First Time on the trapline

I looked at the weather forecast, and saw today was going to be good, so got permission from my boss to take off mid-day to check traps and see if Matt could find a deer along the way on the beach.

It was a beautiful sunrise and partly cloudy day, and the temperature about freezing. My traps were on Admiralty, so we first cruised the backside of Douglas before crossing to Admiralty, but saw no deer.

The first trap had a nice male marten in it in the 120 conibear that was set on a moss covered log. I pulled out the marten, reset the trap, and blew on the deer call a few times to see if any deer were around. They were not. The snow was patchy, but fairly deep in places, and I lumbered through, post holing at some spots.

The next trap was sprung, and it looked like maybe the bait was so close to the trap the animal might have swiped at it and sprung the trap. I reset it, and continued down the beaches, looking for deer, checking trap after trap. As we approached the beach at the last one, we could see the newspaper tube on the ground, and thought we had another animal. When I got up to the tube, the trap was not there. I looked around in the woods for awhile, with no luck. A boat was anchored off shore, and a punt on the beach that brought the hunters to shore. On the off chance that they took the animal and trap, I eased down through the woods, came out at their punt, and was relieved to see no marten. I headed back to our skiff, this time on the beach. I continued looking along the tideline when there it was – a nice large male mink in the 120. Still not sure what could have happened, since it look like it instantly killed him at the neck. Maybe an eagle
tried to carry it away or something. In any case, the mink was not molested in anyway I could see.

It was flat calm running home. I expected to be gone 2 hours, and it turned out to be more like 5 and a half, so I’ll have to make up the work hours later this week. But it was well worth it, with the calm water, snow clad mountains, and a good day on the water.

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