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.