Seward, Nebraska. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana.
How did you get started in trapping?
My grandpa was a trapper, but he died before I was old enough to get to learn from him. I’d hear stories from my relatives about him, and sometimes I’d get Fur, Fish, and Game magazines with my lawn mowing money and read about trapping. Being a city kid never gave me the chance to try it, but that all changed when we moved outside of the city limits when I was in middle school. I found a rack of Duke traps at a sporting goods store and picked up a #110 body grip trap to give it a go.
I had no clue about what I was doing, and never caught much. I got a #1 coil spring trap sometime later and eventually got my first real catch: a skunk. I also made “monkey paw” traps that I read about in FF&G for raccoons and found some success with those. Looking back, I’m pretty embarrassed about how poor my techniques were back then, but without a mentor, the internet, or much in the way of books to help me out I was learning through trial and error. Emphasis on the error.
I got back into trapping a couple of years ago when I realized that I could take my kids with me. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
What is your favorite animal to target?
I consider myself a dry-ground trapper (coons and canines), but I think my favorite target is beavers. To me they represent the classic trapline animal, representing the primary target of early trappers and explorers, and they’re fun to catch. They’re also good eating.
What do you enjoy most about the sport of trapping?
I love spending time outdoors, especially with my children, and trapping is a great way to get the kids out there. Trapping is also like Christmas morning every day, because you never know what might be at the next stop.
I also think that trapping is one of the great unappreciated outdoor skills. When you think about what it takes to be able to put a small piece of metal in the exact spot where an animal is going to step, that’s a pretty amazing skill to have. It makes me proud to be a trapper when I think about that.
What is one of your most memorable trapping moments?
Probably when I caught that very first skunk when I was a kid. After who knows how many weeks or months of checking empty traps, there was finally something there. It’s a pretty exhilarating feeling that I still get every time I make a catch.
I would also add just about every catch that I make when I take my kids with me. They make the experience that much more fun and memorable.
What would you like to see changed as far as trapping regulations in Nebraska?
Based on what I’ve read about most other states, Nebraska’s trapping regulations are pretty hard to beat. Sure I wish we could have exposed bait (bones and feathers), but it’s hard to complain when you read about some of the restrictions that other states have to put up with.
What other hobbies do you have?
Hunting, shooting, fishing, and a few non-outdoor hobbies.
Anything else you want the Nebraska Fur Harvesters to know about you?
My handle on the Trapperman.com forum is “Maggot”