January 12, 2012

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

English playwright William Congreve's 1697 play "The Morning Bride" immortalized the concept that even the underworld has no fury like a woman scorned.

While classifying it as fury, might be a bit extreme, I still think I could have lived without the recent trapping-related passion that was inspired by the disparagement unknowingly cast my wife's way by a first-time trapper in southern Missouri.

My brother-in-law Rodney had noticed a bobcat appearing fairly frequently in a trail camera he had placed in a hunting spot trying to track deer movement. Never having trapped before, he asked Karri for a few tips as he planned to nab the feline now that his deer hunting was complete.

This came as no surprise to me. My wife has a character trait that requires her to become completely immersed in whatever her latest pursuit is. So when she took up trapping several years ago, I fully anticipated she would become an accomplished fur trader.

Okay, I'll admit I am a bit astonished when folks from around the area come to our door, kiss the Bobcatfather's ring and ask for her sagely advice. I fully expect Don Vito Karrileone to reply in her Marlon Brando voice "every time they get out, I keep on bringing them back in the trap."

It's taken her years to rise to her position, to ply her traps and her tricks to reach the point where she has trapped the most bobcats in Scotland County.

I'm sure she patronized this student, offering invaluable tips fully knowing that true trappers have to put their time in training before they are rewarded with such prizes as a bobcat.

So when Rodney sent the text message image of the bobcat snagged in his trap, just two days after he picked up the sport on a whim, I suspect the playwright Congreve was smiling down on yet another use for his famous line.

While she was openly happy that her advice had succeeded, the smoke escaping her ears revealed deep down she was a bit miffed that a rookie could succeed in just two days what had taken her years to perfect.

Instead of moping around, feeling sorry for herself, the Feeney Fur Company opened up the throttle. If the new kid on the block could get lucky and catch a cat, then this battle-scarred veteran had to prove she would not be outdone.

Unfortunately for the local feline population, Mrs. Karri scored twice in the past three days, bringing her Bobcat total to four this trapping season.

If I could just harness this energy into something productive for her spouse, like a passion for cooking, foot massages or picking the winning lottery numbers.

Instead I'm sure she is plotting her course for the next challenge, mountain lions. After one was trapped recently in Centerville, Missouri, I have no doubt it is just a matter of time before she lures one to Scotland County.

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