Trapping Lessons Learned The Hard Way

Lessons learned the hard way
Empty Catch Circle Because I Forgot Enough Anchors

What trapping lessons have you learned the hard way? How do you overcome these mistakes and get better at trapping fur bearers? Trapping can be considered a lot like dating. You make a lot of mistakes before you figure out what you are doing. If you sit back and think, you are sure to come up with several lessons learned throughout your trap line adventures each season. Just like with anything in life, these lessons make us better at what we do. Mistakes will happen. Its how you react and adapt to them that proves you to be a good trapper. Here are my ultimate trapping lessons learned the hard way.

More is Better!

In other words always carry more stuff than what you think you will need. For instance, how many times have I been out trapping and needed one more trap or cable? I now try to plan my line beforehand but always add a few more traps and supplies such as cables, stakes, or quick links.I seem to find the perfect spot for a trap on my way out of the woods every time. Now I go prepared. You can get great supplies at

Trapping Season Goals!

I always seem to over think and make huge promises to myself and others of my season catch numbers. Do this and you are setting yourself up for failure. Trying to get to a certain number of animals puts too much pressure on a man. Then you can’t enjoy the experience of trapping. Now some people will say otherwise and that having a number in mind helps you plan finances and whatnot, but it brings me nothing but stress. But I am a hobby trapper and do it for the enjoyment.

If you trap fur to support your family and do this as a full time job, its a bit different. My passion and income is in lure and bait making and the trapping is just a plus. I prefer to just get out and trap, throw the furs in the freezer and count it all at the end of the season. Last year, I did this with my beaver pelts and was pleasantly surprised at the number and the fur check when all was said and done. To see some of that years beaver catch and learn about our baits and lures for raccoon trapping go to

Enjoy the Process!

How many times have I sat on the front porch, watching the rain come down in sheets and knowing I needed to get out and do the 24 hour checks that are law here in Tennessee? Or have I been up half the night skinning while my family slept in their warm beds? Trapping requires commitment and dedication. The easiest part is putting in your trapline. Then comes the days of trap checks and hoping for whats just around the next bend in the road. Sometimes you are surprised and happy to see whats there and other times there is disappointment at an empty or sprung trap. My point is you have to enjoy what you are doing, no matter the weather, time of day or results of the trap line.

For me, trapping is a lot more exciting than deer hunting, which was once my passion back home in Alabama. Now sitting still for hours in a tree stand often times ranks up there with a tooth pulling. As we work thru this spring of quarantine and social distancing we have learned just how important getting out and enjoying the outdoors with friends and family is. Never disregard time with them and time in nature. Enjoy the processes of trapping, even the bad times.

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