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Mid America Buckskinners Info Page
Stories

Trapping (Part II)


Missouri Iowa Nebraska Kansas
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No, it's not skinning bucks............ Developed and maintained by JP Finn





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As the iced cracked, I had a flash of what I had done wrong.
I have been cursed in this way most of my life. The second after the point of no return comes the realization of what I had started. From that point on, there are no surprises. I know exactly what will happen to the smallest detail. And I am never wrong. Why that point can't come before the event, I can never figure out.
Back in the mountains, back in the olden days, when the world was new, and I was young, I had gone out to smoke traps for the Wolf and Mountain Lion Trapline. There was a small creek across the road from the mining camp where we lived. I had made a camp spot on the creek the summer before. The smoke from the fire wouldn't bother anyone, and there was a supply of cut firewood stacked next to the lean-to I had built during my fishing expeditions.
I had been told that campfires belonged in camps after the Burn Barrel Bonfire of '62. The fireman was very clear in his explanation of the end result of his next trip out to our house. I believed him.
The Wolf and Mountain Lion Trapline seemed to be having a minor problem. Civet Cats liked it. I had yet to lure a wolf or mountain lion into a trap. When running a Wolf and Mountain Lion Trapline, it helps to catch wolves and mountain lions. Anything less was a disappointment. The smell seemed to distract the girls that I was trying to impress, also.
I had read everything I could find on trapping wolves and mountain lions. I had talked to everyone I could find that had ever heard of Wolves or Mountain Lions. I got to the point where if they had read Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, I used them for research. It did no good. All I could catch was Civet Cats.
Every trick had been tried. Only the traps themselves could be the problem. They had been dyed and fine tuned. Perhaps the smell was lingering on them from the stupid skunks. I had quit smelling the perfume some time earlier, but wild animals have a much better sense of smell. I decided to boil and smoke the traps in case that was the problem.
At the camp, snow was brushed out of the fire ring and tinder laid. Kindling was split from the stored wood, and the fire soon blazed away. Dumping the traps out of the bucket, I grabbed the hatchet and stepped over to the stream to get water. The pool that I used in the fall had frozen over. Setting the bucket on the ice, I balanced on a rock and chopped a hole in the skim ice. The hatchet was tossed up on the bank out of the way. The bucket went into the hole and back out only half full. Swinging the bucket of water over to the only flat spot in sight, on the ice, I found myself off balance. Thump, went the bucket with me following close behind.
Sure was glad I built the fire, first!

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If you want to plaver, do so. Hey, jp!