The greatest day.

Discussion on shooting predators & varmits and the trapping the furbearing animals.

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The greatest day.

Postby openwaterhunter » Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:47 pm

The morning was bitter cold for Tennessee. It was a whopping 2 degrees F outside with six inchs of snow and more expected. I dropped my canoe off well before daylight and loaded all my gear. It was a light load because I planned to pull my traps this day. My wife picked me up at the end of my line where I had dropped my truck off and then took me back to my canoe and with a kiss and a PLEASE BE CAREFUL I hit the water running. I had 15 miles of river to travers with 300 water sets and 50 land and snare sets. My first 2 sets which were for otter was empty but then I hit a hot streak catching 10 coons 4 rats and a VERY large beaver in my next 15 sets. If I didn't catch another animal I would have been happy. However my luck just kept getting better. By lunch time I had 48 rat 26 coons 3 red foxes 6 grey foxs 9 beavers and 8 minks. I eat my lunch beside a small fire on an island and started to wonder if I would have enough room for traps, critters and myself by the time I finished. About 3 oclock it got dark REAL DARK and it started to snow. I figured the temp to be close to 20 degrees F but the snow was a heavy wet snow. I was still several good miles from my take out and still catching fur. I had picked up an additional 9 rats but 2 had been torn apart by a mink. But I made up for that lose and caught 4 more mink. 3 more beavers graced my canoe along with 5 very hansome yotes. I started to pick up pace with a slow spell and was getting good at grabbing traps without getting out of the canoe. At 5 oclock it was totally dark and I was about 2 miles from my takeout. The snow hadn't let up at all and you couldn't see the front of my 17 foot canoe. I had fur and traps heaping up over the gunnels. The last mile of my trip was my sweet spots, where the river turned very slow and deep. The beavers were everywhere and the banks were crawling with yotes. I started catching beaver hand over fist and could hear a yote fighting against a steele trap down the river. With every inch of my canoe full I didn't have anywhere to set my feet for the furs. I was setting on the bow of the canoe with my feet level to my butt. I shot the yote and went to my last set before the 500 yard sprint to the finish. My head lamp had faded so bad I couldn't see my set so I used my hands and slid them around the trap bed gently so not to get caught in the #3 four coiled bridger. It was gone. I had a hard time pulling up the 100 # bag of sand I use for drowners on beavers. When I grabbed what I thought to be a beaver I just about jumped out of the canoe to my death. It was an otter my very first. A 44 inch 28 lb monster. I was beside myself to say the least. In all my days of trapping all I had ever wanted was an otter and I just done it. I couldn't hardly get the canoe moving for the dead weight. When I reached the pullout it was a 10 foot vertical bank and I had to unload all my fur and traps in order to pull my canoe to the truck. This alone took me 2 hours. It was now 11 oclock pm and I was dead tired. When I got home I took a long shower, thawed out and took a cussing from a crying, worried sick wife. The next morning I went out and counted my catch. I had 36 coons, 55 rats, 3 red foxes, 6 grey foxes, 23 beavers, 13 mink, 6 yotes and 1 super large otter. I spent 12 hours the next day skinning, fleshing, and hanging fur. That was the last trip I ever went down that river. When I went to the sale that year I made just over 3000$ for what I figured to be close to 1000 hours of labor. It came out to a grand total of around 3.15 and hour. I haven't set any traps for money since. I only set them now to get a few youngins involved. That was my greatest day on a river.
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Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 12:57 pm
Location: East TN

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Postby diver-hunter » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:49 pm

cool. sounds like you had an excellent time :smile:
I've got a shotgun, a rifle and a 4x4.....we can skin a buck and run a trot line & A Country Boy Can Survive....- Hank Jr.

You do your thing, I'll do mine...- Montgomery Gentry
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Postby Greg Wile » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:02 pm

I believe that is run a trot line. Awh then again I wouldn't know cause we don't do that up here in the GWN, eh! :laughing:
Build memories, take a kid out doors and teach them about nature by interacting with it, hunting and fishing.

Learn from the past, don't dwell on it.
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