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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In no way am I disparaging new trappers. We need new trappers, and I sincerely welcome all of you to the sport and to this forum.

BUT....

When I was growing up, back in the dark ages, things were simplier. I lived back in the valley, and spent every free minute I had in the woods. I was lucky in that my dad, uncles, etc were all avid sprotsmen and trappers. I listened- kept my mouth shut and listened- my cousin Mike (my "brother") and I sat for hours listening to the men talk hunting and trapping stories :shock: . And when we finally were old enough to go into the woods and streams- we again listened and learned. It would have never crossed my mind to, lets say, tell my dad or uncles how they were setting a trap wrong or how I would do it. First of all, the success rate they had made me understand they knew what they were doing- and common sense made me understand I didn't! Conclusion- shut up and listen. Ask questions, but listen.

As I go older I got into hounds. When I sat around with the older guys- I listened. When a man bred and finished 4-5 Fd Ch a year- I listened.

I learned to hunt. I learned to trap. I learned hounds.

Was all the advice I was given right? No, certainly not. But when I heard several people that were successful giving the same advice- I listened- and I emulated what they did for success- and guess what, I was sccessful :p .

So welcome new trappers. Our heritage and our love of the sport is open to you. But remember this- trapping isn't learned in a day, or a week or in a decade. Trapping is learned from being out there-day after day, year after year. Studying the animals, testing, thinking, learning. Some of this advice is info that was hard earned. If they are willing to share- well, shut up and listen.

Most older trappers are more than happy to share this advice- but be respectful. Remember that he doesn't "owe" you any of this advice.

I'm off my soapbox now. :wink:
 

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Tolerance Tolerance Tolerance

I started trapping 5 seasons ago - I learned by reading books, watching videos and listening to the experts but I LEARNED the most from my own experience thru trial and error. I have progressed each season and never had any problem catching any species I set out for. I've said it before and this is just my opinion - trapping is 95% common sense and 5% luck. The more experience you have the sharper your common sense will be. Am I an expert - heck no but I reach whatever goals I set for myself and each season I get better at trapping. Personally, I think the greatest problem with someone new to any endeavor is a lack of individual initiative and the desire to take shortcuts in the learning process in order to have some success.

Let me ask you this question... Do you think its possible that a new trapper can actually learn more when he isn't given any advice? I mean if no on gives him advice hes going to have to go out and do it himself - he will learn thru trial and error and more likely than not he will remember the lesson. Sometimes silence is golden and some of the best trappers in the world were self taught with no one to guide them. I also think there are too many experts on trapping forums - so when someone new asks for advice he gets 3-4 opinions that offer 3-4 different methods and now he is 3-4 times more confused than when he started.

I didnt have a father when I grew up (he was always drunk and my parents split early) and rarely got to see my grandfather who was an avid sportsman. You benefitted from having family members that could teach you trapping methods - you are a person who learns from listening. Everyone is different - I dont learn much from listening - most of what I hear and read is bings and bells - I learn by experience. Its the old right side vs. the left side of the brain phenomenon. Im not arguing against people listening - just offering a different perspective from the other side of the fence...

As far as people listening on forums - well you and other well-seasoned trappers are never going to garnish the same level of respect like the one you had for your family members. The internet is a security blanket and smart-a$$ kids and know it all newbies are everywhere.

When one gets frustrated with something its usually a good idea to take a step back - evaluate the situation and than move forward. After reading both of your threads it sounds like that is what you've done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
TMT- In no way am I trying to "fight' with you here- and I agree with much of what you have posted. I would like to however comment on a few things.

"trapping is 95% common sense and 5% luck. The more experience you have the sharper your common sense will be."

Your heart is in the right place and much of trapping is indeed common sense- but in trapping anything more than possums or muskrats a lot of mechanical skills, so to speak, must be mastered. In fact I think that is part of the problem- altough trapping is in many ways an art- skill is vastly underrrated.

Let me tell you of a little trapping trip I once had. My dad, my buddy and me. My buddy and I were both in high school. I had trapped for 7-8 years, my buddy about half that. We went down to the refuge and we all had an equal number of trap tags. My buddy went first and set, I followed him, and my dad went last. We laughed at his sets and locations. Next day- out of 25 traps my buddy had 4-5 rats, I had 9-10 and my dad had 20 some. Experience doesn't pay? We thought we were pretty hot rat trappers- but the old man had been trapping the river all his life.

"Personally, I think the greatest problem with someone new to any endeavor is a lack of individual initiative and the desire to take shortcuts in the learning process in order to have some success."

I agree. The me too, me now culture. Unfortunately, not just the younger generation.

"Let me ask you this question... Do you think its possible that a new trapper can actually learn more when he isn't given any advice?"

Yes and No. In the same time frame or even close to the same time frame- emphatically no. Eventually- maybe, if he perserves. Going out with a good trapper will take years if not decades off of your learning curve. I was largely self taught on land- without ANY videos, books, etc. I made a lot of mistakes and lost a lot of traps.

Another personal example- I am teaching my wife to trap. On land- she caught her first red fox in 3 days after setting a couple of traps- her location, her everything. Could she had done this this quickly, with the proper tools, without personal instruction? Sure- but read the forums- some guys have gone years on the selftaught method without success.

And on water, I consider myself (not bragging, just stating a fact) as good a blind mink trapper with footholds as there is. After 4 decades of stringing the steel, and as a full time "pro" now, I have that right. My wife has been donming waders and following me on every creek setup this year- seeing what I am seeing , seeing where and why (and yes how) I blind set for mink. Sees the location, sees the trap set, and then sees the results. Also sees the mistakes, and the toes (we all get em) and why. Do you think she will be a good minker trapper next season? Do you think she will be getting mink daily? I do. Could she get this same experience from a book? No, not anymore than reading a golf book will make you a pro player..

"I also think there are too many experts on trapping forums - so when someone new asks for advice he gets 3-4 opinions that offer 3-4 different methods and now he is 3-4 times more confused than when he started."

Ahhh- now you have gotten to the crux of the problem. Allow me to change your thought slightly to "too many "experts..." Too many people pretending to be experts. A famous coyote trapper once told me "you read the forum and it sounds like every trapper on there is a coyote expert- and if you come right down to it there isn't a handful of men on that forum capable of taking a 100 yotes a year" (NOTE I SAID CAPABLE OF, NOT TAKES) I agree. So when the coyotemen get into a serious discussion concerning guiding or scent (and Asa, you damn well know what I mean) it is a learning experience for all, making us really think- until the people that have litlte or no experience start posting as experts. If you are new, say it. Nothing wrong with that. If we met in person I would know you are a new trapper in 2 minutes- and thats great- you would walk away a better trapper- I share my "secrets". But when you start blowing smoke, well, I ain't playing that game.

And let me hasten to add that I have seen none of that on this forum- I accuse no one here of that. Thats why I am here. I am pleased with the answers on both of my posts, and would like more thoughts.....t'rex
 

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Trappnman,
Your topic is have the reason that I came to this site.
When someone would ask an off topic question on dogs and care of dogs I would answer and then get told I am a no good for nothing-- (you know what I mean). Now, why post if you don't want someone that has a few years experience reply? I am 36 and have had sled dogs for 36 yrs. That might tell you something--AM I AN EXPERT? NOT AT ALL...... But I have been around the block a time or two.
My signature must say something cause you can't enter the Iditarod until you have done varies stage races for qualifiers. Have I done a little over 1100 miles at one time on a dog sled---NOT AT ALL. But I do have over 1200 miles already this year and its only Jan--still have 2 1/2 months of good snow. This also doesn't make an expert. That is why for the past 5 years, I have been training under a famous Iditarod musher in Alaska. Will that make me a pro--STILL NO WAY.....But I do have big ears and know how to shut up............ John
 

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One thing I have always noted over the years is that my students who had no prior trapping experience always succeeded way better than those who had a few seasons under their belt. It seems that the ones with some experience had learned some bad habits and many had been brainwashed by so called experts that were giving bad advice. I always remember my most successful student, when he took my instruction he didn't know anything whatsoever, and I mean NOTHING! He didn't know any trap company names, didn't know any trap sizes, had never set a trap or even seen one being set. I mean I had to teach him every minute aspect of canine trapping. With no prior bad habits to break, or negative attitude problems resulting from prior brainwashing, he listenrd intently to every thing I said. He was an immediate success at coyotes and fox. Sure, he had to learn from experience, as he went along, better set locations but he did great right from day one. I don't know where or if this even fits into the topic, but it is what come to mind while I was reading the postings. Ace
 

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value in knowledge...and there are many valid sources

I learned most of my trapping skills through trial and error, too. But I also listened a lot, attended every convention and demo that I could (and still do), I read a lot, and I experiement a lot on my own, too. There are many valid sources for acquiring knowledge in this field. Luckily for us in this day and age we are blessed with a multitude of resources. Evidently that was not always the case historically. I count my blessings, and utilize what is before me today. I'll buy a book, rent a video, ask Asa or Rascal a question, and basically any other resource that I can find on the subject to enhance my skills and ethics. I love learning, and am not ashamed to admit that I am not nor ever will be an expert on it.
In same breath, if anyone and especially a youngster poses a question to me on trapping, I will do my best to pass along what I have acquired from these many great resources. The knowledge will be his/hers to do with what they please. I will always try to help out, though.
Jim-NE
 

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I've been a bit busy lately and don't know what put T-man on his "soapbox", but I feel compelled to comment. I don't disagree with the general context of this thread. However, I hope that the new comers, to either trapping or this forum, don't go away with the idea that they should be "seen and not heard" (another old saying from the dark ages). I personally don't mind when someone throws in their two bits. If their logic is flawed the old timers will comment.

I recall to this day when my mentor, from my former life, stood in front an international collection of experts and pronounce "it is easy to project where technology will take us tomorrow but impossible to predict where the next discovery will come from". Think on those words.

Trapping, like most trades is based on a set of skills; one of which is problem solving, maybe the most important one. Who knows which suggestion, thought, or discussion will lead to the idea which solves the problem at hand.

I noticed only two entries in the youth division last month. I would like to see more. I would like to see more posts from both our youth and new comers. I want to hear from them. Maybe the thread that their querry starts will give me the idea that allows me to solve the next problem I run into tomorrow when I run my line.
 

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I'm with you!

Hey Wacky Doc;
I am with you!!! Let's hear from everyone and then maybe I can learn how to catch a possum :)
I was once taught a good lesson by my 2 week old son-- I was changing a diaper (yes we men do that at times) and he peed straight in my face!! Goes to show that a lesson can be learned from the youngest!! He has been telling me about the same thing for the last 28 years but just in a different manner :lol:
 

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I've been contemplating the "they should be "seen and not heard"" comment, and I guess I feel like some of us are being told to do just that. When I post comments as opposed to questions, I'm just attempting to put in an observation or two, sometimes to simply create dialog. I'm in my 5th season, and can relate to many of the concerns and questions the "newer than me" trappers have. It sometimes takes a spur to get answers on a post. I respect, and have listened dilagently to all the on-site training that Rick has so unselfishly offered, and I feel as though I'm oblidged to pass along anything helpful that I feel qualified to offer......If nothing more than observations, (Think Rick would expect that from me)as I totally realize that I am still in my learning curve, and will continue to learn until the line gets hung up for good. If we are limited to responses that only come from "qualified and seasoned" trappers, I might think the dialog would become as much of a skipping record as the question itself. I see many cases where a guy that has a low number of posts is offering solid advise, only to have his or her comments ingnored, only to have an "elder" come in to the post, offer the identical comments, and all of a sudden dialog is created. To each his own, but I think many good threads can come from corespondence between "up-and-commers"......absolutely no disrespect intended here, as the knowledge from seasoned vetrans is unselfushly given, and gratefuly recieved. I just think that if we limit dialog to question from "newbies" and answers only from "Vetrans" and snuff the rest. we would indeed have a very dull forum(s). If it was as simple as that, I would simply read books.......there are plenty available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought I had a good command of the English language, but it appears that I do not.

I am spacing this out in an attempt that my words not be misconstrued.

Look for no hidden meanings, please. None are present.

What you read, is what I meant. If I meant something else, I would say it.

My point, my one and only point, seems impossible to convey to people.

Its almost like I am writing in a exotic tongue.

Mallard- do not take this as an attack, but as the wondering of a confused trapper.

Where did anyone say what you stated : "I've been contemplating the "they should be "seen and not heard"" comment, and I guess I feel like some of us are being told to do just that"

Please, I beg of you- show me where you read that. Show me how you came to that conclusionm. No flaming- but I am curious how you made that leap.

I have carefully reread each post and cannot find that.

or: "I just think that if we limit dialog to question from "newbies" and answers only from "Vetrans"

Nowhere was that said.

what I said was:


IF YOU ARE INEXPERIENCED, THEN DO NOT ACT LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN TRAPPING FOR 100 YEARS.

or to put it another way:

IF YOU DON'T KNOW, THEN DON'T PRETEND YOU DO.

or:

IF YOU DON'T KNOW, THEN LISTEN.

I have emphasied OVER AND OVER that I am in no way discouraging anything from newbies but that.

We can't see each other, so the only way that we "know" each other is through posts. I prefer truth tellers, not liars. And if you have never tried something, have never trapped that animal, and you post a ton of posts portraying your expertise- then my friend, you are a liar. And these are the posts I despise.

and BECAUSE THE LAST TIME I POSTED THIS STATEMENT IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED- I WILL REPEAT IT:


I HAVE NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER SEEN THAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOR HERE.


If you have tried a technique, if you have trapped that animal- you have experience. Of course not as much as a trapper of 50 years, but experience. I welcome your posts and observations.


But my POINT seems to be missed over and over. I cannot believe that these simple declaritive startements can't be taken at face value, as to what I have repeated over and over what I am saying, or trying to say.

Instead their meaning has been reduced to "newbies shut up"

Reread my statements- and read what I actually said, that if you "don't know, shut up and listen."

I did not say, and frankly am getting a little peaved that such words are being attruibuted to me, that "newbies shouldn't offer comments"

I am sure this post will be considered flaming, but it was not meant that way. A lot of the problems on forums I am starting to find out is that people really don't read the posts the way they are actually written, but in the manner reader would like to see.

I do know this- I am starting to think twice before giving out any advice on some forums. I'm tired of, as Bob Wendt says, of "getting kicked in the butt" when doing so. Again to quote Bob Wendt- "in no other profession then this are experienced , big numbers guys ridiculed, challenged and held in contempt like trapping"
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I should add, some very good responses. Again, please do not get offensive concerning my comments.

The problem arrise from basiclly non-trappers posing as experienced trappers.

Not new trappers with honest comments and questions.
 

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T-Man, I indeed have "read-into" your original post. I interpreted your comments, and incorporated these comments into a "forum dialog" mentality. The term which I referenced: "I hope that the new comers, to either trapping or this forum, don't go away with the idea that they should be "seen and not heard" was from Wackyquacker. I guess if anything, the original post you made did not state the intent of the text, and without putting words into your mouth I did indeed relate these comments to the mentality that newbies should be seen not heard as far as forums are concerned, or rather it's Ok to ask, but your opinion is not needed or wanted. IMOHO. I don't know, perhaps I'm a bit sensitive to the topic, but I did indeed feel like there was an underlying message. I will go into the "IQ" thread when I'm done typing. :? I for one do not have a dad, nor anyone that is in my family that hunts or traps. I've done this myself, and was very lucky to have stumbled into Rick, so I've had no opportunity to sit back and listen, aside from my time with Rick. I have expanded my knowledge through communication, weather via literature,Forums, or personal corespondence (You are aware of this, as I have picked your brain several times.......much appreciated by the way) Bottom line is I took your thread, attempted to relate it to a theoretical intent, and then responded. Thank you for double spacing the 2nd message. :) No offence taken, and none given I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
guest was me- forgot to logon.

One thing that newcomers help do, is remind us of the little things. In my endeavors to teach my wife trapping, I tried to keep it Textbook, in other words- by the book. She would ask me later at a set- "I thought you were suposed to do that next or how come you didn't do that" Made you think- why wasn't I doing it here, special circumstances? really didn't do it? why?. Forced me to think rather than doing things by habit.

The above is hard to put so the meaning is clear, but I hope you get my drift.

And Mallard (and others) no harm, no foul on either side. I too have enjoyed my correspondance with you and my attempts to correct the info Rick gave you... that was a joke son, that was joke..!!! :lol:
 

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LOL.....Can hear his words...."I've taught you everything I know, and you still don't know $&%!..."

So True.....
 

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Kinda a deep thread and emotional but... That's how we get to know the mentality of the good people here that post.

Trappnman, I'm sure you could sit down with a fellow trapper and in less than 3 minutes, know if he's a REAL trapper. There's just no way to keep them from posting on any forum so just consider the source.
Now I wasn't privledged to have a trapping mentor. I read the books and did the trial and error thing. Every time I took my target specie I asked myself why did this set produce and another didn't. I still question myself to this day as it's always a learning experience for me (if I ever think I know all there is to know about trapping, someone please shoot me in the head!).

Now about the newbies; I still learn from them!!! And even that Mallard guy! We trapped together for a couple of seasons and he came up with questions that really made me think, and possibly re-access my way of thinking. He's getting quite a local reputation as a minker. The best complement a "teacher" can ever recieve is a student becomes a better trapper than himself (no Mallard, but you're getting close. Hehe).

For the new guys in trapping: Find a good teacher but keep an open mind and don't "worship" him as gospal. Simple take what he/she teaces you and expand upon it. For those of you that cannot find a mentor, read all the books you can and don't give up!!!

Lastly, what ever you guys do, DON'T listen to Asa! Hehehehe.
 
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