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Thread: Trap/fur theives

  1. #1
    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Unhappy Trap/fur theives

    I was checking traps today and at the trail head i noticed two sets of foot prints. Yup you guessed it 2nd set in was a trail snare that was wrecked. Both set of tracks stopped then headed threw the woods with drag marks and blood over them. It had to happen this morning because the area was still beat down with no fresh snow over the blood. I trap on eielson so it had to be one of us. I really cant beleive some low life stole my fur. I know allot of military check this site so if you could keep your ears open. I know its not likely to catch these guys but i hope someone slips up. I followed the tracks back to the road and found truck tracks. By the looks of theirs stops and tracks in open areas they may have been predator calling. Im not sure if i should call AFGD or not im sure there is nothing they can do.Sorry to rant but i cant beleive this crap. Hillbilly

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    call the troopers they will take a report.

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    Member akpredator's Avatar
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    I had a couple 110 disappear on me last week also . im thinking it was another trapper because my newspaper boxes were still there but the wire that was holding my traps were snipped . I really dont care if i ever see my traps again , i would trade them all just to be walking in to my sets as the thiefs are coming out of the woods.

    im sure it will happen again ( it just goes hand and hand with roadside trapping) but one of these times there timing is going be off and then they will get what they got coming to them ..
    LOVE MY LITTLE SKULL CLEANERS

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    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default theives

    I would love to catch these guys in the act but i take my kids out with me allot. I dont think the wife would approve of me beatin on someone in front of the kids. My daughter helped set those snares the other day. I went out today and moved a couple sets farther away from the road. Hillbilly

  5. #5

    Default Same here

    I too recently had the unfortunate experience of having my traps and fur stolen.

    Someone followed me in on their sled and stole traps, snares and fur. Its tough to disguise footprints leaving a trail.

    I reported it to the troopers and they are looking into it.

    I certainly feel for anyone who has taken the time to find an area, scout it, set it and check it.

    Sad that there are those out there who do not others, or simply do not care!

    Good luck out there and stay safe.

    -E

  6. #6

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    That's really sad that people stoop to stealing someone's traps and fur. I would imagine most thieves would wreck the fur anyways trying to clean the critter, since they have no clue on ethics. Anyways, I'm not a trapper, but I do predator call quite a bit. Many of the areas I go into have traplines and traps. Once in awhile I run down a trappers trail just to get to another area. I've never touched or bothered another person's traps that I know of. My questions are these;
    1. Is it illegal to use a trappers trail? (I searched, but didn't read it in the regs).
    2. How do trappers feel about somebody using their trail? (note, just using the trail and not disturbing any traps)
    3. Would a trapper like a phone-call before somebody knowingly uses their trail?
    4. Would a trapper like a phone-call after somebody uses their trail to tell them they have fur in the traps?
    5. Do trappers ever call in areas where they trap and if so, what kind of numbers have you called in? (species too if you want to share info.)

    I'll stay off of a trappers line if it causes serious problems or is illegal, but I personally saw no harm in quickly traveling through an area to try to get into another section. I know many trappers have loops that don't really go anywhere other than back to the main trail. I don't like to get on these and try to stay off of any loops because their only purpose is for traps and not as a byway. Any additional information is appreciated and I hope I haven't offended anybody in using their trapping trail.

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    The biggest problem if someone runs down a trail on a trapper is quite often there are traps and snares in the trail itself.
    If you were on my line It would bug me but if you called me and said hey you got a piece of fur here it would be apperciated. I think every trapper has different feelings on it. It only become illegal when you knowingly mess with a set. But if you find yourself on a trap trail the respectfull thing would be to turn around with little disturbance as posible. Just turning around or driving by a snare or trap in a trail will ruin the set as now the animal has an alternative travelway. Walking isn't to big of a deal unless the guy is trapping or snaring wolves then as little human distrubance other then the snowmachine trail is of the utmost importantance. It is frustrating as heck to see wolf track running down a trail only to find someone moved your snares out of the way or drove around them and the wolves followed their new trail rather then find your snares.
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default The Lighter Side of This Issue <grin>

    Thought I might just lighten things up a bit by telling a story of a minor trapping conflict from 25 years ago.

    Two trappers were living about 15 miles apart on the Yukon between Eagle and Circle, each with their own separate known lines and areas. Of course they knew each other and were on friendly basis as they met at various social occasions in the bush like mid-winter solstice get-together etc. Anyway, Trapper A (whom I'll call Eric) was out checking his line one day and finds where he'd caught a wolverine in a #3 jump attached to a log drag. Dang if that wolverine didn't pull that log out to the Yukon and downriver. He followed the tracks a ways downriver and saw where Trapper B (whom I'll call Sam) had come across the wolverine in the trap and dispatched it and so he kept going to Sam's cabin figuring to get his wolverine and thank Sam for taking care of it for him.

    Everyone used dogs back then and so Eric mushed into Sam's yard at dark thirty or so and set the hook and headed into the cabin at Sam's invite, immediately noticing that Sam was in the process of skinning out "his" wolverine. So as he sips on a cup of hot tea Sam just poured for him and the icicles on his mustache and beard being to melt, he starts out:

    "Well I followed them wolverine tracks Sam and couldn't believe it dragged that log 8 miles and come to get my catch and thank you for not letting it go any further."

    "Whadda ya mean 'your catch'? That wolverine was clearly on my line."

    "Well yeah, technically, but I caught it and that is my trap and chain you've got too."

    "You can have your trap and chain back, Eric, but like I said I found the wolverine on my line, and far as I know if I hadn't a found it it woulda gone another ten miles and you'd a never found it. And I already got it halfway skinned to boot."

    "Listen here Sam, I've had a long day, the dogs and I are beat, and I ain't gonna sit here and argue about whose wolverine it is. I appreciate you finding it and keeping it from going further and all that, but criminy don't sit there and have the gall to tell me that it ain't my catch."

    "Well Eric, ya know when we split our traplines up and you got everything upriver from Glenn Creek and you made a point a sayin' that everything downriver from Glenn Creek was my line? Yet now you're sitting here in my cabin drinking my tea and tellin' me otherwise?!"

    <grin>...well Eric got hot under the collar and the gist of it was that Sam wouldn't budge and Eric took off back toward home in the dark mighty ticked off. As is wont to happen in the bush, bad feelings fester over time and so Eric was even more mad at Sam when Sam showed up a month or so later.

    "What the hell do you want!?" asked Eric when Sam mushed into the yard.

    "Well I been thinkin' on this wolverine thing a spell and thought we might talk on it more. Besides, I got your trap and chain; you forgot to take it."

    The end result was that they split the money from the sale of the wolverine, which I always thought was about the best outcome that could have happened. They remained friends. Fisticuffs were avoided. And mind you, these were guys that were not incapable of fisticuffs of the kind most of us here don't ever want to be involved in <grin>.

    I guess I bring this up to lighten the overall subject and just also to say that a lynx, a trap, whatever...is not worth any of us getting hurt or killed or sent off to jail or whatever. Hope they catch the bad guys and sorry to hear about the problems you guys are having.

  9. #9
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Well, I haven't made it here in the trappers forum...I haven't trapped in about 2 years. But I couldn't help see this topic.

    This might be an idea.

    A friend of mine has a cabin on the Salcha and it kept getting broke in to and ransacked.

    So to make a long story short:
    He bought one of those digital game cameras that take pictures in the dark, infared and movement.

    One day along came that &#37;#&!# robber/theif and "Snap" he was busted! Took the photo to the State Troopers and he was found and arrested!

    Put one on a trap with an tanned or fake critter and get that no good peice of crap.

    Good luck....Sorry for your hard work gone to waste.
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  10. #10

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    Otterman,
    Thanks for the info. Any of the trappers trails I've been on have always had fairly fresh snowmachine tracks. I have just followed the tracks to get through and have always watched for snares and other traps that might have been in the trail. Next time I'm in any trappers areas, I'll just give them a ring and check it out. I'm trying to get far away from traps, but it's tough up here. Can we have a "predator calling" only area....lol...

  11. #11
    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the story

    Thanks for the story bushrat. Ive since calmed down but i keep wondering if they will be back. I wouldnt want anyone to walk my line but its air force land so anybody can use it. I set snares in my 4 wheeler tracks and never get off the wheeler. So if someone walks it it ruins the set. It seems to help with sent control. Hillbilly

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    Bushrat good story yours remindes me of a couple incidents that happend to me years ago when trapping was my only winter income.
    My brother in law and I were trapping and pulled up to a beaver house that was right on the fringe of our line and a couple other guys. They were busy setting the house and being that things were on the boarder no one really had a leg to stand on. We said hi and started talking they said why don't you guys set it up too the lucky ones will catch. This is how a lot of trapping is done in this area so we went ahead and grabbed the ice picks and started chipping ice. A few minutes into my inlaw looks up and says wolf!! I was by my sled and grabbed the gun the others were by theres and grabbed theirs. I saidn coyote not wolf and we commensed shooting.One of the other guys clearly knocked it down but it was still kicking so I grabbed a snare and choked it off. Drug it over and laid it on the ice by their sled. We went on to setting snares . They having a head start finshed up and said something to my inlaw in Yupik and drove away leaving the yote. I said Hey! your yote and they kept going. I looked at my partner and said whats up with that? He said they said you need it more then they do!! It was true I was broke and every dime I had went to feed my young kids. I sold that yote that spring when the furbuyer called it a small wolf and gave me $90 for it I grinned thinking what a dummy and walked away. (It was a yote buy the way I ahd double checked with ADF&G ) Anyway several years later I was trapping with two young men out of a cabin and one day I chased a marten up a tree and went to shoot it. One partner run over and I shot it then he knocked it out of the tree after shooting it as well. He asked whos is it. I said let me think about it. I went home and asked the in law what is proper in this situation. he simply looked at me and said who needs it most? The other young man was in the same situation I had been in years previous and I got the message one I had forgotten. I took him the marten skinned and streched. When he asked why I said cause you need it the most.That spring we average $120 on our marten.He has since been able to return the favor in a joint wolf kill to my nephew. I sure wish things were always that easyfor us to settle.
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

  13. #13
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    I would absolutely report this. Unfortunately, it's becoming more and more common.

    There is alot of talk that comes out of the Trapper Association Meeting as well. I invite you to come to that and discuss your situation with other trappers in our area. The President of the Association had a full discussion during topics of discussion for this very issue, so the association is aware of what's been going on.

    Also, in the spring there is some kind of trapper sale. That might be a good place, too... because if you familiarize yourself with the people who are avid trappers and all of a sudden you see a person that has not ever been involved in the trapping community, it wouldn't be hard to address it right then and there.

    I think that it might be your best resources.

    The Trapper Association meeting Tuesdays at the Dog Musher's Hall over off of Farmer's Loop. We usually go if we don't have anything going on those particular Tuesday evenings and they always have pretty good speakers... experienced ones.

    Let me affirm you that you are not the only one who is experiencing this. I am sorry it had to happen to you...
    ...and as a wife, I would rather my husband be beating up a guy who is stealing our fur in front of our kids than not. Your said thief deserves a beating... even if that means it's in front of your kids. Protect what's yours.
    Lurker.

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    Default Dont feel alone

    I just ran my line monday and found someone had went down my line and tripped every trap on the line. Its hard to take with 3.50 a gallon gas, not to mention the work. Im lucky though, they could have stole me blind. Thats it for this season, its just not worth it anymore on that line. Im heading across the overflow where evrybody is to scared to cross.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default otterman, thanks for your stories too

    Otterman, just wanted to say thanks for your trapping stories. Very similar to mine out here in the bush. Back in the day, one marten more, or that yote, can sure make a huge difference in your income. I like the karmic nature of those stories; what goes around comes around, or should.
    Best to ya,

  16. #16
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default CotoAk, would hope you rethink that

    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAk
    ...and as a wife, I would rather my husband be beating up a guy who is stealing our fur in front of our kids than not. Your said thief deserves a beating... even if that means it's in front of your kids. Protect what's yours.
    Really disappointed to read stuff like the above. CotoAk, I've seen grown men argue and it evolve from fisticuffs to one of them pulling a knife or a gun. It isn't pretty. And in the end, after all is said and done, especially with kids present to boot...violence is the WRONG thing to recommend. Easy to talk the big talk here on an internet forum, quite another to be face to face in the middle of nowhere with someone you don't know, with your children with you. Been there, done that. I chose talk rather than violence, and you know what? My kids done learned good from that.
    Sincerely,

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    Default It worked for me

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanmoosehunter View Post
    Well, I haven't made it here in the trappers forum...I haven't trapped in about 2 years. But I couldn't help see this topic.

    This might be an idea.

    A friend of mine has a cabin on the Salcha and it kept getting broke in to and ransacked.

    So to make a long story short:
    He bought one of those digital game cameras that take pictures in the dark, infared and movement.

    One day along came that %#&!# robber/theif and "Snap" he was busted! Took the photo to the State Troopers and he was found and arrested!

    Put one on a trap with an tanned or fake critter and get that no good peice of crap.

    Good luck....Sorry for your hard work gone to waste.

  18. #18
    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Really disappointed to read stuff like the above. CotoAk, I've seen grown men argue and it evolve from fisticuffs to one of them pulling a knife or a gun. It isn't pretty. And in the end, after all is said and done, especially with kids present to boot...violence is the WRONG thing to recommend. Easy to talk the big talk here on an internet forum, quite another to be face to face in the middle of nowhere with someone you don't know, with your children with you. Been there, done that. I chose talk rather than violence, and you know what? My kids done learned good from that.
    Sincerely,
    For the sake of saying it, violence is definitely not the answer, but I base my opinion from a book that I love called, "Wild At Heart" and it encourages men to stand up for what they are <Men> and what they believe.

    If my husband is standing there with his traps while there is another said trapper to be there stealing his animals, I would hope that my husband would stand to defend it even if our children were present.

    I know my husband too well, though. He's the type that would say, "Well, if they take it, they need it more than we do, Hunny." He's the 'turn your other cheek' kind of guy.

    It's the fiesty comin' out of me, too.
    Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth.

    The fur belongs to H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y and I don't agree that some other trapper should be 'allowed' just to come along and steal his trapped animals and damage his snares.
    Lurker.

  19. #19
    Member lab man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COtoAK View Post
    For the sake of saying it, violence is definitely not the answer, but I base my opinion from a book that I love called, "Wild At Heart" and it encourages men to stand up for what they are <Men> and what they believe.

    If my husband is standing there with his traps while there is another said trapper to be there stealing his animals, I would hope that my husband would stand to defend it even if our children were present.

    I know my husband too well, though. He's the type that would say, "Well, if they take it, they need it more than we do, Hunny." He's the 'turn your other cheek' kind of guy.

    It's the fiesty comin' out of me, too.
    Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth.

    The fur belongs to H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y and I don't agree that some other trapper should be 'allowed' just to come along and steal his trapped animals and damage his snares.
    There are a lot of crazy people out there. It's very hard to tell what they will do if confronted in a situation like the one you described above. They could just as well shoot your husband and take off, and there's a good chance they'd never be caught.

    I had a situation last year where some guys stole a trap from my partner and I (who is a police officer). We had a good idea who had stolen the trap, so we proceeded to go through the necessary steps with Troopers. The Troopers contacted the thieves, but I can't remember exactly what their course of action was.

    A short while later a friend of my partners was in a gas station and overheard a conversation between a group of men. He called my partner after he heard the men state they were going to go mess up some cop, and set some booby traps along a trap line in the exact area where my friend and I were operating.

    Thank god we never had a confrontation, but I have no doubt that things would have gotten nasty had we met on the trail.

    COtoAK, with you being such a self proclaimed Christian, it's interesting to hear you talk about "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth." I would think that you'd want you and your family to set an example for other people, especially concerning an item as small as a trap, when the troopers could probably take care of the problem.

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    Default H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y and Bushrat

    Hillbilly, Post a sign talking of the law and claiming a game camera. Tampering and stealing are low down dirty actions. Gone is the day where violators would be tracked and dealt with to the degree they deserve, but I wish it were'nt. Definetely report it. It takes time, is a pain, but it is the right thing to do.

    Bushrat, I respect what you are saying there. However, if someone is caught stealing they should be called on it and whatever force neccasary should set the situation right. Every effort should be made to avoid violence but violence in its right time is not to be avoided. In todays world the law is to be relied on. But I believe we as men should not have to rely on the law as much as we do. Todays lack of desire to follow a situation through to the end and do what is right is responcible for the rampat disrespect for others property. My kids should see me deal with others with compassion understanding and patience, and swift action to move towards standing for whats right and holding others accountable for what is right. To the fullest extent that the law allows. And this should not in any way be affected by the convienence, or how ugly or pretty it is going to be. Right is right and wrong is unexeptable. I enjoyed the story of the two trappers. I would have been all over sharing the Wolverine with the gentlemen who retrived it. That to me is the right thing to do. Two guys know each other like that, letting things ride alittle=very cool.

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