Trapping Demo Day getting more popular in its sixth year

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Every year the Slave Lake chapter of the Alberta Trappers’ Association (ATA) holds a demonstration event and invites the public. This year’s Trapper Demo Day – as they call it – was held on Feb. 23. And according to local ATA member Darrell Walde, “It seems to get slightly bigger, yet runs smoother each year.”

This was the sixth annual event, and the second year it’s been held in the old fire hall on Caribou Trail.

The highlight for the kids in attendance this year was a squirrel-skinning station. Nine kids tried it out, says Joanne Walde, who looked after that aspect of the show.

Otherwise, there were presentations on fur management and trapping methods for the curious people who showed up. Jeff Bakker of the ATA in Westlock came up for the day to lead the fur-preparation group.

Says Darrell: “Over the years we have altered the event from a day of primarily furbearer pelt preparation, to adding components such as trapping equipment, including a collection of certified humane traps, and some reconstruction of actual trapline set-ups.”

The group may have to look for a new venue next year; the old fire hall is up for sale and rumour has it there are interested parties.

Stay tuned on that. In the meantime, “We are very appreciative of the community support,” says Darrell in his written brief for The Leader. “Fundraising dollars are returned to the community through donations to youth groups with an outdoor focus and discounts on youth trapper training costs.”

Kale Turcotte gets a lesson in squirrel skinning from Joanne Walde.
Darrell Walde shows how to skin a coyote.

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