Women in the Interior ‘Break The Bias’ at Women’s Trapping Summit

Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 4:27 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - “Break the Bias” is the theme for Women’s History Month 2022, and a group of women in Interior Alaska led an event called “Women’s Trapping Summit” to do just that.

The 7 and a half hour event took place on Saturday, March 19 at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks to focus on leadership for the future of trappers. Classes like Taxidermy Preparation and Trap and Snare Maintenance were held to encourage women to learn how to effectively trap wild game safely.

Women from around the country, including Wisconsin and North Carolina, were in attendance at the training summit organized by the Alaska Trappers Association.

Most of the women in attendance had experience in trapping, like self-taught North Carolinian, Kaitlin Lospinoso, who told us, “There is a totally different territory up here for me; a different climate and different animals. I’ve only trapped in North Carolina. We don’t have things like wolves, wolverines, and lynx. Learning about those animals, their habits, and how to trap them and stuff was amazing. I obviously met a lot of women, and I will probably come up here to run a trapline with one of them. That way I get experience with different animals.”

The basic knowledge of what a trapline is, a route that a hunter will run a set of animal traps on, was shared. This event is the first of many dedicated to women trappers of all experience types, offering tips, techniques, and tricks.

Even the personal benefits were discussed. “It’s a way to get outside every week, all winter, whether its 30° or -30°,” said wildlife biologist Becky Schwanke, one of the organizers. “It really helps you get familiar with your surroundings.”

Schwanke also shared the importance of women knowing about environmental benefits from trapping. ”Women are incredibly smart,” she said. “We’re strong. We love to challenge ourselves just like men like to challenge themselves. So it’s really an awesome opportunity for families to get out, or single mothers to expose their children to the outdoors and learn a little bit more about wildlife. The more you know about wildlife, the better you can understand how conservation works and what kind of tools you really need to implement in order to be good stewards of the resource”.

More information about “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” and other programs can be found on AlaskaTrappers.org

Updated: 22 March 2022

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