Many people have never considered the side of trapping that includes social interaction, competition, campfires and food.
Throw in a dash of bargain sales and a few thousand people spending money and watching demonstrations about everything pertaining to the their craft and it sounds more like a home show than a gathering of people with a preference for outdoor places.
Camp trailers are packed in with tents as trappers and their families get ready for days of non-stop trapping fun.
At the National Trappers Rendezvous in Hamburg, NY the days events begin at 8:00 am and roll on into the night for four days Straight. Trap setting contests, food, drink and furs keep trappers busy when they aren’t watching a demonstration about fur handling or trapping. A huge screen Captures the details of the demonstration real-time as a videographer follows every move with a video camera. Audience members surrounding the presenter from packed bleachers ask questions and get answers.
Premier magazines make their presence known with huge flashy booth spaces nestled in between trap supply dealers, firearm salesmen and sportsmen’s groups. Petitions are signed for issues important to attendants as loud speakers announce the next event in the schedule.
Though it’s a long way from 1840 when huge fur trading companies sent groups of traders deep into the wilderness on horseback to meet burly mountain men, the tradition of trappers coming together to compete, learn, trade and maybe even get a little rowdy is still carried out in a different state every year.
This year it’s Hamburg, New York and next year it will be Kalamazoo, Michigan. Last year it was Escanaba, Michigan.
No matter where it is there will be furs hanging and trappers sharing our love of the outdoors. I’m so glad I was there. And I can’t wait to do it again.