This page is intended for young trappers and kids interested in trapping. The attached link will lead you to a web page designed for your use and enjoyment.
The initial pictures and articles shown here are all from a project we did in 2001. Since this is a new project we hope you will share your pictures and stories here. If you would like to post your story or trapping related pictures here you may do so with permission and consent of your parents or guardian, who may make arrangements via the Contact NHTA link.
One of our younger trapping members Ethan Yazinski is shown here with some pictures taken during this, the third year of his trapping experience. Ethan is shown with his first otter taken this year in a small stream near the Connecticut River. The second picture shows a female fisher caught in a 220 conibear trap with a leaning pole set utilizing beaver meat for bait. Ethan did well with the beaver this year and saved a good supply of meat for bait to utilize during the December fisher season
Kids On The Trapline
I especially enjoy taking young folks on the trapline who have an interest in trapping or a desire to become a trapper. Such kids are always ardent in their desire to help out and participate in the activity at hand. Usually there are ample tasks to share. Kids crave the opportunity to wear the pack basket, to haul out the catch, to skip back to the truck and retrieve some item now needed. The continuous interrogatory, from a kid so full of enthusiasm and full of the desire for information will challenge most trappers. More than once this old trapper has had to remove his hat and scratch a head where hair no longer grows. Kids leave no rock unturned, they have a need to know about everything, and they will question why, about everything they see the trapper do. The constant observation and questioning by a kid can greatly enhance the trapper’s skills. It’s like having a personal critic along only they are not judgmental. The stimulus from the kid’s sincere inquiry forces the trapper to review the reason why he uses that particular method or technique. Sometimes it may bring to the forefront an alternate and perhaps better way of doing things. Truthfully, it sometimes alerts that you have become tire, lazy, or sloppy and are not fully utilizing the best techniques, which you know. Kids spend a lot of time schoolteachers who are experts in their field of training. Kids naturally continue in their student mode while on the trapline. Kids are open-minded and desire that you share your knowledge. Kids may well expect that you are an expert on everything in the outdoors including the plants, trees, rocks, animals, fish, insects, and weather. Kids take everything the trapper says as the last word in science and an absolute fact. We need to be careful with this trust. No teacher or mentor has all the answers. Please don’t shun the question as if it were silly or insignificant, and more important still, don’t string out a line of BS to cover an awkward situation. More than once I have had to do my homework and get back with the correct information to the question asked in a casual manner while working the trapline. There are times when it is more appropriate for the trapper to search the information, such as when it is buried in a stack of old trapping magazines, or perhaps in some specific trapping manual but I remember not which one. However don’t pass up an opportunity to send the inquisitive youth on a search for information available in school libraries or at some kid safe Internet location. You can find such useful and safe internet sources on the Youth Trapper page of the New Hampshire Trappers Association website at http://www.nhtassoc.org/ Have the kid get back to you with answers and explanations which will benefit you both. This constant request for information keeps the trapper sharp and provides an additional level of satisfaction for the time well spent.
Ashton Cherry with a muskrat, otter, and a beaver from one of his days along on the trapline.
Two of the boys who were along for quite a bit of trapping during recent past seasons were Ashton Cherry of Dover and Bryan Tasker of Strafford. Ashton would often go along on Sundays during November and December. Ashton has helped catch beaver, otter, muskrat, raccoon, fox, coyote, and fisher. My most memorable vision of Ashton is watching him haul out and load beaver in the back of the truck. Often times the beaver outweighed nine-year-old Ashton and his methods utilized to get them in the truck could be quite comical.
Fourteen-year-old Bryan Tasker got quite involved in the trapline once deer hunting season was over. Bryan was along for considerable trapping experiences including catches of coyote, fox, beaver, fisher, weasel, raccoon, and a bobcat that was released unharmed. Bryan was along for the catch of several New York weasels a lesser species in New Hampshire, which differs from the common long tailed and short tailed weasels that turn white in winter whereas the NY weasel stays Brown all year around. Bryan was also along for the catch of a red phase coyote, this one appearing almost blonde.
Bryan Tasker with a red phase coyote caught on Mel Liston’s trapline
I always seem to catch more critters when the kids are along and I certainly do have more fun. More trappers need to find the time and inclination to work a kid into their trapline activities. Contemplate that feeling you get when a season’s catch is hanging and you know more than anyone else what it took to get it there. Now consider the time spent with a young trapper and the years you will have to witness his or her growth. Consider the satisfaction you will receive for playing such a small but important part when helping a kid to experience trapping.