So lets say its 1823 and you're strolling into Oneida County, New York, and you have this brain child of an idea. You were hatching this plan while walking for days. The first blacksmith or forge you come to is getting a visit. The wood shingle outside sez, Lars' forge. So you go up to the big timber framed door and you can hear all the clanking and pounding but you yell "hey there, I would speak to a mortal soul". The pounding stops and out into the daylight comes a huge leather apron and a mountain of a guy with a grizzly, greasy beard to match. He grins and both teeth show.
Undaunted, you start to tell him that you need him to bend some metal, and the handle has to be a spring and a handle, so you can get a fox to step exactly right on this small spot, we will call it a pan….your inventing as you go and Lars is listening. You continue with when the fox hits the pan, the spring-slash-handle will slam shut and two jaws will hold the fox foot.
You're just so excited to finally tell someone. Lars reaches out and smacks ya over the head with a five pound forge sledge. As you fall to the ground the last thing you remember hearing is "Donna be an idiot"…….in broken Swedish.
When you come to, you get up and head for the next forge, the sign sez, Sewell Newhouse forge and metal works extraordinaire. The rest is history.
And that's what is so great about trapping. If you participate as a trapper, you bring all that history forward to you. McKenzie, Thompson, Hudson's bay. Green river knives. You become one thread in a long traders blanket we all call trapping.
I'm pushing a fat fifty years old. When I was younger I never said or thought, hey, when I grow up I want to be a building inspector to make cigar chewing contractors mad. It just evolved (Colleges, our Uncle Sam guiding my career choices and things like needing money). I wanted to be a mountain man. When you get older you accept the fact that you get half of what you wanted. I am, on a good day, a man. I do not even live next to a mountain.
If you play baseball on a regular Tuesday it does not make you part of the American league central division. Trapping on Saturday makes you one of us trappers. We go back a long, rich in tradition way. Oh it's not all hundred dollar fox and roses. There is a bit of aromatic skunk to the historical trade, but what great endeavor did not include some shenanigans.
We have survived it.
So when someone or somebody starts to attack your pastime of trapping. They not only go after you, but they are going after the Jim Bridger's of this world. Trappers are always connected to the past. Which some day we are going to be (As in past tense). Today, we need to stay connected like a steel forged trap chain. Set your trap anchor deep. We have been around a lot longer than the anti's. So like my great, great great, great, Uncle Lars use to say…………"Donna be an idiot"……. Get involved, get trapping, and stand a little farther back from the first forge you come to. The trout whisperer