Monday, September 22

I won the Essay contest!

There was an essay contest on a trapping forum I'm on, and there were about 40 or 50 entries. Of them I won first place! Here's a list of the prizes I won
First Place
One Pair New Red Wing Boots-Obviously in your size(TommyBoy)
One Dozen New Victor 1.5 Softcatch(Anonymous)
$25 MTP Gift Certificate(Tim and Nancy Caven)
Mink, Muskrat, and Raccoon Trapping DVD(Paul Dobbins)
3-Lil Griz Getters
3-MB 550 RC
3-MB 450 FH
4oz Forgets ProCoon
4oz Dobbins Purrfect
4oz Lenons Super Range Fox All Call
2-110 conis(Anonymous)
1 Doz Snares-Made Legal for your area(Dead Coyote)
2oz Homemade Coon Lure(Cody17)
One Bottle Undertaker Lure(barewire)
2 Jars-Smoked Salmon/Shellfish Bait(B.Roberts)
One Bottle Big Bear Coon LDC(B.Roberts)
Chain Gambrel(Anonymous)
Critter Carrier(Anonymous)
Flagging Tape(Anonymous)
2 Awesome Weasel Boxes/Including Traps(Ace Trapper)

Here's my entry:

My name is Toby Armstrong and I’m 15 years old. This will be my second year trapping. Nobody in my immediate family besides me hunts or traps, and I just got my dad hooked on fishing. I live in northern Pine County Minnesota with my 2 brothers, 2 sisters, and 2 parents. (The perfect family?)

When the seasons ended earlier this year, I was discouraged because I hadn’t caught anything of value except weasels. I had been targeting bobcat, mink, raccoon, and otter, but hadn’t caught any. I decided to spend the next several months learning about the animals, and the trapping laws in Minnesota. I purchased books, borrowed books, and went to several demos on trapping, and watched animals in the wild, and wrote down everything I learned. I subscribed to Trapper & Predator Caller, Trapper’s World, and Fur-Fish-Game. I wanted to learn everything I could about the animals.

I tuned up all my supplies, and bought what I needed. I now have several lures and baits where I had none last year; I don’t doubt that was a large contributing factor to my lack of success last year. I dyed all my traps and made sure they work smoothly. I made several weasel boxes. I did several hours worth of scouting, and all with the limited transportation of a bike. I found several locations I plan to set this fall.

I made many snares this summer, complete with swivels. I also made wooden stretchers for rabbits. I did some ADC trapping for my family who had some skunks eating the eggs in the chicken coop.

Because of all my expenses this year, many of which were startup costs, I would like really like to catch a bobcat. I have found several ideal spots to trap them. I will also be targeting mink raccoon, otter, weasels, rabbits, and fisher.

My goal this fall is to catch 20 rabbits (that’s the limit), 5 mink, 2 otter, 5 raccoons, a bobcat, a fisher, and 10 weasels.

I plan to skin and stretch all my pelts myself, and ship them to a Canadian auction house. Any money I make will go toward a trapping truck. I think I want a Ranger, a Colorado, or a Silverado, but I’m not sure yet. Anything will beat riding a bike all winter long.

This coming January at the Minnesota Trapper’s Association winter meeting, I plan to take an instructor course so that I can help people learn about trapping.

Somewhere in the middle of all my planning for this season, I was given the Minnesota Junior Trapper of the Year Award. Boy was I surprised!

Due to my fairly tight budget, I am only a member of Fur Takers of America, National Trappers Association, Minnesota Trappers Association, National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, and Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. I have also written a letter to the USFWS concerning the "Core Lynx Zone" which is now an hour north of me. I told them the facts and asked that they remove lynx from the endangered species list and drop the "Core Lynx Zone" idea, since it doesn't work and costs the government money anyway. I also sold 120 raffle tickets for the MN Trappers Association, which went toward youth education.

I would like to thank Andy, Tracy, James, BuckNE, Hupurest, LT GREY, baseline, Paul, kirk, anonymous, Cody, barewire, Wayne Derrick, Troy McDaniel, Tommyboy, Tim and Nancy Caven, B. Roberts, Ace Trapper, M. Howard, and Dead Coyote, for their help and contributions. I would also like to thank all the people who have helped me to become the person I am, the wildlife that is kind enough to step in my ill concealed trap, and God who gave us the animals and dominion over them, and who made them smart enough to bug us but dumb enough to catch. And of course I would also like to thank all the organizations out there who defend my rights and fight for trapping, even if I’m not a member yet. I’m working on it!

Toby Armstrong Esq.
Member of MN Trapper's Association, Fur Takers of America, National Trapper's Association, NRA, Ducks Unlimited, and MN Deer Hunter's Association.

I'm so excited!


  1. Wow! Wow! Wow!!!
    Great job, Toby! I'm very proud of all you've accomplished.
    One question: What's undertaker lure? Sounds a little creepy.
    But WOW!
    Love you,

  2. Congratulations, Toby. I'm very proud of your accomplishments. By the way---did you know that Esq means lawyer?

    Love you,
    Grammy Martin

  3. that's awesome Toby! I'm going to pass on the news to Mr.Rick.

  4. congratulations Toby. I really enjoyed your essay and I hope you enjoy all your prizes. I'm a city person so it's interesting to read about all your outdoor activities.

  5. Whoa, Toby!! Way to go!!! Congratulations!!! :-D

  6. Way to go, Toby! Congratulations on winning and on all the great prizes.

    I bet that Victor trap was made in my very own hometown.

    Your mom's friend Julie

  7. Toby, You are a great kid and I am glad I got to meet you at the winter convention.