Today is the opening day of trapping season in western Montana and for trappers it’s as exciting as opening day of general season. While there are differences between trappers, hunters and anglers, there are far more similarities than you might think.
Freshly chewed sticks and huts made of grass strewn about in marshes plentiful with alders and waist-deep water may just be an obstacle for the average hunter to get to a favorite location. For trappers it’s like a fresh buck scrape under a deer hunters tree stand!
Trappers are a solitary breed, more because of a desire for getting in touch with nature alone than necessity. We trappers enjoy the pursuit of wildlife and wild places just as our fellow hunters and anglers but we choose to outsmart our quarry with traps instead of bullets, arrows and hooks.
Whether you’re a hunter, angler or trapper we all share similar experiences:
• We spend a great deal of time pre-season scouting and studying the habitat of our preferred species.
• We have to knock on doors to gain access to private land and we must endure other trappers in the field who got to our trapping location before us.
• We carry our favorite scents and baits and occasionally get strange looks from the non-hunter/angler/trapper.
• We spend hour’s fine tuning our gear.
• We get frustrated when after two weeks our efforts have yielded nothing but a fuel bill.
• We relish our successes when we finally connect.
• We get up early and go all day, sometimes all night too.
• We get cold feet and frozen fingers.
• We spend all year thinking about opening day.
• We share our experiences in the field with like minded friends (or strangers)
• We love being outside and don’t really care if we don’t catch something every day.
• We recognize the importance of our outdoor heritage.
Hunter’s trappers and anglers share much in common and we must also remember to share the woods we have all been blessed with. While you‘re out enjoying your time in the autumn weather this hunting season, remember the trappers who are out there enjoying it in their own way.
Give a shout out if you can relate!
For more information about trapping visit the Montana Trappers Association website at www.montanatrappers.org or visit us on facebook.