It’s time to try my hand at trapping

We’ve had a few visitors in our yard in recent months who may have overstayed their welcome. That’s given me an opportunity to learn a new skill.

I feel a little guilty about trying to snuff the foxes and coyotes that have been wandering through my pasture and even my yard, because they – or at least their families – were probably here long before I was. And for a while, I let them be. But when they started making off with my chickens and digging up the good old horse we had to put down last year, I decided it was time to let them know I wasn’t amused.

Again, that feels a little bit unfair. It seems a little like someone setting up shop in my living room and laying out tasty morsels of bacon-wrapped Twinkies, then getting mad at me if I ate a few of them.

But nobody said life was fair, so over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing what I can to protect the feathered members of my family. I’ve sat out late into the evening and early in the morning hoping to catch a glimpse of a fox or a coyote through the scope on my .223, but nothing came of that but cold fingers and toes. So I asked my neighbor if he’d been losing chickens, too, and he put me in touch with his son, who’s a trapper.

Now I’m learning a new skill. Donny showed me how to set a snare, and I’ve been checking it religiously since we staked it out. We haven’t caught anything in it, yet, but we did have a near miss. Something came through the hole where we’d set the snare and snuck through without getting caught, so we made some modifications. Whatever came through there must have gotten quite a scare, though, because it hasn’t been back since.

I’ve done a good deal of reading about trapping, too, so maybe I’ll start doing it for myself. If I ever catch anything, I’ll need to learn how to care for the pelts in a hurry, though. If I’m going to snag a coyote or a fox, I might as well make some money on it. Maybe I can buy more chickens with the proceeds.