Trapping’s a great excuse to get outside

It’s trapping season. Most of the furbearing animals have their prime pelts now, will have them very soon, or are just coming out of prime. Trapping can be a great hobby, and it can also be a way to make a little extra money.

If you’re looking for another excuse to get outside, maybe you should try trapping. If you like hunting, trapping can be just as enjoyable. It gets you outside regularly, and you can even make a few bucks if you do it right.

It’s not a get-rich-quick activity, though. There’s a lot of work involved in trapping. But most of that work happens out in the wild lands, so it seems more like fun than labor.

Before I get too far, I need to point out that trapping is a skill best learned with some help. If you haven’t done it before, find someone who has, and ask them to teach you how to do it right. There are a whole set of rules specific to trapping, and some of them can be easily overlooked by a first-timer.

There are also a lot of tricks and techniques experienced trappers have learned through trial and error. If you have the chance, learn from others’ mistakes instead of making them yourself.

There are quite a few ways to trap. You can use leg-hold traps, but keep in mind they have to be checked every 72 hours or more often.

Body-grip traps are another option, but you have to really know what you’re doing if you use them. If you catch an animal you don’t intend to trap with a body-grip trap, you can’t release it, because body-grips kill the animal immediately.

You can also use snares. Snares are easier to pack, and they can be easier to hide than traps. There isn’t a time requirement to check snares, but for any trap or snare, an ethical trapper will check them on a regular basis.

And there’s your excuse to get outside more often. Set up a trapline, then get out and check it every other day, or even daily. Find yourself a trapping mentor, get some traps or snares, then head for the hills.

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