Here’s Why Being A Trapper Prepared Me For Fatherhood

I think most people will agree that trappers are a unique breed.   It’s sort of an occupational hazard to deal with some of the stinkiest substances on earth.   Whether it be animal lures or baits…the fact remains that trappers exist in a very odoriferous world, to say the least.

I can’t help but think back to my younger trapping days when I decided to make my very own fish oil.   The process goes something like this…fish for suckers and chubs along the neighborhood creek, cut up the catch removing the entrails.   Place the contents into a glass jar with the cover screwed-on somewhat loose.   Place the jar out in the sun over the hot summer months so the contents naturally breakdown.   Eventually, the goal is to skim the oily substance off the top of the liquid concoction.  Viola!!   You have fish oil which absolutely reeks, if it’s any good.

Once I recall being in a local trapping supply supply store when some fool dropped a bottle of lure up near the checkout counter.   Whew!   Most of us had to evacuate the store just to catch our collective breath.   Fortunately, it was still September and the weather was mild enough outside for the windows to be open.   In a matter of minutes the fans were in place to circulate the bad, rancid air outside the premises.   While some businesses have contingency plans for dealing with tornadoes, etc…when you’re in the trapping supply business I guess it’s also important to have a plan at the ready for noxious odor control.

And so it goes.   Probably more so than any other sportsman, the trapper has to deal routinely and often with the stench that is sometimes nature.   Even skinning animals can be a rather unpleasant chore for the olfactory system.   If you want to be a trapper you just learn to accept that dealing with a potpourri of unpleasant smells happens to be part of the job requirement.

Changing gears just a bit, a few hours ago I was in the process of changing a diaper on my 7–month old daughter that was exceedingly unpleasant.   The stench was such that my eyes were nearly beginning to tear-up.   Once the process was complete, I thought for a moment how I could possibly have dealt with such a nasty task had it not been for my past experiences as a trapper.   Seriously, I am convinced that my trapping days have helped acclimate my senses sufficiently to prepare myself for even the messiest diaper my child could ever muster.

Then again, someday soon I fear my theory might be proven miserably wrong as more solid foods are eventually included in her diet.

2009 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

This Should Put A Smile On Your Face

It seems the world has had its fill of negative news lately, particularly pertaining to financial matters.   Bank bail-outs, auto maker bail-outs, the Madoff Ponzi Scheme…there’s simply no doubt about it the national psyche has been greatly bruised by witnessing widespread corruption and money woes.

Yet, this news story put a smile on my face.   The Wall Street Journal reports that PETA got scammed as part of the Madoff investment debacle.   That’s right, poor PETA in a strange set of circumstances purchased a package of tickets to the Inaugural festivities which included a chance to meet President Obama.   Obviously, officials from PETA were planning to use the face to face meeting with the President to push their whacky agenda.   The tickets or the meeting never materialized.

The WSJ reports in the story that PETA’s plan was disrupted because the firm offering the tickets for sale had direct ties to Mr. Madoff, someone who has confessed to running a $50+ Billion fraudulent scheme bilking investors.   It’s uncertain if PETA will ever recover the money they paid hoping to lobby the new President.

Just goes to show you…out of every negative situation if you look hard enough you can usually find SOMETHING positive to come from it.

2009 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.


Ice Fishing: Discovering Fun On The Frozen Lake

There’s really not a whole lot that needs to be said here…I will let the pictures (below) speak for themselves.   What you see is a grandpa out with his two granddaughters teaching them to have fun ice fishing.   Indeed, these kids are lucky and they probably don’t even realize it yet in their young lives.   The opportunity to spend time outdoors with a grandpa represents a very special moment.   One, I dare say, I never got to experience as a child.







The outdoors should be a family affair, and spending time out on a frozen Minnesota lake in the winter is the perfect venue for generations of families to share quality time with one another.   Thanks to my good buddy, Todd Rost, who supplied me with these pictures of his daughters and his dad.


On the opposite end of the ice fishing spectrum, this coming weekend I hope to witness ice fishing activity substantially different than what is shown above.   In fact, I will be reporting from the third leg of the North American Ice Fishing Circuit which represents the highest level of competitive ice angling in North America.   Stay tuned as plans are to debut the first Sportsman’s Blog VidCast from this exciting event.

2009 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.