This is the life of trapping. There is a group of people in the world who not only live in the frozen state of Alaska, but brave the elements and trap here. For those of you who don’t know what trapping is, it is kind of like the show “Deadliest Catch.” In this show, the fishermen set pots where they think the crab are. Trappers set traps where we think animals are. But the landscape is very different between crabbing and trapping. In Deadliest Catch, they have 40 foot icy seas, and in trapping we have blinding blizzards, 60 below weather, and the risk of falling in a river and freezing to death. Where I trap it is very prone to blizzards and wind storms because of all the canyons and large vast lakes that scatter the landscape. So if you’re stuck out in the middle of a lake during a blizzard, then you’re in a deadly fix. Now I’ve had some crazy trapping adventures, but this one tops them all.
It all started out on a day like any other winter day. Snow covered the ground, the moon shined on the snow making it sparkle, and a magpie let out a shrill, warning birds of a nearby squirrel. It’s 5 a.m. ; time to go trapping, so my dad and I load up our two snow machines and lift our big sled onto the back of my his pickup truck. We then drive to our trapline, unload and then we start trapping. My dad runs a 110-mile trap line which skims alongside a river, circles a lake, goes through many steep trails, jumps into some tundra, and then it ends. My dad and I also use a cabin along the river; a nice comfortable cabin that has amazing views of the river. So as we turn the next bend along the trail, an object appears in my vision; a wooden box mounted to a tree. As we approach it and peer inside a weasel like creature scurries around inside the cubby. It jumps forward and almost lands on me, but the trap chains it to the box. What my dad and I caught is a marten that has dirt brown fur with a nice orange furred chest. Their furs go for around $80-$100. My dad chokes the animal to death, dispatches it from the trap, and sets it in the metal sled attached to the snowmachine. Once we reach the cabin, we hd caught five more marten and a beautiful colored coyote. Coyotes are light brown and gray furred animals and go for around $50-$60.
If I could have foresaw the nasty dilemma that would soon come, I would have rather not caught anything that day. Even though my dad and I knew nothing of what the future held, we continued our trapping adventure. This mistake would put us in a deadly scenario.