WAURIKA, Okla. (TNN) -Trapping is one of the oldest forms of hunting.
It's a lost art that the Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance is trying to teach the younger generation.
7 News anchor Makenzie Burk visited their youth camp in Waurika this month.
It's the latest edition of her Outdoor Adventures.
Trapping--Not many hunters do it anymore. But the Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance is trying to change that through their annual youth camps.
“A lot of kids come here that have never experienced any of this other than cub scouts, or boy scouts,” said RC Edgar, of Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance. “We’re showing them a different aspect of the wildlife.”
Edgar has been trapping for years. He says they teach children the correct way to trap, the different techniques and what they can use the animals for.
“When we catch animals, we don’t want to waste anything,” said Edgar. “Everything that we catch we use. There’s a market for skulls, claws, fur. That’s the main thing. There’s some things like bobcats and beavers that people like to eat.”
Fur season is from December to February. That’s when you can legally trap predators like bobcats, raccoons, beavers, fox, and even skunks. Coyotes can be taken year round.
“Some of these species are predators, they are mesopredators, nest predators, and in order for other species to thrive we need to keep their populations in check,” said Jerrod Davis, furbearer biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
Davis says there are a lot of misconceptions about trapping.
“A lot of people when they think of trapping they think of the teeth on the traps, those haven’t been been produced, they’re not able to be used,” said Davis. “They’ve been outlawed for years. They’re a holding device. They’re not anything that’s going to maim, injure or kill. Trappers want to use every bit of that animal that we can so we don’t want to damage that animal.”
At camp, the kids get to set their own traps, learning from the experts.
“You see their faces light up when they catch something. And they learn,” said Edgar. “They’re really interested in what we’re doing. When we’re gone, if it’s not for the kids, there won’t be anymore trappers.”
“Coming out here and being with these kids and these other outdoorsman and outdoorswomen, it’s very fulfilling because you know that you’re being a good steward of the land,” said Davis.
If you’re interested in learning more about trapping you can go to the Oklahoma Fur Bearers Alliance website.