July's Kids of Trapping Post
For July I would like to give a HUGE Shout out to Lynsay Ruocco! Lynsay is 17 now but started out trapping when she was about 10. I first had the honor of meeting Lynsay 2 years ago with her dad Tom and her uncle Ace at the NY State Trappers Convention. I knew right away from talking to her that this way of life holds a deep place in her heart, but until I started interviewing her and her dad for this post, I didn't realize how much!
Now as a woman and a parent in this way of life, I know getting kids involved in something like this is a personal choice for each parent. We all have our reason why or why not. Here is Tom's reason why and how he got Lynsay involved. "It was our mutual love of the outdoors, all critters big and small! It was a perfect way for the two of us to spend time together! Being my first, and my baby, I was so anxious to get her into hunting but somehow it was not in the cards for Lynsay, she could not bring herself to be the "trigger woman"...as a team, she never had to. Dad took care of the dispatch, for years she would simply turn her back when it was time, even hearing the shot and knowing what the result was, it made it easier for her...I think that's important taking any youth out, let them take things at their own pace."
When I asked Lynsay what got her and her dad into trapping, because it wasn't something they always did, she said "I remember a bunch of beaver had flooded out my dad’s tree stand and it was one of his favorite spots. We were trying to figure out how to get them out of there and somebody suggested that we tried trapping. Once we started we fell in love with it and decided to try land trapping. Coyotes are probably my favorite, because you never know what to expect with them. Usually the fox or raccoon we catch are all the same, shy! We very rarely see anything different from them. However with coyotes, almost every one has a different reaction when they see you. Some of them jump, some run circles, others howl, snarl, or even try to come after you."
I don't know about you but I can tell by that answer she is a tough girl for sure! So I couldn't help but ask her dad if he was worried about bring a little girl out on the line. I am sure it can be hard for a daddy, but Tom said "Hahahaha....no, never...you would have to meet her mother !! I have never treated any of my children any different, and I have a 14 year old son too...being a country boy all my life, I expect the same from my daughter as I do my son...I am not a mean Dad by any means but if your gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk ! She's a pretty tough girl."
Not only does she help run the line along side two wonderful role models but she also is helping kids around her understand why we do what we do and feels it is a tradition she is going to pass along to her kids as well. Lynsay explained to me , "One of the reasons I love trapping so much is that I have my dad and uncle Ace by my side. I think trapping is something every kid should experience or at least be educated on. Most kids I know think trapping is cruel until I explain it to them. I tell them about mange and the others nasty ways mother nature has of keeping the population down, and explain that if there were no trappers the population would be out of control and there would be sick, rabid animals running all around." I LOVE THAT ANSWER! I love that she has built a bond not only with her uncle and dad with with the sport so much that she is going to pass it along!
THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT FOLKS!
Before I finished talking to these two I asked Tom if he had any advice to parents who would like to get their kids involved, "Make it fun.... don't make it an all day tour if it's 20 below out...let them make the terms, if they don't like dispatch, they don't have to watch, if touching the critters isn't their thing no worries, if it is then by all means check them out, get in a catch pic or two...most of all make it Fun, make some memories that last a lifetime, before you know it their all grown up and going to a convention full of stinky old Trappers just doesn't seem to have the same appeal...." Lynsay added with " Stick with it, a couple of kids from my school tried trapping but told me they gave up because they couldn’t catch what they wanted. You’re not going to be a pro right away, and even if you are a “pro”, you’re not always going to get what you want. Just learn from it and have fun. you’ll figure it out." I think that sounds like great advice from them both!
I love hearing stories like this and I love that she is already trying to help her nephew have a love for the way of life as well. Tom and Lynsay thank you for sharing your story. Tight Chains!
***I also write for Trapper's Life, and this was featured story on there as well!***