Why a Midwestern whitetail deer hunter or a Southern bass fisherman should give a hoot about the fate of trapping is probably lost on most people, but it is more important than most of us realize.

For some time trapping has been the black sheep of the outdoor community. Less people are trapping. Yet while trappers are becoming more and more of a minority, the future of hunting and fishing might well depend on them.

It is no big secret that there are a lot of anti-hunting people and organizations that are devoted to ending our way of life. And they spend a lot of money to do so. They are constantly on the attack and trappers are the first group they go after. Trappers are the outdoorsman’s first line of defense. Trapping can be a controversial subject for some, and with the ever more urbanized mentality in society, it is often portrayed as inhumane or unfair. I’ll spare you 10,000 words of arguments on the sound ethics of trapping, but I will say that most trappers I know are also avid hunters and fishermen.

The “trappers” I know up here in Alaska are some of the most well-rounded and ethical outdoorsmen I have ever met. Yet the anti’s don’t know that. They know simply that the trappers are the minority, therefore the weakest link and the easiest target. Most of us are well aware that they have no plans at stopping at trapping, and that’s why it’s so important that we don’t give up any ground.

Millions of dollars are spent each year to strip away our freedoms. There are some smart people behind it. They know that the best way to defeat us is to divide and conquer. Just like we often hear and sometimes say ourselves regarding our country, we can only stand if we stick together and unite, and the same is true for outdoorsmen. We too often find ourselves pitted against each other for one reason or another when we should be supporting each other unilaterally. In the big picture, we are all on the same team, but when we turn on each other, we put our future on the line.

I have met quite a few “outdoorsmen” who are more than willing to throw trapping under the bus, and in several states, trapping has been eliminated, followed by increased attacks on hunting and even fishing. So if trapping hasn’t been lost where you live, I’d encourage you to get involved, and get kids involved. It’s challenging, rewarding, full of history, and a great blow to our heritage if we lose it.