“There’s No Way You’re a Trapper…”
I know we have all heard it "Can't judge a book by it's cover" but this women right here bring so much truth to that saying. She is super inspiring and when I grow up....SHE IS THE GOAL! I am so very lucky to call her a friend and I can't wait for you all to read her post:
“There’s No Way You’re a Trapper…”
By: Laura Gidney
After eight years, the reactions I inevitably get from people when they find out I trap, still amuse me. I’ve heard “There’s no way you’re a trapper…not with those nails” more times than I can count! Just for the record here, they’re real. Real like grew out of my fingers real, not I glued them on so they’re a part of me real. Anyway, whether I’ve been at a convention, or in my every day life or even when I’m teaching a trapper education class for the NYSDEC, it never fails that as soon as someone hears that I really trap, they always say it. If not to me, then to my husband, but in more of a joking way, “She really traps and skins? Wow! Does she have a sister?” I can understand their reaction, people look at you and automatically assume, it’s what we do as people. I happen to be a cosmetologist by trade and I know I’ve looked that part for the majority of my life so I know they’re wondering, “How the heck is she into trapping?”
Ever hear the expression don’t judge a book by its cover? Well…just because I choose to look and dress a certain way, doesn’t mean that I can’t love trapping, too. Actually, the inside my house looks like an old trapper’s cabin with tanned fur, traps and furbearer mounts. A lot of people, when they think of a trapper, get that old school picture in their head of some mountain man from yester year, dressed head to toe in fur with a big ole woolly beard. That was probably a great look in 1867 but I’m certain my husband is glad I don’t look like that! This unsaid need for you to look “redneck” or “country” in order to do something “outdoorsy” is really silly. I know the majority of you women out there feel the same way. Why should we have to put ourselves in a box, label it and then dress and act according to some unwritten society expectation? What’s so wrong with going shoe shopping and then coming home to skin a coyote? Who says you can’t get down and dirty and look cute while doing it? Believe me, you can totally rock camo and diamonds if you want to! I like to call it Redneck/Country Chic!! Besides, we really need to stop worrying about what other people expect or think and just be happy doing what works for us individually.
There are some pretty cool chicks out there (you know who you are) and so what if they prefer lipstick over chapstick or if it’s the other way around! Does our outward appearance really change anything? Does no makeup and short nails mean you’ll catch more fur than someone who wears makeup and has long nails? Of course, it doesn’t! I’m fairly sure not all women grew up in a rural area anyway. I know I didn’t. Maybe their first experience with venison was like mine, someone happened to bring it bacon wrapped to Thanksgiving dinner. Or maybe their boyfriend or husband is the one who introduced them to the outdoors because while growing up, nobody in their own family was interested in it. I know for me, my first exposure to trapping was because my husband decided to take me and the kids to an “Outdoor Expo.” Of all the booth’s, the trapper’s one was the most memorable. The fur they had displayed was gorgeous. They were nice, engaging and even funny. They asked us questions and then answered ours. They took the time to explain trapping and why it was necessary for a healthy environment, why it wasn’t cruel and one guy even set the trap off with his hand. They gave us some educational material to read and gave each kid a rabbit’s foot and an animal print track card. This just goes to show you how important public relations and those trapping booths actually are.
It also shows why you shouldn’t judge people based on their appearance. These men could have dismissed me with my long nails, diamond earrings and Louis Vuitton bag but they didn’t. People listen, I listened, and even if someone never actually sets a trap, they’ve had a positive experience with trappers. Then going forward, they have a basis to form their own more educated opinion with. I knew I wouldn’t ever forget that hand in the trap and funny enough, these days, I’m the one doing the same thing, putting my hand in that trap, nails and all! (It totally makes a bigger impact when us girls do it!)
Women today trap, hunt, fish, ride quads, shoot guns, get muddy and do all sorts of outdoorsy things on top of holding down jobs and taking care of our families. It’s ok to be you and to do what you love no matter what that is. For me, after that initial time at the trappers booth, some conversations and googling with my hubby, I got certified to trap. (To the complete shock of everyone who knew me.) After my first catch, a raccoon, I was definitely hooked. As it turns out, I love trapping and every aspect of it, especially fur handling. It’s probably the hairdresser in me and my need for everything to look pretty that makes me love it so much. There is great satisfaction in knowing you handled your fur well just like there is great satisfaction in being true to yourself. So, wear your lipstick, polish your nails, put on those diamonds (or not) and go catch yourself some fur! Its ok if you don’t give off that old school trapper vibe, there’s plenty of guys out there to do that. I trap and work hard at it each season, long nails and all, but, let me tell you, for as much as I like the smell of skunk, I will never feel the need to wear it as perfume!