money trapping business — September 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Being a Professional coyote trapper, fur trapper or predator control guy, the reality, part 2


When you make big licks of money, which you definitely will, being a pro trapper if you’ve got your skills down right, you save part of that money for the times that you’re not going to have those big licks of money just to get by.   But if you’re going to be a full time fur trapper I promise you you’re going to be on the lower scale of lifestyle for a long time.  Fur is a very dangerous thing to hook yourself to.  I’ve done it.  If you’ve got a wife or girlfriend I’m telling you it’s going to be stressful.  So you just need to keep all that in mind.  Life does not change just cause you’re trapping.

What happens if your wife gets sick and you just got out to NM to cat trap for $400 cats?  Or if your parents get sick and you’ve gotta come back.  You’ve got to eat all that expense going there and back with no production involved with that.  You may be thinking “Clint’s being awful negative today”.  I’m not being negative guys, it’s just a reality.  Because to me it’s really cool when you do it anyway and you figure out a way to make it work.  That’s kind of what we’re going to be going into for the rest of this thing.

fur price pro trapperNow when I got started being a full time trapper, about 16, 17 years ago and I just went cold turkey and went trapping the money during the winter wasn’t that bad even though we had low fur prices but it wasn’t enough to keep it going.  What did I do?  I did odd and end jobs.  I’ve bushogged, I’ve been a butcher, I’ve worked for a landscaping company, I grew a truck garden, I’ve done all these different things.  They buy rocks around here to send around to the rest of the country to build houses; I’ve picked up rocks and sold them.  I’ve done all kind of things to make ends meet during that time.  That’s just the way it was.    But the lesson that I’ve learned over these years is when I look back on it and after talking to a lot of different guys about business and about their trapping business and stuff like that if you want to be a full time fur trapper, I’m going to give you a formula that will make it a whole lot easier for you.  A whole lot easier than it was for me

Plan on running HARD in the winter time.  Take advantage of seasonal jobs in the summertime.  Whether that be a seasonal business or a seasonal job.  Because most people don’t want seasonal jobs, they want full time jobs.  And a lot of seasonal jobs, thru tips and different things like that especially if it’s tourism based, you make a lot more money per day in the summer and fall and spring than you do if you have a job that goes year round.  One of the things I did I was a river guide in those big rubber boats taking people down the river.  You’d guide them.  You can get like $40 per trip from the company, but then you’d get tips at the other side.  I was making more money doing that, and having a good time doing it, than I could at a job.  But it only lasts about 3 and a half months.  When I was in the pool business, what I should have done was had a different revenue stream outside of trapping where I kept doing liners and doing pool opening and closings, because that is very seasonal.  I didn’t have all the risk of building swimming pools like I was doing at the time.  I could make plenty of money to have e a big enough nest egg at the end of the summer if I lived frugally that I could not be in such a panic on having traps with fur in them everywhere you looked.  No matter how stressed you get when you are a full time trapper that does not make your trapping any better.  My advice to anybody that wants to be a full time trapper, one you’ve gotta drop your ego, drop the fantasy, you’ve got to think of the reality of it.   Money makes the world go around, whether we like it or not.  Anybody who says money doesn’t buy happiness is a rich person because it doesn’t mean anything to them.  Money absolutely can buy happiness.  If you’re hungry, and you’ve got some money and can go eat, it will make you happy.  If you need money to pay house bill and you’ve got money it will make you happy I promise you that.  So don’t fall for that big cultural lie we’ve all been told.  You need to know  you’re lifestyle that you’re looking for and realistically should be.   Are you trying to make $30,000, $50,000, $100,000, whatever it is, you’ve got to be able to do somewhat of a business plan to back that up, and it’s got to be based on real numbers.  If you can make the number work, and it’s based in reality, not fantasy or ego, then I say give it a shot.  It’s all up to you, but having a second revenue stream, if I was getting into this right now, because of my big hobby right now is permaculture and I’ve talked about it before.  I can truck farm and make $20,000 to $40,000 a year out of my yard.  Just out of my yard.  If I had another acre, and I went the community supported agricultural side, within 5 years I could be making $100,000 based off of the numbers that are real between vegetables and fruit that I can grow in the summer time that’s extremely seasonal and then I would have all winter to go trap.  But I’d have 2 revenue streams.  If you’re somewhere that’s tourist based, look into those jobs ’cause a lot of times they make really good money.  It could be construction, it could be cutting yards – have your own yard business.  It could be guiding people fishing if you’re really good at that.  It could be guiding people turkey hunting in the summer.  Whatever it is, you can have 2 or 3 of these smaller things that equal up to a bunch of income at the end of the year.  Revenue streams are what you need to be looking at.  Even in your trapping.  And this is one of the differences between employee, a business owner, and an entrepreneur.   An employee just has one revenue stream.  He may have a little bit on the side here and there.  You’re basing everything off of ONE thing, you get a paycheck every Friday or every other week.  To me that’s dangerous.  I wouldn’t like that for nothing.  But if you’re employee now, that’s kind of the way you look at it.  “What are my hours worth? What is this worth?  What is that worth?”  If you’re going to go full time your hourly rate sucks.  Especially when you get started.  It’s going to absolutely suck.  But you can make the money you just have to change how you view things.  If you want to be a full time trapper bad enough, you can work enough hours that are productive to make money and get along just fine.  But if you think you’re going to do it in 40 hours guys, I don’t know any business owner or entrepreneur who works 40 hours a week.  I don’t even know where that number comes from.  I can’t imagine being that way.  That’s the way I view my business.  That’s just the way that it is.  But having a different revenue stream – and there’s all kinds of things out there that you can be very creative about.  There are businesses in the summer time that go around and pick up dog poop out of people’s yards and they make 40,000 and 50,000 dollars.  They just have a route like a paper boy.  It may not be the funnest thing in the world but if you can make a living or part of a living by picking up dog poop as creative as trappers are you can figure something else out.   I don’t know what the costs of liners are for pools because I haven’t done it in so long, but I could make 1000 a day by myself, putting in pool liners.  And then you’d have all winter to go trapping.  Now if you’re thinking ‘that’s not a pro trapper’ I guarantee your ego is tapping you on the shoulder right now.  You’ve got to have other revenue streams besides fur. Because if you don’t you’re going to get in trouble, that I promise you.  You don’t want to go down that road.  You can get very creative about what these revenue streams are…   they may be inside the trapping industry.  I’ve got rev stream from fur, from control, from teaching instruction.  I’ve got revenue from teaching schools.  I’ve got revenue from lure, I’ve got revenue from t shirts, I’ve got revenue from DVDs I’ve got revenue from books.  That’s 8 different revenue streams in the trapping industry that allow me to do the trapping I want to do.

If you’re going to go full time, revenue streams are the key.  Not how much you make on a job or how much on a fur check.  Because a fur check is so undependable.  I know there are a lot of guys who hear these numbers out in Nevada where these guys are making 60 and $80,000 cat trapping and they’re probably spending about $25,000 on expenses.  You’ve got guys that catch numbers that are just hard to comprehend, like Phil Brown and guys like that.  I met a guy in Iowa that catches 3500 coon.  When you’re catching those numbers and that volume, you can probably pull it off.  But those guys are like the NFL, there aren’t many of them.  I can tell you at 46 years old, I don’t want to go do what I did 15 years ago.  I don’t think physically I could hold up to it.  I really don’t.  And that’s another thing you’ve gotta think about, with just a single revenue stream being fur, what are you going to do as you age?  As you can’t move quite as quick, you can’t get down the creek bank quite as easy.  When you get hurt it takes you longer to heal.  What are you going to do, as you get older and your body starts slowing down, if trapping is your only revenue stream?  That’s something you’ve got to think about because that’s reality.  Now lures, when I get to where I can’t trap as much as I do right now, I can physically make lure.  It’s not that labor intensive.  I’d probably be a lot slower, I couldn’t move the tonnage about the meat and stuff like that as I do right now but I can still do that.  As I was getting older I can still put in pool liners.  I’m telling you guys the way that food – and most guys that are into trapping or into the outdoors or into the natural things, listen to what I’m getting ready to say.  I just got an email from a friend, down in Alabama.  He got an email from another friend, he just sold a live weight cows for over $5 a pound.  A year ago it was a little over a dollar a pound, live weight wholesale.  Food is getting very very very expensive.  Cause if ground beef is 5 something wholesale live weight, what’s hamburger going to be, 9, 10 a pound, stuff like that?  As the food keeps getting more expensive, it gives guys an opportunity to make a lot of money with a garden, with fruit, with pecans, with different things like that.  If you don’t know how to garden, you figured out how to trap you can figure out how to garden.  With a truck farm, the way local eating of stuff is now, that is a perfect fit for a pro trapper.  Once trapping season is over with, you get a little bit of a break then you move on into the garden inside or planting fruit or whatever you’re going to be doing.  You learn how to spread that out.  You can make 20, 30, 40, 50,000 dollars off of just an acre of ground if you do it right.  Now don’t try to copy a farmer in a big tractor.  You need to look into market gardening, permaculture, food forests things like that.  But as the food gets more expensive, someone that’s got the time free – cause if you’ve got a job working 8 – 5, are you really going to have enough time to do a big enough garden to sell excess?  Probably not.  But if you’re trapping full time, you can roll right into that and then have a whole new revenue stream out behind it, and then you go back into trapping.  And if someone doesn’t think thats full time trapping then you’re crazy, because people don’t’ trap year round unless they’re in control trapping.  The way the dollar is, and the way expenses are, and what the fur is worth, it’s just not realistic to think that you’re just going to make it totally off of fur.   I know that’s probably bursting a lot of bubbles out there, but it’s just a reality.  If you want to have trapping related jobs, and I’m going to say this, and this is coming strictly from me being 100% honest, if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing today, I’d have another revenue stream that wasn’t connected to trapping at all.  For one it gives me redundancy on money.  If one industry crashes for whatever reason, it’s not all intertwined the way it is right now.  Because I can tell you right now, what I’m working on is having an edible food forest nursery.  Where I can sell all these weird plants I grow.  You know why?  Because we have mimosa trees, silk trees down here.   I can go dig them up in the road ditch and sell them for $25.  Dude that’s printing money right there.  That’s drug money.  The people where they don’t grow like weeds like they do here want them for nitrogen-fixing trees.  I can propagate certain things.  I can take enough propagation off of 50 blueberries to sell 300 blueberry bushes at $10 apiece.  You know what it costs me to get that propagation off of my blueberry bushes?  Pennies on the dollar.   Drug money.  That’s the type of stuff you need to be looking for.   Not minimum wage, not this.  You need to be thinking like an entrepreneur where you’re going after quick chunks of money for revenue streams.  That’s the reason I’m going to be doing the nursery.  You never know what laws going to be passed or whatever.  It’s just redundancy, is all it is.  It doesn’t mean I like trapping any less.  It doesn’t mean that you like trapping any less because you do something else.  I think it’s just a smarter way for a human being to protect themselves if one thing falls down or another.

Now saying that, I’ve said this in past episodes:  You need to have a business of some sort.  Regardless if it’s in trapping or not.  You need to do that.  People lose their jobs, the economy goes up and down, the stock market – is GOING to crash again.  Just look at the numbers and the way we’re going it’s going to correct.   When that happens people lose jobs.  So you need to have a backup plan of a backup business of some kind.  It needs to be something that’s profitable that you do that with.  But having those revenue streams is the biggest key to making it as a modern day fur trapper.  If you’re going to do it on the trapping side, you can look at ADC.  There’s a lot of money to be made in ADC.  We do very well on the predator side.  But I can tell you, from talking to a lot of ADC guys, that there is a whole lot of bragging and a whole lot of bullshit that goes on in that side of the industry just like there is in the fur trapping.  People running 900 cages a day and this that and the other and they’re making $50,000 a month.  I’m sure there are probably a few out there just like the NFL players who are pulling that off.  But not most people.  ADC, even in Chattanooga, there are all kinds of ADC companies.  Competition, just because you spread that pie a little bit, is going to hurt somebody.  No matter how good you are, that’s just a fact.   The ADC market is getting somewhat saturated.    There are ADC people everywhere.  Some professional, some not professional.  It’s irrelevant.   They’re still going to get business, some business anyway.  It’s not the money that I think a lot of guys are bragging about.  When somebody tells me they’re running so many cages a day and catching so many coon, I can go OK well in 14 hours you’re going to run so many cages that means you’re looking at a brand new cage every 16 seconds.  That’s not realistic.  If the money you’re talking about, and a lot of guys are talking about ADC, everybody would be making 500,000 to a million dollars just because of the sheer volume.  I think a lot of its just pure BS.  You can make good sideline money from ADC.  It’s been going on long enough where the first guy getting in it probably got most of the cream and they’ve already got such a big market share it’s hard to get into.  If you’re thinking of the ADC, be smart about it.  Maybe if you’re going to do the ADC, you need to look into doing the pest control at the same time.   Doing something to get you the extra revenue stream.  ADC is definitely viable if you happen to be in a place that doesn’t have a lot of ADC people and there’s a lot of need, you can make a lot of money.  But it’s not the easy money that I think a lot of the ADC guys portray.  That’s just my personal opinion because I know a lot of them.  I’m talking, bats, and moles, and raccoons, and squirrels and all that type stuff.  When you do the jobs, I think you do make money, but the expenses on that’s pretty high.  You need to think about that.  But think of a different revenue stream and I recommend outside of trapping.  In the summer months where you can make a lot of money really quick, and then you can go into trapping.  Your life will mellow out at that point.  Do you really want to be in the summertime watching your bank account dwindle as normal everyday expenses just eat it away, and you have to wait on the next fur sale?  Or you wait on your check from NAFA to come and they only sold 10% of what you sent them?  The reality of the stress of that is pretty bad.  It gets worse if you have a family you’re trying to feed and clothe and house and things like that.  But if you had a different income stream, you can roll through it a whole lot easier.  And you’ll enjoy the trapping more if you don’t do it every single day.  When I was doing beaver control, I did it for 10 months out of the year.  By the time month 8 came, I didn’t want to see another beaver.  I didn’t want to set another 330 or foothold trap.  I was burnt.  Now if I was to do that 6 months on and 6 months off, I’d have a couple of months to recuperate and have 4 months to get excited about it again then I could go do exactly what I was supposed to do which is hammer down on them.  But when you do it all the time you start getting just lazy about it.  That’s just human nature – nothing you can do about it.  You need to forget about competition, need to forget about what other people are saying.  If you start doing good in trapping, you’re going to have to start dealing with haters.  And internet snipers.  And all that type stuff that’s going to do everything they can to make you out to a liar and this that and the other.  They’re sad people, who don’t really do anything and they just want people to think they do so they tear down other people.  That’s something you’re going to have to deal with if you start becoming a pro trapper and people start knowing who you are.   You’re just going to have to let it go.  They’re really not doing anything anyway.  You don’t EVER want to make decisions based off what the internet snipers are going to say.  It doesn’t matter what you do, they’re going to try to tear you down.  You just need to ignore them.  I don’t even look at trapperman anymore just because it’s depressing.  To see that many people fighting all the time.  I don’t even go on there.  I don’t want that in my mind.  I don’t want all that negativity around me.  If you’ve got people around you that are negative, and you’re going to try to make a full time living at this, and they’re always, you know, just always bringing everybody down.  You know the guys; they walk into a room and just suck the sunshine right out of it.  Everything’s bad, everything’s going downhill.  It’s not going to work, you’re gonna get screwed, everybody’s out to get you.  You need to get AWAY from those people.  AWAY FROM THEM.  Because all they’re going to do is get you in that funk and when you get in the funk you’re not going to be able to do what you need to do out on the trap line.

I do want to cover something really quickly.  An employee, a business owner, and an entrepreneur.  An employee, as I’ve said before, trades time for money.  Most employees stay busy but they’re not that productive.  If you’re being honest with yourself and you’re an employee, you’d have to go ‘yeah that’s probably true’.  A business owner is someone who runs a business.  They’ve got a product they’re selling or a service they’re selling or whatever.  If you’re going to be a full-time trapper the business you’re either in is going to have to do with products or services rendered.  Even if it’s fur it’s the same thing guys.  Business is business.  But they don’t’ really get outside the scope of things and a lot of people are good business owners but they’re terrible entrepreneurs.  If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, which is what I kind of consider myself, you see opportunities everywhere and you figure out a way to take advantage of them.  If the county is starting to get flooded you start working on finding out who you need so you can get paid to fix the beaver problem.  If the deer hunters are getting more responsive to the coyotes eating their deer, then you need to figure out how to get closer to the deer people.  That’s what an entrepreneur does.  Businesses kind of have a business model and they just kind of roll with it.  They don’t’ like change and they don’t like doing things different.  That’s the way they do it.  And some people are more setup to be a business owner, like an ADC business owner.  They just do the job.  But as an entrepreneur a fur trapper is going to have to be closer to that  side, entrepreneur need to be able to take advantages of different things like that.  And entrepreneur hears someone say they’re thinking about making a raccoon lure out of only the male buttholes to try this for ADC,  you’re figuring out how to get those buttholes so you can make some money on that.  An opportunity just showed itself to you.  You’ve got to be able to remember that.  The difference between an employee, a business owner and an entrepreneur, where a lot of people get in trouble, a lot of guys that I’ve mistakenly talked into going full time, they confuse being busy with production.  You can be busy all day and get nothing done.  As a business owner, especially an entrepreneur, production, bringing in income, or something that’s going to bring you income down the road, that’s what you work on.  Busy doesn’t matter.  You can go out and be busy all day long, and not produce anything.  It’s real easy to do.  It’s human nature to peddle.  So you’ve got to keep that in mind, if you’re an employee you REALLY got to start thinking about it in a different manner instead of hours or time.  If you’re a business owner maybe you need to start thinking about ‘how can I study and be a little bit better at being an entrepreneur so I can be mobile and take advantage of things when the market tells me there is a need to be met’.  And an entrepreneur by nature will start stuff and not want to finish it.  Because they’re idea people.  They get really turned on by new concepts.  That’s one of my faults right there.  I can come up with a business plan in a minute, but I don’t know if I want to follow it all the way through.  So you’ve gotta kind of understand where you are, and what you need to be doing.

Going back to the permaculture thing, one of the things about permaculture when it comes to gardening or farming is you STACK different things.  Now, I’m going to give you an example of me going to Texas. I may have given this example before.  You’ve got to be able to stack revenue on what you’re doing if you’re going to be a full time trapper.  When I go to Texas, and catch a lot of cats, and coyotes and coon, that’s’ one revenue stream.  The second rev stream is I’m getting paid by that ranch to do that.  SO it’s like now I’m double dipping.  When I made the cat collector video, now I’ve got 3 revenue streams that’s going to pay me for years, off the time I did at that particular time.  I’m also testing lures, seeing which ones go and don’t go and which ones are viable and which ones are not viable. So that’s another one right there.  I’m also teaching a school which is another revenue stream while I’m down in Texas.  I could give personal instruction on top of that.  That would be 6 revenue streams for one month in Texas.  I’m shooting video for YouTube and Wolfernation to reach out and draw more customers for my lure and DVDs.  That’s 7 revenue streams now that I’m doing in Texas.  I could be shooting commercials or something for Trapping TV which is going to get me in front of more people to hopefully make more sales somewhere down the road.  That’s 8 revenue streams off one trip in Texas.  Now if someone just goes down to Texas, catches fur and comes home, can you see the difference?  Or what’s happening on income from one to the other?  Both are trapping, both can be pro trappers.  One is making a whole lot more money than the other one.  Both can be working the same amount.  But you’ve got to stack what you’re doing at all times.  If you’re really good at raccoon, why not take people on your line when you’re raccoon trapping?  If you’re good at coyotes, people want to learn coyotes.  You come up with a better way to do something?

Market yourself, now not only are you selling the fur, you’re selling your time as you catch the fur so you’re stacking things on that.  You could be trying out new lure, you could be shooting stuff for YouTube, you could be working on a book in the evenings, but that 24 hour time period you’re working on several revenue streams at one time.  And for guys that are employees it’s really hard to get a grasp on, because I’ve talked to too many.  They’re just doing one thing because they’re thinking like an employee when an entrepreneur is gonna be thinking like an entrepreneur and trying to stack as many functions and revenue streams into a time period that he can.  I’ve been in Texas and sold snares to ranchers, that’s another revenue stream.  I’ve sold it to the shops down there, that’s another revenue stream.  I could keep going.  Meat market – another revenue stream.  That’s 10 or 11 right there off of ONE MONTH and some of those like the DVD and YouTube videos and Trapping TV I will be getting revenue off of those for the next 10 years.  That’s powerful stuff right there if you really latch onto what that is.  And if you’re one of those guys who’s sitting back going “yeah but I just want to be a trapper”…. well you can sit back and just want to be a trapper but you’re gonna be poor.  If poor is what you want, knock yourself out.

It only makes smart business to jack up as many revenue streams as you can.  So find something in the summer that’s a revenue stream outside of trapping, and find ways to stack revenue streams when you’re inside of trapping.  Now I’m going to say something about DVDs.  This may roll right off of you because I make DVDs you may be thinking that I’m trying to not get you to make DVDs.  I really don’t care if you make a DVD or not, it’s not going to affect my DVD sales one bit.  I will say this about DVDs:  If you’re gonna make one, you get one shot at it.  So it better be a good one.  Right now, Gerald Schmidt has got two hundred and sixty something DVDs in his catalog.   Most of those out there guys do not sell 300 copies total a year.   So the money that most people think is in DVDs is not.  Now if you do all the work and you build up people’s trust and they know if you put a DVD out it’s a good one and they’re gonna learn something from it, they’re gonna make more money and it’s going to be entertaining, they will buy your next one.  If you just put a DVD out “this is my way of trapping and its different because I move my trap over here instead of over here and I dig my hole this way” guys, that’s been done 16,000 different ways – no one cares.  And if you put a video out like that you’ll get some sales initially, but they’re not going to buy anything else you put out because they’re going to feel like you misled them.  Especially if you really blow the DVD up.  If you’re going to make DVDs, I suggest they be very specific, like the Portable Pocket was, or the dirt hole one I’ve got or the flat set one I’ve got, they know exactly what it is, and I get very in-depth on it.  It’s not a general “watch Clint trapping” thing like my “yearlong Blitzkrieg” is where I go all over the country.  It needs to be specific.  The reason I’m telling you that, if you want to do a DVD, do a DVD.  You need to learn how to work the camera, you need to learn how to work the editing, but more than that you need to give the customer more than he wanted or you’re gonna be screwed on your next sales.  And if you don’t have something that’s going to make you stand out from everybody else to put a DVD out, and I mean seriously stand out, don’t put one out until you’ve got something that’s going to rock people’s world.  Or make their trapping so much better.  If you just sling one out there cause you think you’ll make all this money ONE you’re not going to make the money, and two you’re not going to get repeat customers.  Not a very good business model.  You can take that for what it’s worth.

You can get into the lure side of stuff.  It only took me about 10 years before I started making any real money with lures.  Ten YEARS.  Think about that TEN YEARS.  For the first 5 or 6, nothing really.  Might make a couple hundred dollars here and there.  No-one’s really ordering it online.  You’re not going to be making a whole lot.  But if you’re willing to stick it out, you can eventually down the road get enough customers, people who have faith in what you’re putting out – if it’s good stuff, to make money in lures.  If you’re gonna try instruction, or try schools.  Knock yourself out.  But it better be good.  Because with social media now, if it’s not, you’re not going to have customers going back and your reputation is not going to be what you need it to be if you do come up with the best thing in the world because you’ve already screwed it over.  You’ve got to think about that.  But revenue streams are great.  Inside of trapping, excellent.  When you have products, and I’m going to say something else about inside of the trapping industry:  Buying and reselling supplies is not a money-maker.  Period.  Unless you get to the volume of Tim Caven, Sterling, F&T, Schmidt, Cumberland, stuff like that.  Those guys have probably 1 million to 3 million dollars in inventory at any one time on their books.  But if you go out and buy something and resell it for twenty percent profitt, the cash flow gets so screwed up and upside down, all you’re doing is trading money.  Trading money.  Like a t-Shirt.  I make about $5 on t-shirts when I go to a convention.  I don’t make money on T shirts.  Not that I ever see, because if I sell more extra larges and more mediums and 2 Xs and the way it always works out, I turn around and order 100 more t-shirts that cost me more just to resupply the inventory, so there’s really no cash flow in there.  On paper it’s going to show a profit, but it’s not something you really get to spend per se.  And guys that are selling products at 20 and 30% markup, when you take into account the conventions, I mean when I went to Michigan guys you’ve got to know this if you’re gonna try to make that a revenue stream, I had $700 in fuel, $800 in motel rooms, $900 in tables.  I had to eat so I’m not even gonna count food.  So I had to sell that much supplies, above what it cost me to make, before I started to make a profit.  If you’re trying to do that on 20% or 30% and you’re just changing money all the time you’re not going to get anywhere.  The people who produce stuff make the money.  So if you’re gonna try to get into trapping supply-side you need to have some of your own things that you produce or get made that you’re the base ground distributor on.  Then you can make some money.  But if you think you’re going to go buy some dog proofs and 550s and sell them you’re just not going to make any money.  If you really truly run the numbers, you’ll see that.  You might sell $30,000 of supplies at nationals, think about that.  $30,0000.  but after you run your expenses all the way up there and back, if you made $3000 you’re doing good.  But you’ve risked that entire inventory to make $3000.  It’s just something to keep in mind on what you’re doing.  Like I said, I’m being very open and honest on what it’s like to make it.

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  1. Clint,

    Great advise, I have been an outdoorsman for 30 years, an entrepreneur for 25 and have had successful and unsuccessful business over the past 14 years. All you have said is so true. I started trapping this past fall and other trappers told me to start with muskrats and coons, because coyotes and fox were too difficult , well I caught more than them combined (not trying to brag, I just became a student of trapping). Now I am setting off on another adventure, ADC work, I now I will only be as successful as I am willing to be hardworking. Your artical has reminded me of what I need to remember from my past and do in the future. Thank you

  2. Thanks for the information and for being so straight forward. I really have no intention of becoming a full time trapped, I just started trapping 2 years ago. Like most hobbies I have I figured out a way to make a little money at trapping by trapping moles and raccoons. I’m an employee, but I’m also somewhat of an entrepreneur I guess in the sense that I have my “day job”, I have a rental property, I have a small farm and sell some pork, beef and chicken eggs and I have the trapping business at which I’ve not collected a penny for fur to date. I did ship to NAFA though and am waiting for the June sale. I enjoyed listening to your radio show about being in business, I guess because I’ve always treated my hobbies like a business, for example my first venture was scuba diving. I live on the Oregon coast where we are flooded with tourists every year who seem to like to drop their keys off the dock, so I printed some cards opened a checking account and started righting off my scuba gear and lobster diving vacations to California. Maybe one of these days I’ll find a hobby that I enjoy enough to dedicate the time it takes to make a living at it, but for now I’m not ready to break the employee cycle and put that stress on my wife and kids. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for what you do for the trapping industry. I bought cat collector a few months ago, I look forward to this season to see if I can bring by my numbers up a bit. In reality though, I can only do so much trapping while working 4 12 shifts a week, but it’s fun and I get a pretty sweet tax return at the end of the year ;)

  3. Here I thought I was the only trapper permaculturalist. FYI barefoot tree planting time here and prime cat trapping come at about the same time here. So there is some overlap, at least you only have to plant trees once. lol
    I am using permaculture to develop perennial food plots, as I live in a bow only county I believe it could be a niche market.

  4. Great insight and two great articles at that! Really an eye opener as far as the business side is concerned.

  5. how much money do you make a week

  6. how much money do you make a week and is it fun to trap all year around

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