Houndsmen, Fur Markets and Trappers

Show Notes

The relationship between Houndsmen and trappers is unique in a way that makes us very closely related. We have a deep respect and understanding of the same wildlife species, we share certain romantic view of our lifestyles and we share the hatred from the animal rights fanatics that want to shut us down.

On this episode of the Houndsman XP Podcast, host, Chris Powell, talks with life long trapper Charlie Maschek and his son in law Justin Jett. Charlie is also the owner of Hoosier Trapper Supply, one of the countries oldest and largest trapping and outdoor trap supply businesses. Charlie has been a licensed fur buyer and buying agent for the old Hundson Bay Company. 

Charlie, Justin and Chris discuss the fur market, what has happened to it and where it is headed. They talk about the glory days of the 20th century fur boom and the characters who participated. They tell old stories and predict the future for trappers and Houndsmen.

Most Houndsmen need trapping supplies at one time or another. Check out Hoosier Trapper Supply at: 

www.hoosiertrappersupply.com

www.houndsmanxp.com

Show Transcript

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This is the Homan XP podcast.

Good dog.

The original podcast for the complete hounds.

The podcast that represents our lifestyle of extreme performance. [00:02:00] Missed you? Yeah. Good boy, ranger Uniting Homan across the globe from east to west, north to south. If you're gonna catch a cat or a line, you have to have teamwork. We take you to the wildest places on earth. Yeah. So how many days a week can you spend?

Every minute? As much as I can, to be honest with you. Anytime that I get I'm out there. Join us for every heart-pounding adventure on Hounds Man. Xp. I'll tell you, like I tell everyone else, I'm gonna hunt whether you're here or not, so you might as well be here.

I've got dogs running around me right now. I'm, I wanna welcome everybody to the Hounds XP podcast [00:03:00] and hey, we've got, we got a, I'm real, I usually don't start podcasts. I'm gonna edit all this crap out. I don't like starting 'em like that. I just like rolling into a good conversation. I know. Yep. And stuff like that.

So we're going to Greenwood, Indiana. Is that safe to say? Are you guys in Greenwood? Or do you guys claim to be in Franklin? No we're green. We're east of Greenwood yeah. Yeah, it's you have a Greenwood address? That's what I say. It's like people asking me where I live and it's I live close to Cincinnati, but not too close.

Not too close. I'm not from Cincinnati, yeah, we, I guess we could say we're close to Indianapolis, but we're not. Yeah. Yeah. That's, it's, as I travel around, it's really it's really entertaining cuz I bear a lot in West Virginia and different stuff like that. And where I live down here in southeastern Indiana, I remember it.

It's very hilly. It's very rugged. And we were, had my daughter with me. We were bear hunting in West Virginia. And then one of the other girls that [00:04:00] was in the hunting group with us asked my daughter and says, you're probably not used to hunting in all these hills, are you? And my daughter just says, deadpan.

She looked around and she goes, this looks like exactly where, looks exactly like where we hunt at home. Yeah. Yeah. Hey, I'm happy to have Jet and Charlie on from who's your trapper supply. We're gonna talk about trapping today. We're gonna talk about, we're gonna talk about, how so many of us are hounds men and trappers, and the relationship between trappers and hounds men, and the future of trapping.

Because I think trapping is something that's gonna be needed well into the future. So let's just kick it off with some formal introductions here. Got Charlie Mayak and Justin Jet. From Who's Your Trapper Supply? You guys have been in business up there a long time. We were talking before the show, Charlie, and we've got a lot of common friends there.

And I'll have a story here for you in a minute but go ahead and Charlie, if you [00:05:00] don't mind, you're the godfather of who's your Trapper Supply, the founder, and just give us some background on who's your trapper supply, how you ended up opening that business. I think it's an amazing story when we hear when you started the business.

So started in 76 the same year I graduated from high school. And I was a trapper prior to that. And I guess was just the entrepreneurial side of me thought it would be a good idea to sell trapping supplies. Of course, when you're 18 you don't realize the risks and you know everything that goes along with having a business and.

Of course over the years I've seen about everything. But sold trapping supplies and I was contacted by a guy out west about buying fur. So I actually got into the fur business about the same time or the same time, and bought through fur through the 1991, continued to sell trapping supplies and then per market pretty much crashed in the late eighties.

Kind of scrambled around trying to figure out how to [00:06:00] stay in business. We still sold trapping supplies, but when that market crashed initially it was kinda like somebody just shut the faucet off as people were, went from receiving really good money for their fur. Yeah. To not re you know, having to struggle finding a buyer.

Obviously those sales dropped off quite a bit too. So anyways, started doing tax term in the mid nineties and that kind of bailed us out and we still continued to do that to this day. I was a receiving agent for North American Fur Auctions for years and years. It was Hudson Bay Fur Company.

Yeah. And I dealt with them for a number of years both as a buyer and then well as a buyer. And then in, in the late eighties, they changed the name to North American Fur Auctions. So yeah, it was a company Infa business for Yeah, for business for a long time. And I came Century centuries. Hudson Bay goes, this is 1640 I think, actually.

Yeah. And so I started I started as a receiving agent for them. So in other words trappers and hunters could bring their fur to us and then we would just take [00:07:00] care of the transfer get 'em an account set up and take care of the transfer of getting their fur to Canada.

So that they could put their fur in the auction and basically, essentially sell as direct as they possibly could. So instead of going through a country buyer, which are country buyers are great they definitely we need 'em. We could use more right now. But and then circumstances with probably some poor decisions, some ranch main issues and whatever, and it all came collapsing down on 'em and they actually quit.

I think it was in 2018 or 2019 is when that all fell apart. Yeah. What do you think that any, the era, the, competition, ku hunting has taken over, over the hound scene by the, by and large, but back when I first started hunting, hides and hide hunters, there were plenty of 'em, right?

A lot of guys that skinned everything put up their own fur, just the whole shooting match. And I think guys like me, That was part of the romance of trapping and running hounds and everything that got me into the, [00:08:00] into to hound hunting. And so part of me, I wish it would all come back and I think it would be interesting to talk about maybe why that thing fell apart.

Because we all sit around and we talk about it, but it's not very often that we get to talk to an industry insider like you that's got that information. You mean the firm market in general? Why? Yeah. Yeah. Just so basically, there, there's a lot of things that occurred, but basically in the late eighties when the firm market had got, went through the significant change and a lot of that was due to we had a couple really warm winters.

The animal rights movement was starting to really kick in the European countries. So there was this big transition in fashion, and so a lot of that just was never able to bring it back. So things have shifted over the years, and a lot of the fur goes to China, which is one of the [00:09:00] biggest users of fur.

So the Ranch Min there's, there was a, I think at one time and not to, not that long ago, about 80 million ranch mink produced in the world. So the fur market and people, consumers using fur is probably alive and well, just not so much in North America. It's mostly shifted. The animal rights movement was pretty successful in the idea of making people feel bad about wearing a fur a coat, or being associated with that in this country.

And that has never been a hurdle that we've never been able to get over. There has been some ideas with some of the people within the fur industry to sell it as more of a green product. Which is probably not a bad idea. Something that's sustainable and that kind of thing.

But so far that, that hasn't take hold. And I have a feeling that's gonna be a major rap hill battle. That's an interesting point cuz I have read some articles on that about, and some promotions for that. It's all these people sitting out there talking about green and green energy and being more environmental environmentally [00:10:00] conscious and then they start pointing out what it takes to make nylon, and how environmentally unfriendly that is.

And yet we've got this fur, this sustainable renewable resource out there in fur that it is just getting pushed to the back burner. It's just getting dismissed. And we've al, at this point, we've already gone a generation and a half, two generations essentially since there was, women wearing fur coats in public.

We just don't see that much anymore. So it's just now to bring that completely back around is, that's another, that's another uphill battle. But don't you think it will, look what the beaver hat did to the Rocky Mountain beaver trade. And we never saw really beaver hats come back, although a lot of the high grade western hats are still made out of beaver.

So the present day story on beavers, and right now, beavers in the scheme of things are higher than they've been in years. And the whole driving force behind the beaver market, and that is one very big brow, bright [00:11:00] spot in the fur industry and all. And that is because of Resistol and Stetson and those hat companies.

They're selling more hats. Now than they have in several years. And it's because of Yellowstone Ex. I was gonna say, thanks Yellowstone. Yeah, exactly. So like that show or not we'll take the, we'll take the Bieber sales. So I'll tell you something else they've done is they've made Coors beer.

There you go. Made Coors beer more popular and more accessible for all us old timers that grew up drinking it before anybody ever heard a rip. Yeah. And that, like I said, that's one of the bright spots presently in the fur industry. So that's interesting. I did not know that.

But see, fashion comes back around. Do you think fashion's gonna come back around for women? I see more fur in social media posts and things than I probably did seven years ago, I think. So I think that's true. Yeah, that's true. It's if you take it away, If you take it away and tell [00:12:00] people they can't have it, then you've always got these people that are gonna say yes I can.

And they're gonna, they're gonna try to bring it back. Yeah, for sure. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Yeah. Justin, how do you fit into this whole picture? I I'm married into the family business, put it that way. Oh, yeah. So here's the short, here's the short, long story.

Back in high school, met Charlie's daughter and started dating and I knew what he did for a living. Taxidermy and traffic. I didn't know too much about trapping at all. And Oh, yeah. So where I was working at the time, they had a beaver issue flood in the parking lot. Truck drivers couldn't get in and out of the lot, and the owner was fed up and said, Hey, I'll anyone that can get rid of these things, I'll pay them.

I was like, oh, okay. I got an idea who I should ask. Charlie gave me a little quick intro to Trapping 1 0 1, basically, and [00:13:00] I caught a couple there. And then once I did that it was like I was hooked on it and went down the rabbit hole. Now we're catching coyotes and whatever, traveling in different states and everything.

We film a lot of our adventures. Put 'em on YouTube for Hoosier Trapper Outdoors showing the products that we sell and have, and use, it's been good. I've been, what, 15 ye or probably a little over 15 years now. Yeah. It was so good that you quit. Oh, less than 20 years.

Pushing 20 years now. Push in 20 years. Yeah. It was so good. You quit your job. It was a high school gig. Yeah, but what other, that's like a dream job, Justin, who didn't grow up. I don't work with me for a day who didn't grow up wanting to trap and hump for a living, we'll dream about I, that's all it was.

That'd be great. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, there's it's awesome. I know there's a lot of people that would love, kill to be in my position and do things like this. And Charlie, did you start him out in the skin and shed Yeah he's, and he's [00:14:00] still he was. He was, yeah. He was scraping bears today yeah.

It's just, I don't have a title, so Yeah. It's jump around, whatever we need to have done. And I always tell whoever's working is I'm not gonna ask you to do anything that I haven't already done myself. It's just, if we're grinding up coyote glands, that's, I've done it yeah.

Whatever we're doing that, what do you guys see as far as, the future for trappers? Because if you just look at social media, you look at. The current trends, if you just did doomsday I know there's a, I saw a big shift in the trapping market from the recreational trapper to the nuisance wildlife control trapper that could, you could still enjoy trapping and also make, a pretty de pretty good living.

I guess I used to hold that permit in the state of Indiana. So I know there's money to be made there, but how big of an impact is that made on your business? We sell a [00:15:00] little bit to that market. We are not we are mostly deal with recreational and guys that are still fur trapping.

We do sell some, we do sell some to the nuisance industry, but it's not as our primary. Our primary business is based on the recreational. And a lot of guys and this would go to the nuisance end of it, but this, it's a little different aspect, is the management thing with managing their hunting property, trying to just keep the, nest predators under control and coyotes, that kind of thing.

So we do a lot of, we do quite a bit of business with people like that, but we have found that generally those guys that get on that management plan, you if they're not really enjoying the trapping end of it, it's really too much work if you don't enjoy it. So they're, most of 'em just plain become trappers.

It's rare to we might see a guy and he's all gungho and then we'll never see him again. But for the guy that. Is, starts out with that idea, then they, like [00:16:00] Justin said, you go down the rabbit hole and they've just become trappers. Therefore we have seen quite a bit of that.

We, I had a friend of mine down here who's a very good coyote trapper. And we would get calls and I'd run his line with him and I'd even get him permission to trap different places, and it was always funny because you'd hear these people that I would be out working and come across a guy on his property.

He is man, do you know anybody that traps coyotes? I'm overrun with them. They're just everywhere. And he would, Steve would come out and set traps and he'd catch two or three, and this is a guy that could clean out a clean out a farm pretty quick, right? And it became real apparent that they didn't have as many coyo as what they thought they did.

I don't know how many times I'd talked to people and be like, there must have been 20 of 'em back there behind the house, Yiping and Hal. It's you're probably hearing three. Yeah. Yeah. So you get all the, you get all these guys that are, thinking about predator management, and then they get out there and [00:17:00] they don't have as many critters as what they thought they did.

Yeah. It, maybe sometimes if it's raccoons, if they do put deer feeders up, part of the year and they got raccoons, and they get, they got their cameras on there, they might be seeing 20 raccoons. That one you might, you might be able to catch the numbers doing that.

But yeah, first coyote coyotes on just one. Say 300 acres. Yeah. You're just not gonna catch that many unless you leave traps there the entire season. And it's gotta be like a travel way. Yeah. So once the pup dispersal starts and they're traveling through, then yeah, you might be able to pick some up on again, off again through the entire season.

But yeah, generally there's not gonna be, 20 coyotes. You're not gonna catch 20 coyotes. It's just not gonna, it just doesn't happen. I've always considered trappers. I've always held them pr in really high regard. The trappers I know and grew up with and aspired to be, and I'm not a good trapper.

I just I've trapped but you guys are so tuned in to a lot of things. Everything [00:18:00] from, just like you talked about pup dispersal, you not only understand the fur bears, you understand the food source, you understand the habitat, you understand all these different things. And most serious trappers that I know are very well read.

In those parts of the natural world, and you take it really serious. Yeah. Do you think that, I think that is people that have been at it and the ones that stick with it, they're always wanting to learn. And I think that's gen. I think that is very generally true. It's interesting that I don't that if there is a study that's done by some biologists or in the fur bearer realm generally trappers in a higher percentage are willing to help with that than, than most consumer outdoorsmen. And I think, a lot of times it's because maybe a hunter may only go opening weekend of deer season and he may not, that might be his [00:19:00] only hunting of the year. Whereas the trappers are pretty much committed. If they got trap set, that's you, it's a day everyday deal, and it's, yeah, it's but it's, it is interesting that they are very pretty proactive in helping with any type of need that there might be for some sort of research that's being done.

So Jim and Nancy? Jim and Nancy Mahoney Sure. Were b were both my school bus drivers when I was little. Oh, that's small world. Oh man. And so Jim and Nancy have been active in the Indiana Hunter Education association. They've been in involved, they have been there and donated so much of their time.

Wasn't Jim, president of the North American ERs for a while and. Yeah, for association called ERs of America, and there it is, and Nancy both have been involved in that for years. And he was on the board and he helps, we have a local chapter, our chapter seven B. In fact, we have the chapter seven B fall.

Rhonda, who is that outta our place? It's always the last [00:20:00] Saturday of September. And Jim still comes up, cooks big pot of stew. And Nancy's still very involved and so yeah, even in their eighties they they're still going and still, yeah. We would work that at a very deer hunt on Thanksgiving weekend.

And of course we were all out there working and a lot of times we weren't at home, with our families on Thanksgiving. Jim and Nancy always hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their house for all the officers that were working that deer hunt. Yeah. And they've been rehabilitators they're a really good example of.

Trappers and both both of them are very well educated on the things of the natural resources. And wildlife, they've been re licensed rehabilitators hunter ed instructors, so they're a good example of what you just said. Then they're trapped instructors as well, so Yeah, it's yep, for sure.

They've definitely left the lifelong legacy on this volunteer time on this whole thing yeah. Yeah, that's for [00:21:00] sure. You brought it up, so I want to talk about this a little bit. There's been some controversy lately about some organizations that have hosted some what are being coined as killing contests for raccoons.

And. I wanted, this is one of the things that. Drew me over to you guys. It's all this information is valuable. Anyway, stuff that, that most of us are gonna be interested in because of the fruit trade. Different things we're hunting we're the same things you guys are running. The hunting can be take care of Cajun life.

But they have three models I wanna spend a little bit of time about run through 'em and talk about which is their trapping in the modern era. Ison up in a tree, dispel some of the rumors and talk about the methods of trapping the most effective methods of trapping to try to reduce some of the ideas that there has to be this concept between trappers in house.

It's all built in right into that light. So I think I'll just [00:22:00] ask questions and you guys can answer micro, but let's just focus on raccoon because that's the hot topic of the day. Green as a trapping from how early in the morning, how many mileson hunting a night. Road time climbing in the house, would you say The average trapper puts in My truck doesn't leave to be able to driveway without a Cajun light.

In that light. Run an effective track line in the statement. Every Cajun light is durable, made from the highest. That's pretty the component and it is backed by. And, if there is a operated driving force service, say we have check out Cajun lights can go to our website@houndsxp.com, go to our sponsors page, get that link and take you write to Cajun lights guys on, they got a lot of stuff to offer.

Cajun lights target them. So it's did you say guys are shifting gears and really not targeting them? No. No. Why? Why? Just because there isn't a market for those animals. Generally speaking guys don't like killing [00:23:00] stuff if they don't have a specific need to, it, they all realize that the management of it is important and but they, they're not gonna go out and try to target to catch a hundred raccoons or anything like that. But that's a lot of work time, effort, money to even be out there to do it. You put a lot of work in the skin stretch and dry it out to even have a finished product that you can sell.

And, you're getting three to $5 or something right now. Yeah. Yeah. It's a lot. Yeah. Yeah. There's no return on investment there. Yeah. Yeah. And the market's always up and down and it varies, but like what we were mentioning earlier, he said, guys are switching gears. A trapper's just gonna go after maybe something else like beaver right now, or or kind of the hot item if you're a water trapper. So they might target that more so than they would the coons. And let me, Accident or in a trap that was meant for something else, they'll, they'll take care of that and still Sure. Process it. Sure. Let me reframe the question a little bit.

So if there was a [00:24:00] market for raccoons right now, and we were at the beginning of it and what would your expectation, if I wanted to trap 100 raccoons in a week in the state of Indiana, how would you go about doing that and what would that look like if you just have to go out and line up some permission?

So in Indiana, technically you can't road trap. As far as just running bridges and there's guys that do it but generally that's not. Technically legal. Yeah. Cause we, the landowner owns to the center of the county has a right of way, but in the state of Indiana, the landowner actually owns to the center or the property line.

And that may be the center of the road. Yeah. You, that's where your property tax is based off of. I believe so. But for the guy that wants to go out and work at it, and, he might run 50 or 60 miles a day, have several different farms that he hits probably is gonna use a side-by-side or a four-wheeler or something to travel.

Travel those farms. [00:25:00] I will tell you, going back to when I collected fur for nafa and we were, that was during, there was a couple, there was two or three periods of time during those NAFA years that actually there was three when the market hit pretty good. And most all three times it was short-lived, but there was, the last one was 2013.

Racoons had a, really good money, 25, $30 averages, that kind of thing. Yeah. It was so short-lived that it never, we had a short spur and it just didn't stick around very long. But even in those times like that, the average guy would still only bring in maybe 30 or 40 raccoons and then just a handful of guys would have a hundred or more.

Just didn't have the guys that were able to justify, maybe they had a week off work or two weeks off work and that's when they went out and worked at it. And a lot of guys just multi space trap species traps. So they'll go, they'll do, they'll, most guys like to trap Kyles, so that's the most challenging thing.

And if they're gonna recreationally trap, that's it. And, but if there's a driving force behind the other [00:26:00] stuff, they, they will concentrate a little bit more on that. But even in those big years of fur money in recent years, it was Generally, there weren't that many people that caught a hundred raccoons or more, they just really weren't out there. If we go roll it back to the seventies and eighties when guys literally went the entire three months and beat the bushes and dog hunters did the same. It was, that, that's a different story. But Indiana pretty much consistently at that time produced about 250,000 raccoons year in, year out.

The population was able to withstand that pressure. But I think we have more raccoons now probably cuz we don't have that consistent pressure year in, year out. But yeah, I do too. I had a conversation with Bruce Plowman, remember him when he was the fur bar biologist. He was, we talked numbers on exports and how many raccoons we were bi you guy, you guys were buying year.

He had access to all that data and it was astounding. And we were talking in some of those lean years and comparing to what we used to do and, it was a big [00:27:00] conversation but the numbers were way off. And he says, man, we need people to take more raccoons. And so I guess what I'm trying to get down to is say you've got a three day contest.

Say an Indiana is, we've got a very good coon population. We've got Turkey populations too. So that seems to be the new controversial thing is the raccoon contest that three, A two man team may bring in 75 raccoons at the end of that 48 hour period. What would they have to do to be able to do that?

I'm thinking it'd be lots of miles. It would have to be places I could be in and out quick and it's not gonna be a lot of the same places that I'm gonna be able to hound, hunt, or turn a hound loose. I think that is generally true. So when you stop if they've got permission and you stop at a bridge, that's the crossing point for a number of animals.

We'll just assume that they have permission, right? Yeah. So they stop. [00:28:00] They stop there. They'll set maybe four sets, two on each side of the creek or waterway and then on both sides of the bridge. So that's generally it. And that will cover you for miles actually going up and down that creek, cuz that all that stuff is gonna pass through that bridge point.

They're not gonna, they're not gonna take the time to put on a pack basket and start heading up the creek walking. They're gonna get too much time. Yeah. They're gonna get in and set some traps, move to the next location and set up and get on a whole nother, whole bunch of raccoons.

Yeah. It's gonna be spread out. It's gonna be the ones that are if you only got a couple day processed, if they're doing the contest, if it's two or three days, you're not gonna have raccoons that are two miles down the creek. Most likely within that couple three days maybe, but Yeah.

So anyway you're co you're catching the cream of the cream. In easy access locations probably close to a travel way and that's what they're doing. Yeah. Obviously it's gonna depend on raccoon level of population to be how many locations you're gonna hit, but.[00:29:00] For instance, they call it 75, so yeah, you may not have to hit that many.

I don't know. Butman XP Podcast Network is sponsored by OnX. The most comprehensive mapping system in the world is available by going to OnX maps.com and downloading their app. Several subscription offers there. Highly recommend you use an OnX, and here's a true story for you. We've all got that spot where when we turn our hound loose at night, they're gonna head that direction.

The other night, my hounds headed in a direction for that property that had recently sold. I had no idea who owned that property. I simply opened up my OnX app, found the landowner information, cut the dogs off, and the next day I went to their house. And not only did I get permission to hunt there, I think I made some new friends.

They are beef farmers and they do not like [00:30:00] raccoons running through the feed bunks, leaving their mess behind. Yeah. Go to onxmaps.com and download the app today at checkout. Make sure you use the promo code H X P 20 and get 20% off when you join us on Patreon, you will get a discount code for a deeper discount on OnX maps.

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When I look at the red, white, and blue, the flag of the United States of America, I get emotional. I think about the freedom that has been one across the world under those colors, the daily freedoms that provides For me, I think about the men and the women who have put it all on the line to ensure that I have the freedoms that I have, and that's why I'm proud that Hounds [00:31:00] XP supports an organization like Freedom Hunters.

We've gotten the opportunity to host multiple hound events and represent freedom hunters on those hound hunting adventures and get that full experience of paying something back to veterans. These veterans come back from combat theater and active duty and naing an outlet. Your world is different when you're on active duty.

You do stay in touch with. Your buddies and stuff like that back home but it's a lot different. And so many times these veterans lose track of opportunities to get plugged into a lifestyle of hunting and fishing in the outdoors. And freedom hunters provides them with that opportunity to get plugged back in.

It's a great opportunity for us as Hounds Men to get involved in that and host a Freedom Hunters adventure. It's that simple. You can get more information [00:32:00] by going to freedom hunters.org or you can send me an email at chris dot hounds XP gmail.com. We will get some very simple paperwork completed and we can start honoring the real heroes of America.

Check out Freedom Hunters. Freedom hunters.org. In my mind, what I'm sitting here thinking about is I've got this particular bridge in mind and it's an area that, that ha really has no access to that creek by vehicle for several miles each direction. So if I'm setting four traps there and I'm trapping numerous ditches like this, I'm setting four traps at that point.

I'd have to be checking, like setting it dark, checking at midnight, resetting, and then even if I was a hundred percent on all four traps, that's only R eight raccoons off of that one ditch. For how many miles each way. And as soon as they're gone, the next night there's gonna be another raccoon [00:33:00] that's going to, you're gonna find tracks there on Monday morning.

Fresh tracks. So that's what I was wanting to set up here was a realistic. Scenario. I just, in all my experience with trappers and hound hunting and everything, I've just found that there is a way to for us to get along here, right? And you guys are trapping close to municipalities, urban areas busy roadways, all those sorts of things that I would never have the opportunity nor would I choose to turn a hound loose in that location.

That is true. And in the scheme of things, there's a lot of geography in Indiana that you guys can hunt and that we can trap and realistically there's not that many hounds, men and trappers in the scheme. Like it's in present day. There's enough out there for all of us, for sure.

What was it like back in the, I don't wanna get too far off the current topic. Maybe it's time to, but let's [00:34:00] talk about what it was like back in the day, in the early eighties, late seventies, Charlie. So it was there was, I wrote some big checks back then. I will tell you that, guys did pretty well.

It was a wild west. Yeah, it was the wild West. And to me the negative downside to it outweighed the positive side to it. It, it, it brought the worst out in a lot of people. And I like more of a tone down for market. I like a $10 average on Coon. I don't like the $25 a it just, you, you get the opportunist.

And I used to use this scenario and I would tell people this in fish and wildlife meetings and different things because what I got hired in 1990. So I was at the tail end of that big fur firm market era. Yes. So the guys that worked, if they got hired in 1975, they had 15 years on. They lived all that time, all the way through that high firm market.

And I experienced it, you had every person in the world. [00:35:00] They either had a coon dog tied in the backyard. All the outlaws were out. So you had trespassing, you had people cutting fence, you had people smoking dent trees and trying to get coons out from underneath barns and burning barns down.

And it was just a, it was cra it was crazy. It was crazy. Some of the stories you heard the res, the residuals of that, if I experienced that as an officer when I first got hired, here comes Chris Powell in 1990 and he's a coon hunter. I'm surprised they hired me. I really am. That word was a dirty word, but what I've found is all those outlaws that were involved in all that as soon as the money was gone, now that now they went to stealing copper snag and pet cooking, meth snagging, paddlefish outta the Ohio River, stealing timber, they're gonna find a way to get their money on the criminal side.

They just happened to see the opportunity in [00:36:00] the price of a raccoon, and they ended up giving us all a bad name that lasted. It's, some of it still hangs on to today. Yeah. There, there couple things well mentioned. There was a guy that came in and he was lived locally, and I knew him personally and he'd come in and he'd sell coons and every, he was always complaining.

Just one of those, I. And he was said, I can hardly wait till Koons dropped to $5 cuz then I'll have the woods to myself and all that. And when it, when they did, he was the first one to quit. Oh, no kidding. Yeah. Yeah. And I wasn't surprised it was just Cause he, no. Yeah. Can't even the other one we hear fairly often is, I love to trap but not, I just there's no money in it anymore.

First of all, you don't love to trap because that, if that's the only, if that's the only requirement, then you're not a trapper, we hear that all the time. Particularly if we do like the deer and Turkey expo at the fairgrounds or someplace where you're gonna see gen, more general population of[00:37:00] outdoors people.

That we'll hear it more there. But yeah. Yeah. It's it's like trapping had to have a monetary value for people to be interested in it. And yet, The same people will sit in a tree stand and spend thousands of dollars on a piece of property to shoot a deer that they has no market, not supposed to have any market value to it.

Anyway, we've created market values for those deer too, whether they people like it or not. And then we go $200, have it processed and whatever. So it's yeah, just all of what it's just the whole thing is you guys enjoy running hounds and we like setting some traps and we have enough outside pressure that doesn't really care for what either one of us do that we really can't afford to be going at each other on the, when we're all on the same side.

Yeah, I agree with that, man. It's if you look at the low hanging fruit in the outdoor industry, hounds, men and trappers are on the bottom rung of that ladder. We're the stepping, and that's what [00:38:00] we try to talk about all the time. It's ma'am, we gotta protect every bit of it.

Because Mr. Deer Hunter, when we're gone, they're not gonna stop. They're coming after you, your trail camera that dings into your cell phone, your elevated platforms, your, whatever it is. They're gonna keep coming after your methodology until they get it. All right? For sure.

What do you guys, why don't we talk about who's your Trapper supply? You guys have got a website. What sort of products do you carry? Are you guys making your own lures? We do. I developed a line of lure sold, it's sold on the leatherwood trapping scent line.

So I developed those formulas. Justin has one that called Jet Fuel that had a little help with. But yeah. And then we have a bait that we're. We sell a lot of bait. It's called Top Dog Predator Bait. It's a, we sell the stuff all across the country. It's worked in every state.

We sell a full line of trapping equipment. Now we also sell a line of deer hunting scent one that we, that I formulated. It's called lip liquor, [00:39:00] deer lure. And deer hunters have got, they don't quite have u understanding of scent that trappers do. But there, there's no magic formula out there, or no, no a hundred percent magic formula.

But I will, I'll, this is as close as I've come to something that I, works pretty well. Yeah. If you could just sell we all the equipment. Yeah. If you guys could just go ahead and send me the recipes for lip liquor and that top dog. I'll make sure we get everybody. Making the,

I bet you're protective to that. And so you guys, I just recently bought a p snare from you. And I was dumb with using my old conduit and and romex wire that I'd peeled out. I carried that thing in my truck for years. I don't know why I never bought a p snare, but I just recently bought a pole snare from you guys.

Great. It was great. Got it like the next day too. I couldn't believe it. Yeah. But we my daughter, Justin's wife, she heads up the shipping and she, she makes sure that stuff gets shipped the same [00:40:00] day that the order comes through. So I'm serious. I couldn't, I could not believe it.

I placed that order. I think she even called me to verify the order or something. I can't remember what that was, but the next day it was here. And, the only way I could have got it in quicker is if I drove up there and got it myself. Yeah. So that was a, that was amazing. But are you guys leaning into the deer hunting market and is that a lot of what your tax, a lot of what your taxidermy business is?

Or are you doing a lot of fur bears too? We do a lot of, we do a lot of whitetail deer. We do a lot of big game. We do, we tan a lot of hides. We tan a lot of stuff. You guys are tanning in house? We do our taxidermy tanning in house and if somebody just wants to skin tanned, we do all the prepping.

We do send that out. Okay. We'll do a crater, two of African stuff a year. The and we do a fair consider, I guess probably because of what, we're associated with. We do a fair amount of small mammals, for fair am mammals. Birds, fish, yeah. [00:41:00] Justin's, Justin, I think he's been scraping bears it seems like for two months. Just trying, trying to get stuff cleaned up out of the, get, work through the freezers, sure. Cause all the work comes into most of the, in a few months, yeah. Yeah.

So who's doing the most of the taxidermy work? Both of you or you guys got a taxidermic or adjusting you leading the way on that, or what's up? Actually the head of the department I would say would be Elaine. We've got a she's a lifelong friend. She lives up the road farm girl.

She's actually heads up the taxidermy. I did it for years, but my workload with everything else the trapping supplies and whatever, doesn't give me as much time as I once had. But I still do a fair amount of the birds and that kind of thing. And the Justin just does, I jump around, I'll need to be doing taxidermy work.

Making lu and bait board and stuff, customer service, whatever. Yeah. I don't really deal with the shipping department cuz you know, you don't be too close to your wife. I understand that, man. [00:42:00] You keep your hands off of that. Keeps saying But my wife comes in and helps my daughter during the peak time.

But so yeah, we just went through shouldn't reveal this properly probably, but we tried to not outsource the shipment of our merchandise and my wife was gonna do it, so we keep that in-house. That project lasted about 45 minutes. It's hey, this isn't worth it. I know somebody that can do this a lot cheaper on all fronts than for us to be trying to do this at home.

It's worth the money for me to pay somebody else to do that for me. Yeah. And you, yeah. You gotta be, you gotta be set up for it. And you can't try to have minimal interruptions and, so Yes. Yeah. For sure. What do you think about Bobcats in Indiana? Why don't we have a Bobcat season in Indiana?

Charlie, why don't we, why don't we, so it you probably know all this, but the, in 2019 it was proposed. And went through the [00:43:00] natural resource commission. I was at that meeting. They said they went ahead and moved forward. We're gonna, we're gonna try to get this through, I was at that meeting too.

Were you? Okay? Yep. And they had I was in Cognito, so they had what a meeting at, down at Spring Mill State Park, and then one at Bound State Park for public comment, which, which one? At Spring Mill I was at that one. That wasn't too bad. There was some pushback, but overall it wasn't bad.

Justin was there as well. And then we both, then we went up to Mound State Park and that was a disaster. There was like 10 of us there in favor. 70 or 80 of us against 70 or 80 people against us. It was terrible. There was everything from white rhinos going extinct to, it was everything that had anything to do with Bobcat season was, outside of, not to do with Bobcat season was discussed.

It was ridiculous. And I think, and then the online comments were way lopsided and what I understand I can't remember the guy that was the head of the chair of the Natural Resource Commission, but I talked to him at the Sportsmans round table meeting. It was Brian Pointer, wasn't [00:44:00] it?

Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Yeah. Brian Pointer was, and nothing this isn't anything against Brian. He's just there to conduct a meeting, but go ahead. Yeah. And he was saying, If we had 30% content in favor we didn't have a season, but it was like 10% and 90% against rough, and he said, we just couldn't.

And the governor's pull the plug on it. That's what I was getting ready to say. The reason we don't have a Bobcat season in Indiana is because sportsmen failed to show up. And I think we thought it was a slam dunk. We thought yeah, it's gonna go through. And Gene, gene Hopkins and I have talked about it numerous times.

He'll tell you the same thing. It was a deal where we all thought it was a slam dunk, so we didn't have the media push, we didn't have the awareness put out there that, hey, you need to show up to this meeting. And it just got flipped around on its head and said, Nope. [00:45:00] Not doing it. Yeah.

Yeah. And because, and yeah, it was just The Otter season that we had prior to that in went through pretty much without a hitch. We were, I only went to one of those meetings, but it, when there was some pushback and, there was a couple people there where there got a little unhinged.

But overall it was a good public comment meeting. It was, everybody was overall decent and we got, the seasonal was, it was not a big deal. Yeah. And then the Bobcat thing came along and everybody came out of the woodwork, yeah. Yeah. They sure did. They thought there is something about cats and wolves and bears that, oh man, people go crazy about, yeah, there's money attached to it and there're, there's money to be made for places like Center for Biological Diversity, humane Society, semi dollars, we're protecting these critters and blah, blah, blah.

And yeah. And we spend a lot of time on those topics. But Yeah, I Do you think we're gonna get one? Do you think we're gonna revisit that? I've heard that Holcomb doesn't want to deal with it, so [00:46:00] there's a lot of stuff he doesn't wanna deal with. Yeah. But we need to talk to his wife.

Yeah, she's the outdoorsman, absolutely. Outdoors woman that's right. I don't know if he's got other political aspirations after he is cuz he, he's on his last term I don't know. But anyways, he, and maybe I'm speaking outta term, but I, I can speak outta my, outta turn. I'm not a business owner.

I'm just a show, show creator here and I'm telling you what, he's a lame duck governor as far as I'm concerned. Yeah he's very comfortable where he is at and I hope he doesn't have any higher political aspirations. So there I said it. But yeah, moving on, I would say yes. We will have a Bobcat season.

Ultimately, eventually, ultimately, we will have one. To give our, our biologist Jerry Ann Alberts, the bur bear biologist. Have you met her? I've talked to her. I have not met her. Okay. She was hired. She's an advocate for us. Yeah. Yeah. I think I would like to have some in-depth conversations with her about it [00:47:00] because I don't like her.

I don't like the model that she's been considering. But that's another topic for another podcast. Maybe a private conversation between us. But yeah. Yeah, I have talked to her about it and I hope to see it. I, to give our audience an idea, in 2019, these two places the public meetings were held, if you couldn't have picked two more polar opposite places to hold a public hearing, you got Spring mill State Park.

The heart of Southern Indiana, heart of southern Indiana, where the largest portion of the Bobcat population is a lot of landowner conflict down there with bobcats. And then so you've got that part, and then you go up to Mound State Park, which is within driving distance of Hamilton County, Indiana, where those people wouldn't know a bobcat if it walked across her yard.

So extremely emotionally charged meeting up there. People [00:48:00] not talking on based on science, just like you said, Charlie talking about everything from Falcons to white Rhino OSCEs to Leo the Lion, and Yeah. Crazy stuff. Crazy stuff. Yeah. Very urban. And I think, and most of them never fully realized that there was only 33 counties proposed a quota of 300.

It was gonna be very, it was overly restricted I thought. But I thought shoot, it's a good, it's a great starting point. Let's just work through the process. And of course it didn't even, we couldn't even get up to that, guys, I'll tell you what you guys got anything else?

What podcast you guys running? Plug your channel a little bit, Justin, in your podcast. Yeah, I like giving our listeners other op options. So as far as social media goes, we're on Instagram and Facebook. That's Hoosier Trapper Supply. We put up a lot of content over hundreds of videos at this point on YouTube.

Either how-to videos or our trapping adventures or the podcast, which is all about [00:49:00] trapping related on all different types of, trapping subjects. And that's called the Trap House podcast. Yeah. And you can either watch that on the YouTube channel itself, or you can listen in on any streaming platform, Spotify, iTunes.

Or whatever, something you can drive to work and listen or whatever. How long a guest on all the time. We talk to a lot of different people across the country. So it's a good one. We talked anywhere from we had veterinarians that were doing a study with Kansas State on Coyotes last year, and then we'll just talk to regular trappers too.

So we, or we have a diverse, sounds like this show. Yeah. Yep. That's what we try to do too. So Yeah. Yeah, check out the the Trap House podcast and the Hoosier Trapper Supply YouTube channel. And I think it'd be really good, if you've got heartburn over trappers or at least gather some information.

I think that's why I contacted you guys. I knew that you guys were gonna going to be able to educate our listeners and give us some insight on what's going on there in the [00:50:00] trapping world. And being a multifaceted business like you are, you guys understand the dynamics of us all coming together and staying united and not trying to find, we need to find things we can get along with each other rather than find things that are going to divide us.

So I will. Chris, before we get off here, I will mention that traps and trapping equipment has come a long way over the years. Yeah. Almost everyone uses offset jaw traps if they're land trapping. Trapping itself is is regulated. It's not just some random thing that people just do.

And so the traps have come a long way. We don't use traps with teeth and all this crazy stuff that you hear, right? We don't want traps to create foot damage where the ple, which increases the chances of the animal getting loose. So I just want to, trappers have done a good job moving, progressing forward in the equipment that we use.

I think a lot of that comes from,[00:51:00] we had to modify jaw designs, but we increased our technology on spring design. Sure. At one time, like a, a single spring trap was, or a long spring trap was the order of the day. And now you're looking at kits where you can put four springs on a coyote trap and but the jaw design is still designed so that it's, your dog's not gonna lose its foot if it gets trapped in one of these traps.

Yeah. But between the offset jaw and the wide face would being the laminated jaw or a castro. Yeah. Which is the thing. So Yep. I've helped weld plates on coyote traps and stuff to increase that, that jaw face and stuff to spread that pressure out.

And I've turned everything loose from bobcats to house cats to, to dogs in traps. The house cats were rough for me to turn loose, but it was right behind a house, so I had to do it. Yeah. Yeah. All right guys. [00:52:00] Hey, have you got anything else you want to get out there before we wrap it up? I think that's it.

Yep. Appreciate you having us on, Chris, man, it is a pleasure. Yeah, I'm going appreciate it. I'll wrap it up with this real quick story. This is a game warden story, so I'm gonna leave the names of the other participants outta this just to protect them. I won't say ignorant cuz they're my heroes.

But we were working one day and our district actually did not extend over to where your shop is. It was east of there. And one of the guys I was riding with that day or working with that day, he's man, I need to run over to the, who's your trapper and pick up something. I don't remember even what he was getting.

And we were over there and we're sitting in the parking lot and dispatch called and it's I'll just use my unit number nine 20, what's your location? And it's I'm west of St. Paul. That take, that takes in a lot of country [00:53:00] there, yeah. I am west of St. Paul. We were about 30 miles west of St.

Paul about, yeah. I was gonna a half hour, yeah, 20 miles out of our district. But yeah, I'm west of St. Paul. That was always, that was a classic that we talked about a lot between me and this officer. And ironically, his son is now a conservation officer, and he picked up on that and I was his supervisor and I'd call him on the radio and ask him where he was.

And he is, oh, I'm south of Connorsville. And it's that's about 80 miles worth of territory that you could be in. You never want to be too, you never want to be too descriptive when dispatch is asking you questions like that. Guys, I appreciate it. Thanks for listening to the Hounds Man XP podcast.

I hope you got something outta this episode. And till next time, this is fair Chase.[00:54:00] [00:55:00] [00:56:00] [00:57:00] [00:58:00] [00:59:00] [01:00:00] [01:01:00] [01:02:00] [01:03:00]