Wildlife Damage Management
Trapping Oral History Initiative
We all have stories to tell. Oral histories are one way of preserving those stories for future generations.
Since the late 1800s, federal and state agencies have employed trappers to help manage wildlife populations and/or reduce wildlife damage. Trapping animals to prevent wildlife damage is an important part of our Nation’s history, though many people have differing views concerning its value and use.
In 2005, the USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services program (Wildlife Services) began work on the Trapping Oral History Initiative. The goal of the Initiative was to capture the personal stories of more than 20 retired and semi-retired federal government trappers. The interviews highlight the trappers’ family lives, education, and careers in wildlife damage management over more than a 50-year period starting in the 1950s; and highlight the evolution of trapping toward more humane and selective tools and techniques.
The following web pages contain excerpts from the oral histories and provide insights into the life of a WS trapper.
The Initiative’s oral histories are expressions of the views, memories, and opinions of the interviewees and may note tools or techniques no longer approved or considered appropriate for managing wildlife damage. The oral histories do not represent the policy, views, or official history of the Federal government or the USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services program. The Wildlife Services program respects and realizes that trapping is a sensitive issue for many people.
For more information about the Wildlife Services’ Trapping Oral History Initiative, please contact Nancy Freeman
Nancy Freeman, CA
Last Modified: October 12, 2012