It’s no secret that I wasn’t always a trapper! Now Fishing, I could fish all day long. My dad was big into fishing but trapping, I had never even really heard of before meeting my husband. SO how in 6 years did I go from not even knowing about it, to running 2 businesses trapping related, managing a group that supports kids getting involved and running my own trap line? Well it really comes down to two things:
1. He educated me on the truths and the lies!
2. He made me feel important!
The first time I went out on Michael’s line was because I wanted to see what it REALLY was all about. I had a friend at the time who exploded when I told her Michael was a trapper. She gave me all the horror stories of trapping and I thought to myself “I can’t believe this amazing man would be into something like that, I must see for myself” So I did. I got in his truck and he handed me a notebook. “What is this for?”, “It’s so we don’t miss anything.” His whole line was written down and he explained the importance of 24 hour checks along with other laws. He talked about what would happen to the animals if trappers were not involved. How mother nature is way worse than any trap, and how those horror stories my friend was telling me about are just that…. stories! I got to see with my own eyes what really goes on. The thing that kept me wanting to know more, was his passion. You could tell in every word how much he loved this and how much he really believed and took pride in trapping! He made me want to keep going!
The first year I didn’t always go with him, I lived almost 2 hours away. On weekends when I would go, He would hand me the notebook, something warm to drink and a blanket (I am a wimp y’all, this girl cries if she is cold) and off we would go! It was nice to drive around, talk, watch his face light up when he would get something and pout with him if he didn’t. He would always thank me for helping with the book and it was nice, but I wasn't hooked…. that is until the coyote!
I wouldn’t get out of the truck much that first year, it wasn’t until the second year really until I started walking to his sets with him, and that was only because I was on this weight loss kick and it needed to get my steps in. LOL. We were walking up to this set, and you could tell something had been there but there was nothing there. In fact, his trap and everything was just gone! He explained what happened and as he was explaining I looked off into the bushes and there was our coyote. It felt like MY coyote. BAM I WAS HOOKED! I had helped! ME who knew very little had helped! I was important. He praised me for having a good eye and I wanted more! I wasn’t just sitting in the truck anymore. I wanted to be out there. I wanted to see firsthand what we had and learn more about what you did and didn’t do!
The next year I helped more and more, and I realized I needed to get my license. At this point we had opened Sawmillcreek and I wanted to be more hands on, but in New York you need to have a license if you are going to really do anything other than walk in the woods or write in a notebook. I took my trappers ed class and I couldn’t believe how much I knew just from the little I had done with Michael! Side note, there weren’t very many kids in my class which shocked me. Michael had been mentoring 2 kids the last few years ….why were there so few kids (I am sure you are seeing where this is going….if not, Kids for Catches came the next year) ***** OTHER Side note, if you don’t know what Kids for Catches is, we support Kids trapping events through donations to help get kids into trapping****
The first year I was hands on I can’t remember how many fishers or K9s we caught but I can remember my two beaver! I was sooo excited, but man were they heavy. I think I was more shocked when he told me I had to carry them out then I was seeing them in my traps!
Most of you know the rest of the story….later on I decided to run my own line, then I got pissy because most of the vendors in trapping really didn’t have anything for women and so on, and of course, I decided to change that…Trapping Girl Inc.
I really believe the reason I fell in love with trapping was because of the education I got! If I would have just listened to what my friend had to say and didn’t really want to learn firsthand, I don’t know what would have happened. Heck I don’t know if Michael and I would even still be together. Feeling important to him, feeling like I was a help, like I had value to trapping, really grew the small fire he planted in me.