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Re: Jim helfrich [Re: s^s] #7154849
01/26/21 12:08 AM
01/26/21 12:08 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
J
JimHelfrich Offline
trapper
JimHelfrich  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
Yes sir he is. He's as fine a man and outdoorsmen as one can find. We have spent a lot of time, trapping, hunting, and fishing together always trying to get the one up on each other. Next time you see him ask him if he ever hunted elk with a guy with a muzzle loader .300 win magnum and watch him smile. And don't tell me they don't make them cause I had one that day on top of a mountain three years ago and he's got the pictures to prove it!

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7154860
01/26/21 12:12 AM
01/26/21 12:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
J
JimHelfrich Offline
trapper
JimHelfrich  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
Is there a way to imbed photos IN the story? As much as I know about the woods I'm lacking in high tech places like threads.

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: JimHelfrich] #7154890
01/26/21 12:32 AM
01/26/21 12:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 81
NORT DA KO TAHH
S
s^s Offline
trapper
s^s  Offline
trapper
S

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 81
NORT DA KO TAHH
i mounted a walleye for you a few years back.
know Royce pretty good.

Last edited by s^s; 01/26/21 12:34 AM.
Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7154981
01/26/21 01:28 AM
01/26/21 01:28 AM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 645
NW Oregon
3
330 Belisle Offline
trapper
330 Belisle  Offline
trapper
3

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 645
NW Oregon
Wow I learned soooo much in this post. Man the knowledge Jim has is incredible. Best thread ever.


- 330 Belisle
Re: Jim helfrich [Re: JimHelfrich] #7154989
01/26/21 01:35 AM
01/26/21 01:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,224
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Paul Dobbins Offline
"Trapperman custodian"
Paul Dobbins  Offline
"Trapperman custodian"

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 14,224
Goldsboro, North Carolina
Originally Posted by JimHelfrich
Is there a way to imbed photos IN the story? As much as I know about the woods I'm lacking in high tech places like threads.


At the point where you want to insert a picture, simply do that icon that looks like a red silo with a blue arrow pointing up. I inserted pics in your story the way you can do it.



Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7155538
01/26/21 12:37 PM
01/26/21 12:37 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,088
Minnesota
Born Offline
trapper
Born  Offline
trapper

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,088
Minnesota
Very interesting thread. Thank you Jim.


Help yourself.



Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7155887
01/26/21 04:52 PM
01/26/21 04:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 337
UP of Michigan
B
billy Offline
trapper
billy  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 337
UP of Michigan
Thank You


Billy
Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7155915
01/26/21 05:18 PM
01/26/21 05:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,577
Peoria County Illinois
Larry Baer Offline
trapper
Larry Baer  Offline
trapper

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,577
Peoria County Illinois
Thank you. Great story - sorry to hear about the dog.


Just passin through
Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7156055
01/26/21 07:33 PM
01/26/21 07:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 784
PA
P
panaxman Offline
trapper
panaxman  Offline
trapper
P

Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 784
PA
Great Lion story; heart-breaker about losing a fine dog.

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: s^s] #7156110
01/26/21 08:16 PM
01/26/21 08:16 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
J
JimHelfrich Offline
trapper
JimHelfrich  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
This must be Rich. Probably one of the best fishermen I know of. Hope all is well in ND.

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: Paul Dobbins] #7156111
01/26/21 08:17 PM
01/26/21 08:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
J
JimHelfrich Offline
trapper
JimHelfrich  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
This must be Rich. Probably one of the best fishermen I know of. Hope all is well in ND.

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: Paul Dobbins] #7156114
01/26/21 08:18 PM
01/26/21 08:18 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
J
JimHelfrich Offline
trapper
JimHelfrich  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
Thanks Paul, I'll try that next time and maybe make it better to read.

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7156163
01/26/21 08:41 PM
01/26/21 08:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 5,394
Marion Kansas
Y
Yes sir Offline
trapper
Yes sir  Offline
trapper
Y

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 5,394
Marion Kansas
You made it a great read the way it was sir

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7156370
01/26/21 10:04 PM
01/26/21 10:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 645
NW Oregon
3
330 Belisle Offline
trapper
330 Belisle  Offline
trapper
3

Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 645
NW Oregon
Best post ever


- 330 Belisle
Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7162477
01/30/21 06:21 PM
01/30/21 06:21 PM
Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
J
JimHelfrich Offline
trapper
JimHelfrich  Offline
trapper
J

Joined: Nov 2020
Posts: 27
MT
Muskrats are just fun to trap. Easy to set for, easy to skin, and just plain fun…well, most of the time anyway!

Years ago, I used to trap the Killbuck marshes in central Ohio. They were nothing like the big Wisconsin and other marshes where trappers can catch thousands of rats in a season. However, it was a good location with respectable catches and good prices. We got as high as $10.50 on rats in those days.

The season opened at midnight, and of course, I HAD to be there to set the first trap at midnight. It was always a long day leading up because of pulling my fox line and cleaning traps for later. A late supper and then get to the marsh. We did not have the headlight technology back then that we do today. Headlamps were rather big and awkward and not near as bright or long-lasting as they are today, but it was what we had, and thus we did not have great visibility.

So now it's midnight, and I have a basket full of traps on my back, going as fast as I can to get them set. I am walking fast down a near waist-deep channel when I trip over a log and stumble forward. I made it another ten feet before my own feet stopped keeping pace with my upper body, and down I went. Filling my waders to the brim with cold dark November water!

It was invigorating, I tell you! Downright invigorating! Well, muskrat trappers are not really that much smarter than beaver trappers, so I climb on the bank, empty out my waders, put them back on and keep setting all night and all day until dark that day. The good thing about trapping in a marsh in waders is you do not often get cold no matter what else happens. We used to eat three lunches a day trapping that marsh and did not put on one ounce of weight.

I really enjoyed trapping in that marsh. Good rats, a lot better than what we have in Montana, which brings me to a marsh or pond Roy and I trapped here called Freezout pond number 2. It's part of a waterfowl area, and pond 2 is pretty much a joke since it is usually pretty dry. But Roy and I hit just right one year, and it was wet and full of rats.
The pond is about 1.75 miles long on the long edge, has some small manmade islands in it, and a rail grade on the west side. These worked well for dens and in the rest were houses. Back in the Killbuck marshes, we had many houses in the button bushes but no button bushes here. A few willows, but mostly the rat houses, were just anchored to the bottom.

If you have never been to open country in Montana, we have this little-known phenomenon called wind. 60 to 70 MPH wind is not uncommon though generally unwelcomed by most, including me! A few years back, a straight wind was measured just north of there at 150 MPH. So I had never set muskrat houses anchored to the bottom in 4 feet of water in that kind of wind, and the first check found a lot of my 1 1/2 LS laying on the bottom unsprung. When I went to put them back, the chains were too short!
The dang wind blew the houses a foot or so. Ya, no kidding. I had to move stakes and learn to leave some extra chain when setting the south or west side of a house or repeat what had happened next good wind.

I have many 110 conibears, and I use them a lot on rats, but my favorite trap will always be the 1 ˝ long spring. Their big catch area grabs them good and is heavy to take them down fast. If you set ten den holes with 110's and ten with 1 ˝'s and set the 1 ˝'s right, you will catch more rats in the 1 ˝ over three days. So, what do I mean by right? I put the trap jaws first in the hole as far as practical. If the hole is real tight, you must be careful not to get in where the jaws will bind on the sides of the hole. Stretch the chain tight but not so tight as to pull on the trap, so the rat comes out of the hole and does not go up inside of it. No set is foolproof, and no set will catch every critter, but the 1 ˝ long spring is a way underrated trap for rats. It will also take a lot of mink and especially big male mink that will sometimes detour around a 110. It's just Ok for coon, but I have taken a lot of beaver by the front foot in them. So if beaver are mixed in, anchor your trap well.

Another neat thing you can do with a 1 ˝ is to use it on a steep bank as you find on the outside of a creek or stream where the water has cut the bank straight. Push a few sticks horizontally into the side of the bank and place the jaw frame on one, and the other (s) put the long spring over them. You have a quick platform set for a rat. If it is downstream from a rock or dirt clod with a touch of slower backwater, the rat will often come in and land there, stepping on your pan.

Rats are not as dumb as some people think, and when they see a relative lying in a trap in the den hole, they get shy. The 1 ˝ lets the rat get 5 feet (I use 3-foot chains on mine) away from the den.

So anyway, Roy and I are fighting the wind and slush one day in the canoe and at the far end of the pond from the truck. The slush is like a snow cone slush from the wind and cold whipping the water. It is noisy and nasty to canoe through. Suddenly Roy spots a big flock of Snow Geese coming our way. He wants to get us and the canoe between two small islands, which will put us right under them. We get in position, turn sideways in the canoe, me in the back, Roy in the front, have our 12 gauges ready, and now they are on us. We both fire, the canoe rocks a little more than I like. Then it goes over, flipping both of us out in 5 feet of really, really cold-water upside down in chest-high waders. Yes, headfirst entirely upside down through the slush into the water we go! The canoe rights itself and gives us a look like, "I don't know what your problem is, I stayed upright!" The canoe also decided to empty everything else that was in it. Traps, rats, gloves, shells, and somewhere in the fun, Roy dropped his shotgun.

Well lucky for us, we know exactly where it is at! Under-five feet of slush-covered water! There is NO getting used to water that cold. You know, like you have heard people say, "jump in, you will get used to it!" No, not in November; in high winds and sub-freezing temperatures, there is NO getting used to it.

Greed always overtakes sanity, so we retrieved all our equipment and rats, including Roy's shotgun. Mine was still locked in my hand. Roy thought we should head as fast as we could for the truck before we froze to death. However, I recalled that balmy night back in the Killbuck marshes when I filled my waders at midnight and how well I survived it and said, "Nah, just empty out your waders, we will warm up on the way back, checking the rest of the traps!" The mind does not seem to retain the true discomfort or pain of a situation and blindly allows one to convince themselves they are superhuman.

So that is what we did, and other than the water coming in a hole in my right foot, we were quite warm by the time we got to the truck!

Rats are a lot of fun…most of the time, it is always a thrill to watch a kid or an adult catch their first. Watch their amazement as they stroke the fur and admire their catch. I'll never forget my first rat, that's for sure.

[Linked Image]


A day's catch from pond two blow-drying off before skinning.

Tight Chains,

Jim

Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7242667
04/13/21 07:52 PM
04/13/21 07:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,364
Amite county Mississippi
Wolfdog91 Offline
trapper
Wolfdog91  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,364
Amite county Mississippi
Ttt one more time before archiving


Trappermans Resident Black Guy
The Black Redneck! 22yrs
MS National Guardsmen
I Like Moddin Traps 'N Trapping Possums
Go Ordnance!!!!
Tman Archivist
Re: Jim helfrich [Re: John hal] #7242819
04/13/21 10:03 PM
04/13/21 10:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,640
Alabama (Bama for short) 108 y...
Jtrapper Offline
trapper
Jtrapper  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 19,640
Alabama (Bama for short) 108 y...
40 years later and you still tell a story that glues one to the words. I was just a dumb kid long ago when i pestered you all the time, now im OLD and nearly worn out from too many trapline miles so you HAVE TO be wayyyyyyyyyyyy over the hill, lol.

Im currently trapping backward beavers, not sure if you ever ran into them, they build dams, stop up all the water then live downstream from them where there's not any water, i figure it's caused from climate change.


Not my circus, not my clowns.
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