I Am Conservation

Trapper Clay McDaniel sets a trap for bobcats on a farm near Belle, Mo. The lifelong Belle resident got started trapping at a very young age while accompanying his grandfather as he checked his rabbit trap line. “When I was in grade school, I got to go on my first river trap line with my best friend,” says McDaniel. “He and I continued to set our own trap lines on Dry Fork Creek in our teenage years.” McDaniel says he really got serious about trapping a few years ago when his cousin invited him along on a trapping run on Christmas morning. “When I saw a bobcat in one of his traps, I was hooked,” says McDaniel. I am conservation 12-2014Since then, McDaniel has become very active in the Missouri Trappers Association (MTA), of which he previously served as district director. He conducts a trapping clinic, sponsored by the MTA, every year near Belle. McDaniel will typically trap at least 30 nights in a season. “When I have my whole line up and running, I will be checking 50–75 sets daily,” says McDaniel. He is also passing along the tradition to his youngest son, Gus, who caught his first coyote last season. “Trapping is important in controlling the furbearer and predator populations,” says McDaniel. ”I feel it is very important to carry on that way of life,” he added, ”not only by practicing it, but also teaching it.”

—photo by David Stonner

Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/25707