Gary "The Beav" Mather
Member of :
Wisconsin Trappers Association
South Carolina Trappers Association
Fur Takers of America
US Sportsmen's Alliance USSA
South Carolina Cat February 2003
80 lb. WI Beaver
I've been trapping since I was in grade school with a few years off during my three years in the Marine Corps. My wife, Pam, and I raised two daughters and like most trappers, I made time for trapping whenever I could .... before and after work.... on weekends.... and using vacation time. My dream was always to trap full-time.
In October of 1997, at age 58, I retired from being a Steamfitter. I bought a new truck and with my wife's blessing, I took off the next day for a 7 week adventure..... trapping in the Canadian Bush. I got back home the end of November, made a few minks sets here in Wisconsin and in January of 1998 we left for a month of trapping in South Carolina. I've been going back to SC every January & February since.
Pam and I have "compromised" so she enjoys this as much as I do. She stays in a rented condo on the beach while I stay in a trailer 50 miles inland to trap, and we visit each other often.
Sunset from Pam's condo balcony
I owe thanks to my trappin' buddies.... Jim in Canada, and Charlie in North Carolina, who told me if I ever retired they'd set me up with some good trapping country, and then they did it :-) And thanks to all the wonderful folks and good buddies I've made since I've been going down there too!
I'm also happy I could share my southern trapline adventures with Todd and Harvey Roggenkamp from MN, Mike Nicholson from WI, Russ Collar from OH, Mark Richards WI and John Lang WI. We've had some great adventures. I should also mention that I met most all my travellin' trapping buddies at various NTA Conventions.
So...........let's hit the line!
2014 Wisconsin Trappers Convention Photos
2002 NTA Convention Photos
Pam's Caribou hunting float trip , Sept 2002
Some of my favorite
In August/September of 1999, Pam & I took a 3 1/2 week vacation to Alaska where our youngest daughter lives. We've been back many times since then.
I just had time to get all my gear ready and grab Harvey Roggenkamp to head down to Mississippi and go trapping for 6 weeks in November and December. I came home for Christmas, and took off for SC in January and February 2000.
I headed back down to Mississippi in Nov/Dec 2000 with a good guy named Russ Collar from Ohio (that I met online). For a number of reasons, it hasn't worked out for me to go back to MS since then, but I hope to make the trip again one of these years.
I went back to South Carolina for January/February 2001 & 2002 with a new trapping buddy, Mark Richards from Wisconsin. Things didn't work out for my trapping partners to join me in 2003, but I had plenty of company on the trapline with the friends and budding young trappers that have adopted me over the years. I'm always happy to have kids along, they are enthusiastic and eager to learn, even when they wear me out LOL I'm not making any great fortune, but still covering expenses with some $ left over. But then again, the adventures I'm having and the new friends I've made are things that money can't buy .....
Ain't retirement great :-)