Monday, November 28, 2011


This 'possum was caught in pet-proof trap.

The opossum is the most significant predator of ground nesting birds in the Midwest. It will gladly gobble the eggs of anything from a kildeer to a turkey. Don’t forget quail, pheasant and other ground nesters. Their sense of smell is unparalleled.

But most trappers don’t like opossums. Well, I’m not a "most" trapper. I like ‘em.

What’s not to like? They are everywhere. You can catch them on top the highest hill in the county. You can catch them at the edge of the deepest ditch. You can find them in the woods, in corn fields, in old barns and most other habitats. I bet there are ‘possums in most Walmart parking lots!

I’ve caught them in foot traps, body grip traps, cage traps, cable restraints and pet-proof traps. I tried to catch one by hand half-way across the Iroquois River bridge on Meridian Road when I was a teenager, but it escaped by jumping into the river.

Possum Pelts Ready to Sell

Most trappers say they don’t like them because they aren’t worth much money. Neither is a bushel of oats. But if you have a big wagon load of oats, you’ve got something. Besides, what trapper has ever gotten wealthy from being a trapper? It’s a recreation, a lifestyle, a challenge, a sport, a tradition, a pastime - but a poor way to earn money. So when I walk up to one of my traps with a "lowly" possum in it worth a dollar or two in the fur trade, it means as much to me as the highest dollar animal I’ve ever caught. I’m happy they are plentiful and easy to catch.

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