Just as soccer season is a given for some families, trapping season is a given for our family. Trapping season starts just before cranberry harvest when Emily and Nick set the bulkheads to clear out the muskrats looking to drain away the harvest flood. See they don't like it when the water is raised because it can flood out their dens. When the water gets too high they start digging and keep digging until the water has a way out. For our business that spells trouble. The water is being held high to either protect the fruit from frost or prepare the cranberry bed for harvesting, so draining the water away is detrimental to the success of cranberry harvest. The days catch is skinned, stretched, dried and then sold. Before you have any thoughts about cruelty to animals or wildlife preservation or enjoying nature just as it is I'd like to share a few thoughts.
**Many people don't think twice about getting rid of a problem mouse in the house, gopher tunneling through the yard or rabbit in the garden, not to mention ticks, house flies, mosquitoes - we get rid of those without any thought. All of those animals can be deemed pests to some people. Muskrats, although larger and pretty cute, are pests to a cranberry marsh. We find it necessary to control their population as best we can.
**Living in rural central Wisconsin, we love nature and find plenty of time to soak in all we can. Because of trapping our children are near expert animal track identifiers. They can spot and identify animal signs such as scat, feed beds, feathers, scrapes, and wing drags. Trapping allows the kids time in the outdoors which many educators, including Charlotte Mason, claim to be beneficial to their overall development. Emily and Nick are usually the first to spot sandhill cranes, red winged blackbirds, mourning doves, the gold in the goldfinch coming back, swans, whooping cranes, turtles and frogs in the spring. I dare say trapping gives them a purpose to their outside explorations and keeps their observation skills alive.
**The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in sections 2415-2418 how we should treat animals. In 226 2232 ")'>2417....God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. In 2446 ")'>2418....One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons. These statements taken from the CCC show the delicate balance between man and animal. Animals can and should be used in a moral way and for moral purposes.
Trapping continues through the fall and winter months. Snow, ice, freezing rain, bone chilling cold nothing stops the trappers in this house. Then comes early spring trapping. Still ice on the pond, but it's open around the edges. It's pretty muddy out there, but they forge on with hip boots at 6:30am.
I'm interested. Is anyone out their a trapper or know a trapper? Share if you will.