Have you ever thought about becoming a professional trapper? Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern society and truly make a living off the land? How about moving all the way across the country to start your new career as a trapper?
Mike Lapinski did it, and lived to tell the story. His 1991 book, Seasonal Pro Trapping, explains why Lapinski left his career as an electrical engineer in New York and moved his family to northwest Montana to become a professional trapper. And it provides all the information you need to get started in your quest for a career in trapping.
Now don’t get too excited yet. As Mike explains in his book, there isn’t a whole lot of money in professional trapping, and you have to be frugal and productive in order to get by. This is even truer today, since fur prices aren’t any higher than they were back in the early 1990’s when this book was written. Added to that are the constant increases in cost of living expenses today. Becoming a pro trapper involves a significant tradeoff between income and job satisfaction. According to Lapinski, if you can afford to sacrifice the income, the job satisfaction is well worth it.
If you’ve come to the decision to become a pro trapper, this book gives an overview of the best states in which you can make a living trapping. Most of these are western states, with Alaska (of course) being on top of the list. It provides a few harvest statistics from some of these states, and different aspects that may appeal to, or deter, a prospective trapper. Perhaps the book could have expanded on this topic and provided much more content/state comparisons to allow the trapper to make a more informed decision. Instead, Lapinski spends about half a page highlighting each of the top states.
After this, the book goes on to explain the various methods of trapping and ways to trap each individual furbearer species. A couple of chapters focus on general trapping information and tips, and the remainder of the book provides tips, tricks and information on groups of species.
If you’re thinking about becoming a professional trapper, reading Seasonal Pro Trapping is a great place to start. Mike Lapinski does an excellent job in providing information to help in decisions related to this career, and explains methods, tips and tricks needed to trap the major furbearers. In a 150 page book, however, it’s impossible to describe the ins and outs of professional trapping. Seasonal Pro Trapping intends to be fairly comprehensive, but it will take a lot more reading, studying and actual experience in the field to work towards becoming a pro trapper. The book was an interesting, exciting read, and provides a great starting point for any active or prospective trapper.