When my eyes finally focused on what was only 3" from my nose, I saw a huge, dark brown mink, staring at me like he couldn't make his eyes focus.  Within a second, I saw recognition flash accross his face.  He let out a sound that was a cross between a squeek and a bark,  and dove back in the water, setting off my trap, and splashing me in the face.  Darren Davis, the youngster that I am trying to teach to trap, was on the down-water side of the dam during all of this.  He saw my legs thrashing around, heard tha trap go off, and thought that I had gotten caught in the trap and started trying to pull me back down the dam.  When I got down and told him what had happened we had quite the laugh.  Since then, he claims that the mink think I'm sexy, and wants to use my aftershave lotion as mink lure.  Heck, it might work, who knows.  All I really know is that I got the kiss of a lifetime, and would have given a million dollars to have gotten it on film.  A memory that we will both keep for a lifetime.