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Confrontation on the Trapline
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Author:  Musselshellgal [ 17 Jan 2013, 16:50 ]
Post subject:  Confrontation on the Trapline

The only trapping I've done has been in central Mt. When Joe and I trapped Beaver it was down on the lower Musselshell near where we lived. Our trapline butted up against the Charles Marion Russell Game Preserve where beaver lounged the banks un harassed.

When I trapped with Fuller Laugeman, retired Mt. State Trapper, who only had one leg and was still an avid trapper, he and I trapped the small creeks that flowed into the Musselshell or a near by lake. Fuller would check the traps nearest the vehicle, and I'd head up or down creek to check more. I've mentioned Fuller many times and will many times more.
He had a dog named Moosie who would usually tag along with me, a big Redbone cross. We'd done this countless times without confrontation, until one day, after pulling the beaver out of the water and laying in on the snow, I turned around to gather up some things by the hole.
When I turned around to get the beaver, Moosie had obviously decided he'd seen me steal enough times, what he considered his property. He planted himself between the beaver and myself. Like I said, he was a big dog and he stopped me in my tracks. We had a bit of a stare down and one sided conversation but in the end , I hollered for Fuller who called him off. I never did have a problem after that. Once was enough !

We trapped in Petroleum county, which consists of 1,674 sq. mi. of which 20 sq.mi is water. 2010 population for the county was 494, hearly half of that number lived in the village,( too small to be legally called a town) of Winnett. Ranchers pretty much welcomed trappers because they saved the cottonwood stands along the river and calves and colts in the spring. Some of them would just let you trap and be glad you were, but other's would want something in return.

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