“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.”
Subject Area Specialist – Trapping and Bushcraft Jack Spriggs Jr
A lifelong resident of Mexico, New York located on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Farming, gardening and the outdoors have been my family’s lifestyle for generations. My wife of 33 years, along with our four children and two grandsons share our 150 year old farmhouse. Trapping has been a way of life for me since I was 14 years old. The 2019-20 season was my fortieth year on the line. My trapping history began in 1980 with a pair of old Victor number 1 long springs I found hanging on a nail in Grandpa’s garage. After a quick lesson, on how they worked they were soon sitting in the small creek that ran through the pasture. The very next day I found my first muskrat. Right after dinner that night Dad took me to a local fur buyer where I traded that rat for another brand-new trap. That was it, I was hooked. I spent that season catching muskrats and buying new traps. By the end of the season that fur buyer had taught me to skin and flesh, I had a good supply of traps built up and couldn’t wait for the next season to start.
The following year brought the introduction of land trapping. Racoons were plentiful, and the market was strong. The muskrats and racoons had become easy to trap, lacking the challenge I wanted, so the fur buyer suggested I try my hand at fox. After a lesson in his yard and some instruction on where to find these sly critters, he handed me three dyed traps and a bottle of lure. A few days later I had my first fox. He taught me to skin, flesh and stretch it; then handed me 20 bucks to boot. Which I used to buy more traps.
I realized, a few years later, that the fur buyer had given me something much greater than a hobby. He had introduced me to my first passion. Something I was good at; real good at. Soon I was helping friends and teaching others to trap. I even ended up going to work for him skinning and putting up fur. Since then, there have been hundreds of critters caught, thousands of traps set, and countless people taught. Trapping has become a lifestyle. Something I do every day. Whether I am actively trapping, preparing for the next season or attending the next trapping convention. In 2018 I started a trapping instructional business called Trapping Simplified with Jack Spriggs. My focus is to educate new trappers of any age with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to be a successful and productive trapper. Although I find great pleasure in running my line, seeing the smile or the sense of accomplishment on a new trapper’s face is my biggest thrill.
At Trapping Simplified, 2. Success is not measured by a number but by a sense of accomplishment 3. Trapping will teach you something every day. If it doesn’t, you aren’t doing it right.