Originally Posted by OldMink
I've been a trapper for almost 60 years so let me offer you some sage wisdom. Trap/fur thefts have always been part of the game. The only way you are going to protect your traps is to not set them, keeping them safe, locked in your fur shed at home.
My advice to you, and anybody else reading this, is to shrug it off and move on.
OldMink’s got it right. It’s always been a problem. But some of you younger guys should have seen it back in the `80’s during the insanely high priced fur boom.
Traps, and especially fur theft was rampant. With $50 red fox (over $100 in today’s dollars), you had to do trap checks very early or all you would have left was a catch circle.
An amusing story on how I “trapped” a thief: When I was a little kid back in the early 1960’s, I trapped rats in a small stream on my Grandparent’s land. My Mom’s cousin-in-law trapped the next property. I always suspected he was also “checking” my traps, but could never prove it.
Jumping ahead to the early `80’s, I started trapping that small stream again. I set my traps on opening day, which included a conibear near the property line. The next morning, I saw that the other guy had a foothold just on the other side of the line. So, I always made sure to hit that property first thing. A few days later I had a rat in one of my foothold's and by now I knew what time the other guy got to this part of his line. Now was my chance to confirm what I always thought for all these years – that the guy was a thief.
I took the rat from the foothold and stuck it in my conibear and hid in the brush. Before long, the guy came walking down the creek. He stopped at our traps – he looked up the creek – he looked down the creek – but not behind him where I was hiding. He bent down and came up with a rat. That’s when I stepped out of the brush.
He calmly said, “I see you have a trap near mine – I had a rat this morning – but I’ll pull my trap”. In order to give him the benefit of the doubt that he may have caught a rat after I was there, I walked over and sure enough, my conibear was empty. When I began confronting him, he then said he must have gotten mixed up. Yeah right! He mixed up a conibear with a foothold?
I then went into a tirade and began screaming and ranting and raving. I can’t say on this forum what I said, but I called him every name in the book. I also held up a camera and told him I have a picture of him stealing my rat. He had his young son with him (about 8 or 9) and I said, “You sure are setting a fine example for your son”.
The end to this long story – I never had any more problems with that guy.