What do Hunters and Trappers Do?
Hunters and trappers set up traps and go on hunting trips in order to kill or relocate wild animals. These animals may then be used for various purposes, such as bait, feed for other animals, fur, and human consumption. By following hunting and trapping seasons and local and federal laws, hunters and trappers help control wild animal populations and help protect lands.
Hunters and Trappers Skills and Abilities
In order to be a successful hunter and trapper, you must have the sensory and mental skills necessary to hunt and trap wild and unpredictable animals. These skills include critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgement and decision making skills. Combined with active listening and monitoring skills, you are able to better control the outcomes of your hunts by knowing what is occurring around you. Physical skills, such as near vision, coordination, and limb steadiness are all important in accurately setting up and using traps and firearms.
Hunters and Trappers Duties
As a hunter and trapper, you are first responsible for taking care of your equipment, whether that be vehicles, traps or firearms. This includes maintaining, repairing and replacing whenever necessary. Following government laws, both local and federal, you are to gain approval for any traps and notify nearby persons where they are set for the safety of everyone. Once traps are set or you are ready to hunt, you are responsible for the following duties:
- Use maps to set traps, cages, nets or snares.
- Identify dead or alive animals meant for sale or relocation.
- Remove fur pelts from animals using appropriate knives or scrapers.
- Clean dead animal pelts by removing flesh, blubber and fat from the underside.
- Using tracking methods to follow animals through various environments.
- Educate others that are unfamiliar with different animals of prey or hunting techniques.
- Obtain and train hunting dogs.
- Use various vehicles, including boats, trucks, snowmobiles or helicopters.
- Wash animal skins and cure with boric acid or salt mixtures.
Hunters and Trappers Tools and Technology
Most of the equipment you use as a hunter and trapper will involve weapons, firearms or trapping materials. Archery bows and rifles will be your most used weapons. Weapon accessories and components, such as magazines, bullets and cleaning kits, will be used. Navigation software and GPS or satellite devices are necessary for mapping the right locations for traps or hunts. You may be required to use sharp knives and tools as part of an animal cleaning kit.
Education and Training for Hunters and Trappers
You are not required to obtain a high level of education in order to be a hunter or trapper. Many in the field have less than a high school diploma, but most obtain at least that level. Quite a few finish some college, even completing an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Proficiency in traps and firearms are necessary to complete your duties. Knowledge of government laws and regulations is also important to complete your duties.
Hunters and Trappers Salary
Most hunters and trappers work as independent contractors. What you do with the wild animal after you catch or kill it can affect the pay you receive. On average, hunters receive approximately $9.25 an hour as the median rate. The bottom and top 10 percent of the spectrum can see much lower and higher rates.
Hunters and Trappers Jobs by Geography
Because hunting and trapping is such a wide field that depends on the kind of work you want to accomplish and the kind of wildlife you want to catch, location is very important when finding employment. Alabama and Wisconsin are rated as two of the best places for hunting deer, while Colorado offers elk hunting. Determining the best spots for your desired animal will play a role in how much you get paid.