Kickass, the doorstop dog, helps the keeper with a diversion from the coronavirus disaster by reviewing his—the keeper’s boyhood experience as a trapper, which had disastrous aspects in its own right. Oblivious to the abject cruelty of animal trapping, the keeper set leg-hold traps in a bog marsh along the route he walked to a country school. Over the course of the season, he caught a dozen or so muskrats and a mink or two, skinning the animals and drying the pelts on stretchers to make them market worthy. Stored in a cardboard box for later sale, the keeper’s hard-earned bonanza was burned up in a trash barrel when his mother mistook it for garbage as she did a spring cleaning of the basement.
It was the keeper’s last trapping effort, and he has since come to appreciate the inhumane aspects of the “sport” that involves long, built-in periods of unspeakable suffering for the trapped animals. Leg-hold traps have been outlawed over much of the world, but their use in Wisconsin is part of what is promoted by the DNR in its “harvest” programs, and sees an estimated 17,000 trappers take some 200,000 animals annually.
It is now the season, and on any given morning, countless creatures either chew off their own limb to gain freedom or wait for a merciful death from a trapper’s club.
It is the keeper’s thought that maybe this is something to be looked at politically once the coronavirus has run its deadly course in accordance with the GOP and the Tavern League.