didn't have a problem this year...but saw more competition
I think that I saw more trappers out this year than I have in quite a while. Prices were up a bit around here, but local buyer wasn't paying that much more and 1/2 way through 2nd week of season he cut his averages in half. Was first time I saw adds in local paper for "raw fur wanted" where agents pass through and buy from back of their pickups, etc. Hadn't seen those in a long, long time around here.
I quite bridge trapping a long time ago, myself. Enjoy the walking now and gives me a chance to shed some pounds. Park off the road, hike back in to the middle of the section. Action has been pretty good off the beaten path, but you lose time walking and first few days you swear you may have a heart-attack from carrying all of the equipment, and who knows when they may find you. See a lot of animals when I am alone, on foot, too. Seems to make the journey interesting sometimes.
Anyway, this was how I started dealing with theft and johnny sneakum years ago...I just forced myself to go where there wasn't as much activity. Not easy in farmland-pheasant/deer hunting areas of SE Nebraska, but seems like private land and areas that you can't see from the road or access easily were somewhat more "private" for me. I still lose a few now and then, but not nearly like I did when I kept things closer to the road and nearer to the general human population access.
I also keep a couple of bent-up, destroyed traps hanging in my garage as a constant reminder of what happens when I make an "iffy" set that may be visible to others passing by. Seems like if they can't pull that earth anchor out of the ground, and don't have a pair of cutters to snip the cable, then next best option must be to run over the trap several times with their four-wheel drive. Made me wish I had scattered a handfull of roofing nails around those two sets after I made them. Then both of us would have shared some expenses out of their antics. :evil: