Saturday, February 28, 2009

2nd January 2009

Well, setting traps is like riding a bicycle. I'm quite confident with what I'm doing, but am slow to remember some important details. It's been almost ten years since I last trapped coyotes, and I'm anxious to focus on filming animal handling this time around instead of dividing my attention.
Carrie and I are joined by my husband, Ben, who takes photographs of us as we set. 
The wind is unbelievable. I'm thankful for what little cover the trees offer. Carrie begins on the first set, and I decide to start on one down a game trail a short distance from her. The cold makes wearing rubber gloves quite miserable, and soon, my toes are just as cold due to standing in one place. 
The most nerve-wracking part of setting is the one that can ruin your entire set. After packing the inside and outside of the set trap with dirt, I tap the pan down until it is level with the ground. A hair trigger is the only thing that'll catch a wary coyote. But one tap too many on the pan and the trap snaps shut and you have to remake the set all over again. 
Years ago, when Tom taught me how to set I always made him nervous with how much I tapped the pan down. He always said he would have stopped one or two taps before me. I just keep an eye on the trap dog edge, and make sure there is as little contact as possible. One tap too many and the result is a face full of dirt.

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