American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scent Memories

Sights, sounds, and smells can trigger old memories in all of us and last night I had a scent that took me back to an unknown place and time. It was more of a feeling and a memory that it was, somehow, related to a new knife.

As I was making my rounds through the house before bed I caught a whiff of something outside that caused my brain to run at 100 miles per hour. "I've smelled that before," I thought. It was kind of a musky, sour smell that I knew meant an animal was running around just outside the open window.

But what could it be?

I tried to remember why the smell reminded me of a new knife but just couldn't place it.

Finally, as I slept, the answer came to me. The smell was that of a raccoon. It was such a deeply ingrained scent in my memory because it was partly, if not wholly, responsible for my progression down the path of hunting and trapping. After having a large family of raccoons move in under my house I made several phone calls for help but all the animal control people wanted so much money and the Village told me that I needed a licensed trapper to remove the animals.

Then I called the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and asked them how I could go about becoming a trapper. "Send in an application and $9," was the response. I made sure there wasn't a class requirement (like Hunter Safety for new hunters) and they assured me that was all the more complicated the process was.

I sent off my application plus $9 and, in a few weeks, I was a fully licensed trapper in the state of Illinois.

Then I had to remove 10 raccoons from under the house and that smell will stick with me forever--even if not in the front of my mind.

Thanks for reading,



At 7:09 AM, Anonymous said...

I've done well using have-a-heart traps when in town. That way the neighbors cat or someone's dog that has escaped doesn't end up with broken leg and bad feelings (the neighbors bad feelings that is). Plus then there is not need for the trapping permits, at least in my neck of the woods.


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