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Letter Re: Beekeeping and Fur Trapping at Your Retreat

Jim,
I enjoyed the article by Chris on bee keeping and fur trapping. Ever since setting my first muskrat trap in 1974, I have been an avid trapper, not missing a year since, regardless of fur market prices. The knowledge one gains with respect to any furbearer that is pursued becomes very intimate if pursued successfully with passion year after year. Its not enough to just understand the general behavior of the furbearer. To successfully trap furbearers, one must know exactly where the animal will step. Close doesn’t always count in this sport. I once read where if one wants to really learn about the outdoors, talk to a trapper.

We know that in a TEOTWAWKI [1] situation, the local deer herd and much of the small game in any given area will be decimated relatively quick. I have trapped cliff edges overlooking several rivers in my area for years with well worn paths leading from crevice dens and transition or bottleneck areas. These areas have always been very productive with no competition to speak of. The cliff areas would be the last areas to provide food and fur in a TEOTWAWKI [2] event in my area.

I have 45 rats, mink and several red fox going to the fur dealer this evening. I ‘m looking forward to trapping beaver in February as they will be very prime. I will have the beaver hides tanned as beaver hides are very durable and I enjoy making collars , mittens, et cetera. If you have ever tried beaver tail, you know it is quite tasty. I skin the tail, boil it, then cook it wrapped in aluminum foil with butter and some garlic. I then chill it in the frig, cut in small cubes and serve on a cheese and cracker tray. Excellent! – Ed D.