Trapping Magazines: A Review
October 7, 2011
Like much of the outdoor sporting world, trapping has its fair share of trade publications. A large percentage of trappers subscribe to trapping magazines to keep up with the latest news, techniques and equipment. Like most trappers, I wish I had enough money to subscribe to all of the trapping magazines, but I can’t, and you probably can’t either. So I’d like to help by describing each of the available trapping magazines and what you can expect if you subscribe to them.
Trapper & Predator Caller
The Trapper & Predator Caller is currently the leading magazine in the trapping industry. Founded in 1975, this magazine was originally called “The Trapper”, but was later changed to add the predator calling element, which only plays a minor role in overall content. The magazine is published 10 times per year and is offered with membership to most state trapping associations. As a result, state trappers association presidents’ reports are printed in each issue.
The Trapper & Predator Caller holds a lot of content in its pages. It’s edited by a real pro and great writer, Jim Spencer. Parker Dozhier also provides the most comprehensive fur market report available, which includes general market trends as well as detailed regional fur prices. The magazine has added an online presence recently, with a revamped website, a blog, message boards, and other resources.
If I had anything negative to say about T&PC, the ratio of advertising to overall content is pretty high, meaning you have to wade through quite a few ads while reading the magazine. Some people don’t mind this though. Also, the magazine switched formats a few months back and now sports smaller sized pages that I’m not a big fan of.
Overall, Trapper and Predator Caller is a great trapping magazine and if you’re an avid trapper, it’s well worth subscribing to.
$18..95 gets you a 1 year subscription (10 issues). Discounts are available through most state trappers associations.
Of all the magazines that highlight trapping, Fur-Fish-Game has by far the largest circulation. You can find FFG at almost any news stand across the country. The difference between it and the other trapping magazines, however, is that Fur-Fish-Game focuses on much more than just trapping. It covers many other niche hunting and fishing topics that don’t get much attention in the mainstream hunting and fishing magazines. Depsite this, FFG sports enough trapping-related articles and information to make it worth subscribing to. In addition to the reader-submitted articles, the magazine also has a monthly fur market report. It’s only about a page long, but has enough information to keep trappers on top of overall trends in the fur market.
$15.95 buys you a monthly subscription (12 issues per year).
Trapper’s Post is a brand new trapping magazine started by longtime trapper, writer and artist Bob Noonan from Maine. Some disclosure here, I have to admit that Trapper’s Post is by far my favorite trapping magazine. It’s been interesting to see a new trapping magazine start from scratch and build up a solid following.
The difference I’ve noticed between Trapper’s Post and other trapping magazines is the format and advertising content. It’s easy to read and is absolutely packed with content – i.e. trapping stories, interviews and informative articles. So far, the advertisement space has been kept to the point where it doesn’t interfere with the reading experience.
Since it is only published every two months, Trapper’s Post does not have fur market information that’s as detailed as Trapper & Predator Caller or Fur-Fish-Game. Instead, it offers a less detailed fur market section that focuses more on general market conditions.
Trapper’s Post features regular columns from some big names in the trapping industry. Noonan also interviews a noted trapper each month. Trapper’s Post is starting to offer subscriptions as part of trappers association membership in some states, and is publishing those state reports. I hope they pick up more state associations, but also wouldn’t like to see the state reports take the place of content. Again, the thing I like most about TP is the content. Flip through the pages and you’ll be amazed with the amount of actual trapping articles and information packed into a single issue.
$21.95 gets you a bimonthly subscription (6 issues per year). Discounts are offered to members of some state trappers associations.
The Fur Taker
The Fur Taker is a monthly trapping magazine published for members of Fur Takers of America. If you have the money, FTA is a great group to join. They work hard to promote trapping and protect our rights as trappers. They also offer an annual Trappers College that I’ve heard a lot of good things about.
As far as the magazine, I’ve read it several times over the years. It’s a good resource for trappers, and is a great benefit for financially supporting a group that supports our trapping heritage. The circulation and contributors are small, but a lot of sound trapping information can be found here.
FTA membership is $30 annually, which includes 12 issues of The Fur Taker.
American Trapper is also a trapping magazine tied to group membership. This quarterly publication is sent to members of the National Trappers Association. The NTA fights hard to protect trapping rights and educate the public about the benefits of trapping. I’ve read American Trapper off and on over the years. It’s a great resource, and the benefit of the magazine is just one of many reasons to support the NTA.
NTA membership is $30 annually, which includes four issues of American Trapper.
Today’s Trapper’s World magazine is the result of a long history of ups and downs in the trapping publication industry. Trapper’s World has always been a magazine by trappers and for trappers, but has had financial troubles in the past and is less known than the rest of the trapping magazines on the market.
I know Trapper’s World best for the big name trappers that have written for it in the past. I’m not sure what the future holds for Trapper’s World, but it might be worth giving the magazine a try.
$19.95 gets you a bimonthly subscription (6 issues per year).
International Trapper magazine is published twice per year by North American Fur Auctions. The publication is only available to trappers who ship fur to NAFA for sale at auction. NAFA will deduct $10 each year from your fur check for the subscribtion. IT is printed on very high quality paper and includes valuable information for trappers, particularly when it comes to fur handling and sales. Each issue has a theme.
$10 buys an annual subscription (2 issues) for trappers who ship fur to NAFA.
Trap and Trail
Trap and Trail is a small time trapping and hound hunting magazine. It’s currently in the startup phase, offering bimonthly issues, but the editors are hoping to work their way toward a monthly magazine. The magazine is looking for stories from trappers and offers a free subscription for submitted stories. I don’t know much about Trap and Trail, but it might be worth giving it a try.
$15 buys an annual subscription (6 issues). Article submission or friend referral can get you a free subscription.
A self-proclaimed underground trapping publication, Longliner Times was put out by the Predator Control Group for ‘hardcore trappers’. As I understand it, the magazine is no longer running, but back issues are available by visiting the Predator Control Group’s website.
I hope this overview of trapping magazines available on today’s market is useful for trappers young and old. Trappers always strive for more information on the trapping industry, and I do my best to provide some of that here on TrappingToday.com I invite you to take a look at some of the magazines described above, and provide your own input on their value to you as a trapper.
Here’s a recap of the links to each the above trapping magazine websites.
Trapper’s Post: An Interview with Bob Noonan
January 2, 2010
This season, a brand new magazine has entered the ranks of those dedicated to North America’s trapping industry. Trapper’s Post, a bimonthly publication focused on all things trapping, printed its first issue in September and has already begun to develop a strong readership in the trapping community. After reading the first two issues of Trapper’s Post, I was pleasantly surprised by the large amount of practical trapping information included in its 44+ pages. In addition to being loaded with great content, the layout and design of the magazine was very refreshing and made it easy to read. Overall, I was impressed and wanted to learn more about Trapper’s Post, so I requested an interview with publisher and editor Bob Noonan.
A lifelong trapper, Noonan has been a freelance writer for decades and has written countless articles for trapping publications including Fur-Fish-Game, Trapper and Predator Caller and International Trapper. He has also been the editor of Wildlife Control Technology for 15 years. After developing numerous connections in the trapping industry, Noonan began to see opportunities to share more trapping information than was currently available in today’s media. It was this abundance of story ideas and encouragement from other trappers helped Noonan and his wife Debbie decide to start Trapper’s Post.
During tough economic times and a low point in the fur industry, you might be wondering why anyone would decide to start a new trapping magazine. Either they’re downright crazy, or truly see an opportunity where few others have been looking. One late December day, I had the chance to talk with Bob Noonan to find out more.
TrappingToday: Can you tell us about your background as a writer for trapping publications, and what prompted you to start Trapper’s Post?
Bob Noonan: I’ve been writing for the trapping industry for over 25 years. I started doing cartoons for the Trapper magazine in the 1970s, and began writing articles for them in the ‘80s. In the mid-1980s I became a field editor and contributed stories until recently. I was a freelance magazine writer for publications in other fields, but my real passion was writing about trapping. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to make a living writing trapping articles.
Throughout my writing career, I had the opportunity to meet lots of people in the trapping community and came up with a lot of ideas. I always had more ideas for articles than I could sell to the trapping publications. I also discovered a great deal of information that never gets written about. Since I loved writing about trapping and had all of these ideas, why not start a magazine? It was a great way to justify writing about trapping for a living.
TT: How is Trapper’s Post different from other trapping magazines?
Noonan: We publish, and will continue to search for, information from real experts who have never before been in print. Due to time constraints, other magazines usually work with trappers who are also writers. I have the time and resources to work with articles from very knowledgeable trappers who aren’t necessarily great at writing.
TT: I noticed that Trapper’s Post is loaded with content, as opposed to many publications that are loaded with advertisements. Do you plan to continue this pattern?
Noonan: While we are just getting started and would like to increase our advertising, Trapper’s Post will never have as many ads per page as many other publications. Some publications have ad ratios (ratio of advertisements to editorial content) of up to 50% or more. Our current ad ratio is about 20%, and we’d like to eventually get that to around 30%. You need advertisements in order to make money, and advertisements do provide readers with access to products, but when you get too many ads you have to break up articles more to fit them in, and readers begin to balk.
TT: Many nationally known trappers are featured on the pages of Trapper’s Post. How have you been able to make the connections necessary to bring these folks aboard, and do you plan on recruiting others to the ranks?
Noonan: It took a long time. I went to a lot of state and national trapper conventions and got the chance to meet many other trappers and folks around the industry. My favorite type of article to do is the interview, which doesn’t seem to be very common among other writers. While writing for the Trapper and Predator Caller, the editors and I would brainstorm and come up with ideas, which often led to assignments to interview a particular trapper, usually a well-known one. Whether it was by phone or in person, I made friends by doing these interviews, and they introduced me to other expert trappers not known to the public. In Trapper’s Post I want to introduce these people to the public. After you’ve been around the industry long enough and keep networking, it’s amazing how many connections you have, and how small the trapping community really is.
TT: Do you have any special advice for those wishing to contribute to Trapper’s Post?
Noonan: First, before writing anything, contact me. Otherwise, you might spend time writing an article similar to one that I already have in hand. You can call or email, but phone is probably better. That way we can toss around ideas. I love to talk trapping, and we can probably identify and focus an idea for an article based on our conversation.
Second, this is not a literary magazine. Perfect writing skills aren’t needed. I want information, period. Don’t be intimidated if you’re not a good writer, there is so much valuable information in the trapping community that is being lost because it isn’t written about. Just relax and get the information written down. I will take care of the editing.
TT: What should we look for from Trapper’s Post in the future?
Noonan: Overall, we want to make the North American trapper more aware of his community. That’s why we chose our slogan, “The Pulse of the Trapping Industry”. We want to be an organ for communication between trappers by striving for the same thing that has made Trapperman.com so popular, that sense of community.
We also want to preserve and protect our trapping heritage. One way to do that is recruit new young trappers. In future issues we’ll have a regular Young Trapper section, which will include a story by a trapper 16 or younger, and a short instructional article for beginners. We have provided free subscriptions to six local school libraries already, and they have been well received. We will work to expand this outreach to school libraries here in Maine and in other states. We want to keep growing and be a voice for the trapping community.
We are constantly searching for valuable trapping information to grow and preserve trapping knowledge. Trapper’s Post will always have very specific, time tested, practical information from trappers who have done it before. We will continue working to offset the urban culture that has caused people to lose touch with their roots, and help strengthen the fraternity of trappers in North America.
You can subscribe to Trapper’s Post by visiting www.trapperspost.com.