By: Owen Trumbull
Scared of your cat, dog, or any fluffy outdoor pet you have being eaten by a predator? Trapping may be the activity for you. Trapping is a very fun yet time-consuming sport that not only allows you to make money (price varies depending on condition of fur and type of fur), but control the predator population as well.
Recently, The Squire “caught” up with local Scandian, Eisenhower alumni, Paul Swanson. Paul Swanson is a veteran in the world of trapping and has encountered several different scenarios on the trap line. A trap line is the series of traps that one sets and consistently maintains during the trapping season. When Mr. Swanson shared some details about his own trap line, we found it varies depending on the animal being trapped. Paul said, “When trapping for canines (foxes and coyotes), I set my traps on logging roads, tree lines, edges of fields, and where ever food sources are located.” These areas are where you will have your most success with catching animals due to the fact that the predator’s prey also travels here.
Foxes and coyotes are not the only types of killers that can be trapped in the great outdoors. Bobcats and raccoons are also notable predators in the woods of western Pennsylvania. To obtain the pelt of a bobcat or raccoon you must set your traps in different locations. Although foxes and raccoons are slightly less difficult to trap, they can still be found in the following locations, which include, according to Paul, “…ditches, river banks, and, just the same as coyotes and foxes, by food sources.” If you happen to see activity of raccoons or bobcats in other areas, then set your traps there as well.
You may think that the animals listed above are the only things you can catch, but, on the contrary, you will find that there are several different varieties. Paul enjoyed telling us about what all he has caught beside raccoons, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes, which included, “Opossums, skunks, weasels, muskrats, and minks.” A wide variety of animals are common to catch in the great Warren outdoors.
Are you an upcoming trapper wanting to gain more knowledge about the sport? Paul has some advice for you. He shared, “Don’t get discouraged if you’re not catching anything. You can’t catch what isn’t there. The more steel you get in the ground, the better your odds are. Lastly, find property and ask for permission to trap on it.” The Squire wishes all those trappers out there the best of luck this season.