Went to my inlaws to help my brother in law set some marten traps last week. Beautiful weather. Mostly sunny, and cold – in the 20’s I’d guess. We checked his earlier sets the first day, then set out more traps the next 2 days. Then I had to get back to Juneau to ship fish, etc.

Got to see my niece play basketball against the Ketchikan JV’s the last night there. She and her team look like they should have a good season. They have a young team and have been playing together quite awhile. They have a tiny point guard who is a good ball handler and can shoot the lights out off the dribble in the lane.

I borrowed some traps from a former co-worker, and went to work putting into practice what I’d learned from my brother in law. I made cubby sets with some old roofing I had, baited them with freezer burn fish, put in set conibears, and got a pack ready with hammer, nails, flagging tape, lure, pliers, wire, line, etc. for the next day.

Today I loaded up everything in my skiff and left the dock about 9:30 am. Took me all day light to make 28 sets. Lots of sign on the beaches. Also missed a deer I stumbled on – hit a tree. Beautiful day here. Sunny and in the 20’s I think. Supposed to get a pile of snow tonight, so we’ll see what that does for marten moving. Almost thought I’d have to spend the night on the beach as even though I hustled, the outgoing tide almost stranded me on the beach. I would have had to wait till the tide came back in, and then sleep at the cabin as it’s too dangerous to cross Stephens Passage at night in the winter.

I have not trapped since I was a kid. I trapped muskrat around home, and little did we know this was the hey-day for muskrat, with prices at $7.50. With so much technology today driving our culture, I’ve decided it’s not for me. Most people couldn’t feed or clothe themselves nor make a living off the land anymore. I decided to renew some basic outdoor skills, just for the fun of it. What a great day – and my birthday, too, and I’ll remember this one for a long while.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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