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Meet Cam Cook, Snareman Extraordinaire


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#1 glenway

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 03:59 AM

Our friend to the North country (Alberta, Canada) aka C2C is not only an experienced snareman/coyote catcher, but the consummate sportsman.  Here is some of what he shared with me for a recent newspaper publication in Michigan and now online at my blog: https://thinkingafie...adventures.html

 

P.S.  Bullwinkle and I went after that coyote mentioned at the end of the piece below and it failed to show last night.  Sure wish Cam was here!

 

By Glen Wunderlich

Professional Outdoor Media Association, Charter Member

Cam Cook is a sportsman. He lives in southern Alberta, Canada, some 20 miles north of the Montana border and got his first trapper’s license over 40 years ago. Cam credits his father for nurturing his love of the outdoors and for having taken him hunting at a young age. Cam, with four grown children is married to a most understanding and supportive lady, who’s not afraid of pitching in on the trap line when necessary and stands watch for grizzly bears and cougars, while Cam heads in for a check.

Cam estimates he’s taken over 1500 coyotes during his lifetime and that figure includes a fair amount shot with his Tikka rifle in .22-250 caliber.

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Cam Cook’s pelts ready for market

Interestingly, he got serious about snaring only four years ago, and in the process has sent 225 coyotes to the fur market since. These are not the scrawny type of coyotes we have here in Michigan, but by all accounts are graded the best in the world by fur buyers. Last year alone Cam sold 98 coyotes for an average of $149 (Canadian) each and he earned every penny!

CamsCoyotes-300x225.jpg

One day’s catch of prime fur

His method of snaring involves bait piles of road-killed deer obtained from the Department of Highways and game wardens. Up to 40 homemade snares are placed strategically along nearby trails but never within 50 feet of bait for fear of catching his most destructive competitors: golden eagles. Although Cam diligently checks his sites every other day, sometimes it’s not soon enough. He states that eagles prefer fresh, warm coyotes more than cold, frozen roadkill and will render his catches worthless in short order.

While Cam’s catch numbers may seem staggering, this season’s take has been only about one third of last year’s. The primary reason for the reduced catch rate has been warm weather. He states, “During warm weather, coyotes don’t need my bait sites; they have lots of mice to catch, as well as jack rabbits.” Other hunters and trappers have gotten into the action and are most certainly part of the equation, as well.

“I believe coyotes need managing when population densities get too high”, says Cam.   “Disease does this naturally and a valuable and beautiful resource is lost. Few sights in nature are as disgusting and revolting as a coyote in full onset of mange. I don’t know how the poor creatures survive when the temperature gets below zero and they virtually have to keep moving just to stay alive. Last year I harvested 10 of them in various stages of mange and the hide is of no commercial value at all; I am only relieving these animals of suffering and a painful end.”

He also mentions that coyotes are major contributors to fawn mortality – particularly antelope. “It is very rare now to see a pair of twins with a doe anymore. The antelope had moved in close to dwellings and farmsteads in hopes of staying away from the coyotes – especially at lambing time. With the control that we’ve been trying on the coyotes, we are seeing a few more antelope now.”

He advises any up-and-coming young trapper to take a trapping course and to join their local trappers association.   It is wise to contact known trappers and snare men and pick their brains for any tips and knowledge that they are willing to share; plus, the internet and YouTube are your friends.

Michigan has its own trapping and snaring rules and they may be quite different than those elsewhere, so brush up on them before assuming anything. You’ll need a small game license that comes with the requisite base license plus a fur takers license. For Michigan-specific supplies and help, F&T Fur Harvester’s Trading Post in Alpena is a good resource at 989-727-8727 or www.fntpost.com.

Now is the best time for either hunting or trapping coyotes, because they are extremely active during the mating season and will roam many miles in one day. I know one thing: My pal, Joe and I will be targeting a certain song dog that haunted me during deer season – pelt or no pelt.

 

 



#2 hassell

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 04:42 AM

Great write up Glen as usual.



#3 azpredatorhunter

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:00 AM

Very nice Glen...

It's funny I never asked how often he checks his snares. I never had any animals/traps lost to thieves when I was a kid trapping a local park... but I was checking my traps every morning @ 3:30 am. My father always ran his trapline under the cover of darkness. So I don't know your schedule C2C but I bet if you checked your snares early in the morning every day, it would greatly reduce the eagle issue.

#4 youngdon

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 08:48 AM

Over the past few years I believe we’ve all learned a few things from Cam, I know I have. It’s nice to learn more about Him.

                          Tree Branch Calls

      

 

Never kick a dead coyote, especially one that ain't dead when your gun is still in the kitchen. Just ask your favorite Yooper what will happen. But if its a bobcat in a 330 coni and you think he's dead,,,,,Think again..

                                                       

                                                         

20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs. Please God, don't take Kevin Bacon !

 

 

 

RIP Chris Miller

 

 


#5 pokeyjeeper

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 02:03 PM

That is a great write up thank you for sharing

FLATLANDER'S CUSTOM GAME CALLS

​the working man's game call

 


#6 C2C

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 06:41 AM

Very nice Glen...

It's funny I never asked how often he checks his snares. I never had any animals/traps lost to thieves when I was a kid trapping a local park... but I was checking my traps every morning @ 3:30 am. My father always ran his trapline under the cover of darkness. So I don't know your schedule C2C but I bet if you checked your snares early in the morning every day, it would greatly reduce the eagle issue.

As...morning bud..I check every other day , too far for a daily check and where they are located you have to get right down in the brush to make sure they are still hanging which makes for a scent issue. This wouldn't be quite as bad on a normal year with frequent snow to wash it away but this year being dry I think I have left quite the scent build up .
As for theft ,so far only 1 lost to a sledders BUT a buddy lost 5 yesterday in one bait site to a guy on a side by side that drove up a river to his spot in private land ..we all mark our sets with flagging tape so we dont forget one when we pull in the spring so it made it easy for the thief to " check " his spot . Had one more caught that was in an unmarked spot ..words cant describe the anger Dennis has and who can blame him .

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#7 C2C

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 08:41 PM

One important thing I failed to mention on that article.is all the work that my son does in helping me ,he is an excellent snare man and tho he doesn't have a line any more he helps all he can .

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#8 C2C

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 05:54 AM

Glen you are a master with your pen , thank you for the opportunity to talk with you .

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#9 glenway

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 08:36 AM

Well, my friend, thank you.  But, you sure gave me plenty to work with!






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