When I was a kid the thought of having to go to summer school was enough to make me do my math homework. After all, summer was time for swimming, baseball and catching bullheads. It was definitely not for doing school work.
But fast forward to modern times. For us trappers, the summer is our “off season”. But is it really? Even if you don’t do any animal damage control work, there are still things to be done in the summer. Remember those dog proofs you put away that were all crusted up from bait? How about those 1 1/2s still packed with mud and grass, and those Bridger #3’s with the bent dogs and the chains all tangled in corn husks? Not to mention the bucket of “miscellaneous snare parts” that always gets put away for a rainy day.
Forget all of that stuff for now. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is catch up on all those books and DVD’s I bought during the year. I am the type of person that retains information better if I take notes. My system of learning from a DVD involves watching them at least three times. The first time I watch the DVD I watch it for the entertainment value only. I like to watch the guy making sets, seeing the scenery and just watching one of my favorite activities being done by someone knowledgeable. The second time I watch the DVD I will come prepared with a notebook. I stop, start, rewind, fast forward and try to take in and write down tips and information the instructor is offering. The third time I will watch again with my notebook, going over my notes as they are talked about in the DVD and picking up the new information I missed in the last viewing. After all this, if it is a good DVD, it will still get watched again. Books are kind of the same way.
Some of my favorites
Like anyone else, I have my favorites when it comes to dvds. One of my all time favorites is Coyote Trapping with Mark June. This is one I watch at the beginning of the season every year. Mark is a high energy guy and understands both trapping and the coyote itself. This dvd was filmed in Nebraska as well which makes it close to home.
Another of my favorites is Trapping the Elusive Coyote by Gary Jepson. Gary is a cowboy from North Dakota and his trapping experience is vast. Gary is a man of few words, but when he talks, one is inclined to listen. The first 10 minutes or so of that dvd, Gary talks about family units and habits of the coyote, and the information presented there is well worth the price of the dvd.
A couple other favorites of mine are Lesel Reuwsaat Professional Farmland Trapping Methods and Ed Schneider’s Fall and Winter Coyote Trapping, both of which were filmed in Kansas, or otherwise close to home.
In the next article I will talk about some of my favorite books, some awesome youtubers you should be watching, and some water trapping dvd’s.
-Mark Hajny, Nebraska Fur Harvesters Association