in the boonies~

Those who follow my blog are aware of the fact that we live in the sticks ... and then there are days that we really go into "the sticks".  Such as what my Dear Hubby and son have been doing on their trap line.  Dear Hubby, Slim, is one of the trapping instructors in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Wisconsin.  I believe this is his 15th year as an instructor; but has been an avid trapper his whole life.  It is something that has been in his family and my family for generations ~ his family and mine have always been supported in part by the fur industry.

Usually, most of the trapping takes place in the fall months for the raccoon, mink, muskrats and otter.  But here in Wisconsin there is also a spring beaver season when they can be harvested.  The guys have a route that is 75 miles round trip of some pretty rough roads.  If the beaver aren't controlled in this area it could be devastating ... they would cause some major flooding that the county doesn't want to take place on these logging roads. 

Today I rode along ...

I was surprised by how much snow is still in the woods... and how good the roads actually were.

Notice the beaver house way in the back of this frozen over pond.

here's another one ...

and another one ...

and another.

The woods are pretty drab looking yet with all the brown grasses and underbrush.
Slim ~ leaning over the bank checking a trap.

~ looking upstream ~

 ~ looking down stream ... notice where the beaver have a dam across it ... it'll flood over the road if they aren't removed ~

 ~ a muskrat ... a cousin to the beaver ~

 I saw this cool rock and told Dear Hubby that it would look really cool in my flower bed ... he said, "have fun moving it."  It's pretty big and heavy ... I hope I can talk Sam and his cousin to fetch it up for me.

 I had to laugh at Slim here ~ He was checking one of his traps and had to go into the creek to retrieve it.  As he was walking in ... I'm telling him he better watch it ~ the water was just about over his rubber boots!  It was only 36 degrees out this morning ... not a good day for a swim or to have to spend the rest of the morning with wet feet. 
 A partridge was walking alongside the ditch ...

He's hiding out by the base of the tree ~

three beaver from one pond ... trapper man was happy

Slim is proud of this dirty hat.  You can't buy it ... it can only be earned.  
It's from NAFA (North American Fur Auctions) located in Canada and is only given to the top lot trappers.  

As I was standing around ... watching trapper man ... I heard some whistler swans flying up the creek ... coming towards me.

Look at the big yellowed teeth on this beaver ... no wonder they can drop a tree with just a few chomps.

Turkey tracks in the mud ...

and a wolf track ...

Slim's idea of tailgating ~ or as close as he'll come to a romantic picnic in the woods. LOL ... hacking off a piece of bear sausage with his jack knife on the tailgate of the pick up truck ... to be washed down with a swig of grape juice.  A nice mid morning snack!

Oh yeah ladies .. back off !! He's all mine! :)

What can I say?  He makes me laugh.

We even found Cupid's Arrow way out in the boonies ~ judging by the size of his arrow I hope we don't find his diaper or loin cloth (whatever it's called) !!

Until next time...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. Funny you posted about this, Mel. My husband has trapped all his life as well, but hasn't done so for the past few years as prices have been so low. He's getting geared back up to go out and start trapping again, whenever he gets back into town from working in South Dakota.

    Loved your photos and commentary. :)

  2. Years ago this was a venture I took part in every morning. One I do not miss. A farmer had beavers move in & the damage they caused in such a short time was unreal. His pasture was flooding. The small group of beavers were quite energetic. How they can build there home so fast is amazing. I loved watching them early in the morning & it was bitter sweet when all were trapped & hides sold. Until now I have never seen this. Blessings!

  3. Cute post, Mel..... That Slim is a KEEPER for sure --just like my George. We love to go back in the woods on those old forest roads --when we are searching for waterfalls. We've been on some doozy roads also--but it just feels so wonderful being away from EVERYTHING --except the critters and nature....


  4. i can understand how beavers in the wrong place can certainly wreak havoc. i enjoyed your tour of the northern woods!

  5. Very interesting entry. Those beaver can do a lot of damage in a short length of time. My son used to trap in the winter when he was still in high school. Helen

  6. Thanks for taking us along on your trip. Love the pictures.

  7. Love the pictures...felt like I was there!
    That is a really cool looking rock...I love the picture of the swans.

  8. Love the pics Mom, I bet part of you was wishing Dad would take one more step just so you could see him jumping around and scurrying up the bank to get the water out of his boots... a sight I have seen many times while riding along with him when I was younger. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, I miss those days of trapping with the "Old Timer"!

  9. I love the pictures and explanations. Great entry.

  10. So that's where you were yesterday. Looks like Slim had a successful run. Was waiting for the pic of him emptying his boots. Love the rock and the cool swans...isn't time with your man priceless. You can keep him, I have my own wanderer. As for that arrow, looks like a gravesite?

  11. I, too love the rock and the swans. Actually, I have never seen swans in flight before. I love big rocks and this looks like a keeper.