A friend of mine shot a moose a few days ago and he’s giving us the hide to tan. I’m meeting him this morning at the town docks as he lives on the other side of Lake Winnepesaukee. The temperature is in the 30’s (just above freezing in Celcius) so I bet it will be a cold morning on the lake.
This morning we’re going to spend some time looking at primitive and modern trapping. I think most of what is written about primitive trapping is junk with no basis in experience. So instead of rehashing the figure 4, of which I’m not a big fan, we’ll be examining some of the traps that were used in this part of the world where snow is a factor.
Trapping is made up of several components. First, you have to know your quarry and it’s habits. Second, you need to know how to use, or make, a trap. Third, you need to know the laws that govern trapping, which seem to get more complicated every year. Simply being able to carve a primitive trap isn’t trapping – it’s carving. Knowing where to put it to catch an animal is trapping.
My advice to people who are interested in learning how to trap using primitive traps is to get a trapping license and do some trapping. If you can consistently catch animals with modern traps (which are legal), it isn’t too much of a leap to be able to catch them with primitive traps (which are illegal). I’ve always figured that knowing a lot about the animals and knowing how to make one trap is better than knowing how to make 25 traps and not knowing the animal.