Sunday, June 13, 2010

Adventures and treasures

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Went out to check cows the other day and much to our surprise, there is tons of water Out South. OK not tons, but the influence of this wet spring is definitely noticeable out here in the desert where the average rainfall is 9-11" but since January we have already gotten over 10". Much of this water collects in a pond before heading down the canyon to Trout Creek.

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As we explored the pond I noticed something else poking out of the dirt.

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It is an old leg hold trap. There were two traps chained together, a smaller one - for small game like rabbits and squirrels - and a larger one that was used for coyotes. The traps were probably part of someone's old coyote trap line. Maybe it was from the sheep herders that grazed the open range before the Homestead Act, or maybe it was great grandpa Frank. Philosophies on trapping coyotes have changed since then but I couldn't help but appreciate the excellent placement of these traps - right at the opening to the canyon where the vertical cliff walls funnel all passing traffic through a narrow gap.

Though one of the two traps had rusted through the hinges, the other was still perfectly functional. Here Nathan demonstrates how the traps were armed:

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If anything touched the disk in the center of the trap it would trigger and snap shut. Even these rusty old traps still carry a wallop so Nathan uses a stick to demonstrate.

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