We’ve been trapping since 1993. In late September, we move to our trap line. This is what we do and where we live throughout the trapping season. We have three children and because our line is not too far from Whitehorse, they can take the bus and go to school. When summer comes we switch roles – I’m with the kids while Andrea is the wage earner.
Neither of us grew up trapping, but we were both interested in the bush and a healthy lifestyle. When we came north, we came for adventure and the people we met here showed us how to make a living in the bush. Until then, we had been spectators enjoying wildlife, but we didn’t have the skills to make a living from the land. That’s what we’ve learned and that’s what we are hoping to pass on to our children and to anyone else who cares to come by and learn.
It’s one thing to want to observe nature and to appreciate it and to want it to always be there, but to be a part of it is different. The main thing I think about when I am on the land is: what can I do to help the environment? How can I trap so that it is sustainable and benefits the ecology of my trap line? Before I first started trapping, I wasn’t sure I could do it because, well, it had to be humane. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it could be done humanely. With today’s technology and with today’s understanding of animal behaviour, there have been a lot of innovations that have made trapping much more humane than it was. So once I knew that I could trap humanely I wanted to trap sustainably and, in a lot of cases, I can actually improve the health of the populations by doing what I do.
I have to remind myself what a good decision we made because we’re living our dream now.