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Tom Miranda’s 1985 book, “Competition Line Fox Trapping” is a true classic in the professional trapping arena. You might know Miranda from his days as a pro trapper, writer and personality in the Fur-Fish-Game professional trapping video series. Miranda was born at just the right time to be one of the last of the professional fur trappers prior to the 1980’s crash in fur prices.
As a young, energetic trapper, Tom Miranda ran aggressive trap lines in multiple areas of the U.S. and came up with some pretty solid methods for his time. Considering he was young and it was the 1980’s, some of the methods are no longer used and much of the gear has been improved upon, but the book’s premise is solid.
From start to finish, Miranda describes what it takes to be a professional fox trapper. He goes through the equipment needed, including a unique three-bucket method that worked well for him, and then talks about scouting and finding locations with numerous pictures and diagrams to explain.
Miranda explains the different type of sets needed to catch fox, and spends a lot of time on his preferred set, the walk-through, which is usually a simple dirt hole set with an object placed to guard the loose jaw. Dispatch, remakes and lure usage are covered as well.
In going beyond the basics of fox trapping, Miranda runs through some scenarios for the true long line fox trapper, including number of farms to get permission on and how many sets he would typically run in a day. It’s pretty neat to follow his mindset, motivation and youthful enthusiasm for being a long line trapper.
As far as I know, Tom Miranda no longer traps, but when the fur market tanked he transitioned toward a very successful career as a bowhunting television personality. Though his time in the trapping world was fairly short, Miranda was a very successful trapper, lure maker and writer, and despite its age, Competition Line Fox Trapping holds up as an excellent resource and entertaining read for the modern fox trapper.