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I wanted to write a little bit in this column about trapping traditions. Almost everything that people do and celebrate today has something to do with a tradition. Look at hanging up Christmas lights or decorating the tree. Or making that Easter ham, coloring Easter eggs or whatever. What it comes down to is that certain things rely on tradition and trapping is no different.

Back In The Good Old Days

Last night I was riding around in my pickup, checking my own line and an R.E.O. Speedwagon song came on the radio.

The trapping truck looked a lot like this one.

It took me back to a time back in the mid eighties when I used to ride around with my older brother on his line.  I was probably about ten years old or so. I would ride around with him in his pickup and we would go check traps.  I remember feeling the intense heat from that awesome heater in the Chevy pickup,

An R.E.O. Speedwagon tape from the 80’s

listening to R.E.O. Speedwagon, Boston, and the smell of Copenhagen in the air. Those were good times. They were times my brother and I bonded, and I started to learn how to hunt and trap.

Now Today

I look back at those times and I realized the driving around in the country in the dark, listening to those old cassette tapes and smelling Copenhagen probably is a tradition for this time of year.

One of the things that you can do is start your own tradition. Maybe it doesn’t involve Copenhagen (hopefully not).  It  probably doesn’t involve R.E.O. Speedwagon, because if you are under the age of thirty you probably don’t even know who they are. But start a tradition of your own.  Maybe a Christmas Day tradition, the day after Thanksgiving tradition, or a New Year’s Day tradition. Taking a kid with you out on the line or taking a kid with you to go call in some coyotes. Something of that nature. Don’t be afraid to start a new tradition and don’t be afraid if it doesn’t work because you can always try to start a different one. Whatever you do, get people involved.  Our sport needs youth and starting traditions is a really good way to make that happen.  You never know, maybe 25 years from now someone will write about it.

(recorded by voice out on the trapline, then transcribed by

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