The Big Country – The Trapper

As I have mentioned, protection of his Goats and predator control were the rancher’s main objectives. One trip it came back to bite us!

Layla and I would always stop by the ranch house and visit before we went out to hunt on the Millersview lease in Concho County. This trip was no different, but the rancher cautioned us not to hunt his “near” trap. In his vernacular, that meant, the field closest to our camp house. He added that the State Trapper hadn’t picked up his traps out of that one, but he had removed all of the cyanide traps for the Coyotes. The Coyotes played “hob” with the rancher’s Goats.

The cyanide traps were baited with rancid meat and will draw a Dog to them, especially a far ranging Bird Dog, but again, the rancher assured me that, by count, all of the cyanide traps had been removed. Feeling better, we began our hunt one “trap” removed from the near one and had bagged several Quail for our efforts when, Sonny, my Brittany Spaniel, who was working cross wind about 50 yards ahead of us, yelped and jumped into the air!
Sonny on the back porch of our house in Houston.

Rattle Snake I immediately thought, but he kept flopping around and yelping to high heaven! Running up to him, both Layla and I quickly saw the problem the trapper had left one of his traps and my Dog had found it. It was no problem unlocking the trap from its hold on Sonny and digging up the spike that anchored it in the ground.

Fuming, we stopped hunting, loaded up the dogs and hurried to the ranch house. I had cooled off by the time I showed the rancher to trap we “found” and was in no mood for any more “Quailing” until the trapper had removed ALL of his traps from the property.

The rancher’s next solution for predator control was Emus and that sure is another story!