Minnesota Trappers Association
District 8 Reports
Director - Brad Wobbrock
Winter 2021 Report
Hope this finds all of you well!
I was not able to attend the Board of Directors Meeting in October - due to some of my own health issues. Bill Adler did attend in my absence.
I did some summer beaver damage control and was beaten out by not only the bugs but by the heat. I had some success although I did not get them all. My plan to trap them this winter with early ice to complete the job.
The only other trapping I will do this winter is coyotes after the deer season closes.
My young farmer neighbor told me that he saw 35 - 40 coon walk from our apple tree to the woods. I told him it is time to trap them and make a blanket for his family and he agreed.
So he and I will go crazy with the DP's after deer season so he can fulfil the want for the blanket. He is young to the trapping world and I will be showing him from start to finish on how to process the coon.
Looking forward to hopefully be able to have our 2021 Spring Meeting, I would like to have it held again at the Stewartville Sportsman Club. Keep an eye on the MTA Website for further information and cards will be sent out once we know that we can hold a meeting and a solid date.
Just another reminder that this will be my last term as Director for District 8. At our 2021 fall meeting, hopefully at Cumberlands, you will be electing a new director.
We welcomed our 5th granddaughter - Mayple Elaine Anderegg - October 30. Everyone is doing well and Dad is now quite "outnumbered" and loving it! Mayple's older sisters - Baizyl and Naivy are over the moon excited about their baby sister.
Be safe out there!
Co-Director - Bill Adler
Spring 2021 Report
Some Skunks I have Known…
I can still remember the first skunk I ever caught.
My formative years were spent in Wisconsin. It was the summer of 1962 when I was about 12. I was hooked on Fur-Fish-Game to the exclusion of everything else. I had trapping fever bad. Real bad. My brothers had straight-A's and I barely had what was called a Gentleman's C. Back then, I bought my FFG from the local hardware store magazine rack and I always managed to read an article or two before the owner said to “buy it or leave it”. If I had the quarter, I bought it, and if not, I'd wait for the owner to be out of sight and read another article.
It was summer and I was tired of fishing. The sun was hot, the water low and even the suckers were wary of boys with worms. On one particular day, I caught a decent sized dace and decided to try to see if I could catch a raccoon. Back then there was no closed season on raccoons. FFG had said 'coon loved fish even more with a slight taint, and a hollow log was an ideal set location.. A 1½ long-spring would hold them so that's what I did. It took about two days for the fish to mellow sufficiently to put out a scent trail on the wind. Unfortunately, it wasn't a coon that found the fish. It was a big skunk, and he wasn't happy.
My Dad had boasted he was pretty good with skunks when he was a kid. “Never heard he'd been sprayed, so I assumed he knew what he was talking about.” We had a Winchester pump action .22 in the basement and dad suggested he should shoot the skunk, just so the deed got done. My brother, Ken, wanted to see the skunk and his eyes got pretty big looking at the raised tail. But, we all took our positions behind Dad, because you always stood behind the shooter. Ken was a little off to the left, but still behind Dad.
We learned a valuable lesson, that day, about wind. Dad shot, and so did the skunk. Dad shot again and the skunk followed suit. Ken just happened to be in line with the plume when the wind blew, and he lost his lunch. Three times! I remember getting a strong whiff, but I wasn't quite as 'fortunate' as Ken. Mom could tell we'd been up to something when we got near the house. I remember finding swimming trunks on a sawhorse in the driveway. With them was a bar of soap. Kenny got hosed, lathered, and hosed again until he smelled presentable.
As time went on, however, I got pretty good at catching skunks. One by the woodpile left the house smelling for a while. Several on the trapline gave my car an interesting aroma. More recently, I got the wind treatment and my wife said she could smell me 4-blocks away. There was the time I had to tell a client we would have to make the meeting a bit later because I had a run-in with a skunk, followed by a long shower with a bottle of Dawn. He was understanding but we practiced social distancing long before it was in vogue and things went well after he stopped laughing.
So far this season, I've taken 3 skunks in coyote sets, another couple in DPs and avoided being sprayed each time. Dispatching is done with a long pole.... Harvesting the essence is getting easier since my partner does it for us. I just catch, dispatch, and freeze during the season. My wife of 47 years has either gotten used to the smell or is nose-blind. I've been exposed many times, so I guess I'm nose-blind, too.