Boy these Trapping pictures sure bring back some good old memories.
Here is a blast from the past. I bought this book back in 1977 when in highschool... I used to buy some lures from Hawbaker's too.
The papers that you can see sticking out of the pages of the book are my records of catches made during the years of 1978 thru1984. I stopped recording the details after that.
On my 1984-1985 season recordings I noted this...
Got to trap 25 nights that winter and caught 138 Coons, 25 possum, 46 muskrat, 3 mink, 6 beaver and 1 bobcat. Total of 219 critters caught, Total Value at sale 1,783.17.
That was just before we started trapping the duck river and really got good at it, and caught a lot more critters and made a lot more money. 1986, 87 and 88 were very good years, and we made a haul in those years, then it all went south price wise.
TN, sounds like you guys were racking up back then. Lol It's hard to imagine the kind of prices we all were getting back then compared to now. I know a fella that worked at Dupont back then and he would take his 5 weeks vacation every year during trapping season. He said he could make a lot more money trapping than he could working plus had a lot more fun doing it. Lol
Yep... back in the mid to late 80's the fur prices here (even in the south) were very good.
18-24$ for a coon
Best run we ever had we caught 35 coons in a single night on the Duck River. Had a bunch of rats and some other critters too.
It was hard work, and cold work and wet work... I remember my hands and fingers cracking and splitting... but man we loved it.
You got into all kinds of adventures while trapping too...
Here is a old memory I will share with you all.
My partner and I were floating a 12 mile stretch of the Duck River in late December 1987.. when setting traps we would travel down river until we found a good spot (especially like places where a creek or small branch ran into the river) and we would pull our boat over, pull it up on the bank, and we would both get out and set a trap.
We set doubles like that at almost every spot. and often caught 2 coons like that.
But on this morning it was 12 degrees... and the river had been falling level wise... when we stopped and pulled out boat up on the bank.. we both got out and I went up river to set a trap and he went down river a bit... while we were setting out traps the wind blew and our boat shifted and (the bank was mostly ice covered anyway) and our boat slid right down the bank and out into the river. It went way on out there too.
There we were on the bank, and our boat was out in the river... it got into a eddie area... and was circling... it would go down river a bit, then circle back up a bit, then go back down river... each time it went down river, it went down more than it came back up the next time.
I had a hatchet on my side and cut a 30' long poplar tree down and tried to reach the boat with that, but could not.
It kept creeping down river... and we had to do something.
We flipped a coin and I lost. Right there on the bank I took off all of my clothes except my undies, and I swam out into the river and got the boat and brought it back to the bank.
I dried myself off with a long john top, and put the rest of my clothes back on and we got right back to work.
You have not really lived until you have been faced with situations like that and had to deal with them
Trapping was sure an adventure that I will never forget !
Great story TN and you are right about trapping being an adventure. Always expect the unexpected when you're out trapping. I myself have been in a couple of hairy situations out on the river as well. I tell you though the memories are worth it. The older I get, the more fond those memories become. Lol