Recently, English Mountain Lures had the distinct privilege of finally being listed in a major trapping supply retailer. It has taken three years of constant emails and networking to get to this point. Its something I am extremely proud of.
Last week, on a private Facebook message someone asked me why I spent so much money and time on lure ingredients, containers and labels only to hand write my product names on the labels.
Well, this is the way I look at it. All of our products are hand made in small batches to ensure freshness and product consistency. Each container is filled and labeled by hand and the name written on the label as a testament to our quality control and obsession with making the best dog proof bait and lure for trappers across the United State. I hope you agree with my reasoning and like I told the person sending the message, I hope you choose to buy our products and try them on your trapping line. Thank you to those that have made the 2018-2019 trapping season a great one. English Mountain Lures looks forward to serving you for many years to come.
What is the meaning of trapping to you? For some its simply a sport that rivals that of deer hunting and fishing. Others is a tradition that has been passed down from generations that have come before you. Things that your grandfather has taught you about his experiences on the trap line. Walking that line with your son or daughter, just like you did with your dad many years ago. To some its feel of the crisp fall air as you drive to the trap line, that steaming cup of coffee in the console. Its like Christmas at every trapping location. What will this one hold? Will I finally get the animal that I have tried so hard to outsmart?
Trapping can mean so many things to different people. For me, trapping is a form of recreation. You see, when I moved to Tennessee from Alabama I was a huge deer hunter. Up every morning of season before daylight to sit in a tree stand and freeze my rear end off. The first year in Tennessee I hunted hard. And saw no deer. The next year I hunted harder. And saw no deer. Come to find out the population of deer in East TN and Alabama is vastly different. I needed something to do outdoors and hunting wasn’t gonna cut it anymore. Enter trapping. It afforded me the opportunity to get outside and not freeze my butt of near as much. As I progressed in my trapping journey I found that I could make extra money by selling fur to fur buyers, selling the by products of the animals like meat and glands to other trappers, as well as making my own baits and lures for those that use dog proof traps.
I took a brief survey on our Facebook group page (The Dog Proof Trapper) and here are some of the replies. Among the responses was predator control, ensuring that the tradition continues through the ages, spending time with my family, enjoying time in the woods and for the sport. The one that struck me every time was “its in my blood”. How often do you hear that anymore? We get so busy with the journey of life that we forget whats really important. Most of the population just exists now a days. They don’t LIVE.
How are you living your life? Do you make time for pure enjoyment anymore. Maybe that is something to consider. Have a great week and get out and enjoy what God has given you.
Guys just an update to let everyone know that we now have a You Tube page. On there you can find videos and other content that will help you with your trapping needs. In addition, there are links to other You Tube sites that will help you. The site link is listed below.
Good morning guys. Here’s a great idea that I came across this week that has made my trap line a whole lot easier. Using a tool belt keeps everything at your fingertips and keeps you from going back and forth to the truck.
Well guys trapping season is a mere weeks away and I decided to get started early by targeting some beaver for a farmer here in the area. Now these particular rodents are tearing up the mans corn fields. To the point that he is losing acres in row crop. Since beaver can be trapped year round in TN, I got started with snaring on the creek bank in the runs that border the corn.
The first check day revealed a huge 65 pound beaver with all other snares being knocked down. I honestly couldn’t understand why I was getting all the knock downs in the runs. On the reset, I opened the snares to a 10 inch loop at 2 inches off the ground, thinking maybe the snares were too small for such large beaver. The next days check found two more 65 pounders in the snares! One was a perfect neck catch while the other was by the back foot.
The farmer was ecstatic with the catches and asked that I continue trapping on his other farms. To say this was a successful week is an understatement! Tight chains and take a kid trapping!
T-Shirt are available now in time for Christmas! We are no longer using Tee Spring and have a vendor that does our shirts custom for us!
Join the dog proof revolution! Choose S-XXXL. These are custom made t-shirts of the highest quality. They have a design on the front and back and three colors. Show your DP pride!
S-XL Short Sleeve 27.00
XXL-XXXL- Short Sleeve 32.00
Comes in white or grey.
With the low prices that are on the horizon at our fur sales this year, some of us trappers are pondering was to do with our catches and how to make up the difference in the prices we might be paid at auction. Currently prices are dismal and probably wont get any better until long after the change of guard in Washington. There are several ways to make significantly more by keeping your fur this year and putting a little more work into a finished product. This includes self tanning, selling to taxidermist and others, craft projects, selling meat, skulls and skeletons.
Once you finish fleshing those raccoons, fox and coyotes, take a minute to go over them again and get ready to enter the world of self tanning. Tanning has come to be known as an difficult process when if fact it is more time consuming than anything else. There are tons of ways to tan from using salt, alum, brains and commercial tanning solutions. I prefer to use the salt method, which involves soaking your pelts in salt water for several days followed by layers of salt to pull out the moisture. Being that you can buy a 50 lb bag of salt for $4.00 at Tractor Supply, this is not a huge cost investment. While you are there, go to the equine section and pick up a bottle of neatsfoot oil to finish your tanning process and you are good to go. The process can be done in about a week not including time to stretch and soften your pelt. Once you are done, you can either sell as is or smoke your pelts for a rich, golden color on the underside. I use a old smoker for this purpose and find that the propane burner makes for easy temperature control and even smoking of your tanning project.
Once you get done tanning your furs you can begin marketing your products via the internet on E-bay and other trapping and taxidermy websites. Taxidermist are always looking for suppliers of quality furs as well as those that know how to tan and prepare fresh pelts. Remember that the way a taxidermist wants a pelt cased is very different that what auction houses want. They are looking for intact feet with claws and pads included in the skinning. Also most prefer a non cased pelt unless they are sending it off to have it tanned themselves. In addition to taxidermist and fur lovers that want your finished pelts, you may find a good market on the Native American pow-wow circuit. In my past life, I created Native American jewelry and attended pow-wows in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. The vendors at these events have a special group that they market to and fur is a needed commodity when it comes to making regalia, crafts and ceremonial items. The coyote, for instance, is one of the most revered and cherished animals in the Native American world and many will pay a hefty price for a well tanned and smoked pelt to make into a head dress.
If you are not familiar with the pow wow circuit or you are not near one don’t let that stop you. Design your own crafts and sell on Ebay, Etsy or other online shops. This can be as simple as stretching a raccoon pelt with leather thong on a framework of saplings tied together into a square. Many will pay for this unique item to hang in their mountain cabin or vacation home. This can be done with beaver, deer, coyote, fox or any other medium to large fur bearer. Keep them plain for a mountain man theme or tie feathers and beads on for a more Native American creation. You can also make money on coon skin caps, fur possibles bags, peace pipe bags and anything you can imagine. Fur is a powerful item that people just love to feel and spend money on.
Other ideas include the selling of meat, not only for human consumption (if legal in your state) or to other trappers for the making of various baits. Raccoon is very popular in the southern states around the holidays and makes an excellent meal. The bobcat that you skinned out can be taken and the meat ground for predator bait bases. This also includes the selling of glands to trappers as well. A gallon of coon glands go for well over $40 and all it involves is an extra 5 minutes while skinning to cut the vent and section of the intestine out and throw in a jug in the freezer. Before you throw the carcass away, take off the head with a saw and throw it in the freezer as well. Lot of people are looking for skulls and skeletons, either with the meat on or cleaned by dermastid beetles. A meat-on skull will sell from $1 to $5 depending on the animal. Simply freeze and then advertise on taxidermy or trapping websites to get customers. You can wrap them securely in plastic and newspaper and ship overnight or next day without the danger or thawing. Another idea is to get you a colony of beetles that will strip and eat the meat off the skull in a matter of days and you have a product that some will pay upwards of $10 to $50 for especially if it is whitened with peroxide and have the teeth intact or glued into place. Last but not least, remove the penis bones from raccoons for a Appalachian novelty that sells well in my home state of TN. Legend has it that this “Tennessee Toothpick” was used as stoppers on moon shine stills when the whiskey was flowing into bottles too fast. These can be sold for $5 in various markets.
There are many ideas that today’s trapper can use to make money and continue to enjoy the traditions of the trap line. The fur market will not always be as low as it has been but its nice to have some ways to fall back on and still make a profit from something we all dearly love. Whether its the feel of fur under our hands or the cool morning air as well walk our trapline, no matter the pay, this is all worth it.