Trapped By A Passion For The Wild

| 3/11/2015 8:29:00 PM

Country MoonThe sport of trapping isn’t as prevalent as it was in pioneer days when people depended on wild animals to put food on the table and to keep them warm during the harsh winters of the northern states. However, it is enjoying a comeback, especially here in the northeast and Canada.

The faces of the sport are changing, too. No longer is the image of the trapper that of mountain men like history’s Grizzly Adams, but rather of ordinary folks who are looking to connect with nature and make a couple bucks doing it. A prime example is Jeff Stanton and his son Toren, who trap the St. Joe River bottom here in southern Michigan.

So, why does Jeff, a three-time SuperCross champion and three-time Outdoor National Champion on the Motorcross Circuit, retire from this lifestyle to traipse around woodlands in the middle of winter?

“For me, it’s about being outside and close to nature. This is where I’m in my element and it’s something Toren and I get to do together,” Jeff says.

Toren agrees. “It’s fun and a lot of my friends are into trapping too.”

Trapping is officially described as “the capturing and harvesting of animals.” While some animal activists purport trapping as animal cruelty, it is actually an important wildlife management tool that helps nature's checks and balances, much in the same way that hunting and fishing do. With animals losing more of their natural habitats, they are encroaching on suburbia and bringing threats to public health and safety issues.

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