One Square Mile. By Ed Schneider.
Book Review: Auburn, Kansas: Kansas Trapline Products, 2012. 86 pages. $15.00.
One Square Mile is not your typical book on trapping predators. Schneider doesn’t delve very deeply in the traditional topics, such as set making, lure choice, and equipment selection. Of course, he mentions those elements but only to the extent needed to discuss the primary purpose of this book, namely how to understand coyote travel and dispersal routes as they pertain to choosing locations for your sets. In other words, One Square Mile is the opposite of most trapping books. Where other books discuss the details of trapping predators, such as set choice, this text reviews the big picture.
Schneider guides readers into considering this “big picture” approach in two ways. First, he provides some very helpful tips on how to read maps to determine how to maximize your scouting time. I have trouble understanding how to read land from a macro point of view. But this text helped me get a better handle on reading maps as well as underscoring the importance of reading those maps BEFORE going to the location to scout for sign.
The second way Schneider helps readers see the “big picture” is by reminding readers the importance of understanding coyote behavior as it relates to the trapping process. He explains that too often trappers fail to catch the appropriate number of coyotes because they didn’t modify their trapping methods or they pulled traps too soon. For example, Schneider thinks that trappers rely too heavily on the dirt hole set and thus miss coyotes who have gotten educated enough to avoid dirt holes. Schneider is careful to explain that he doesn’t have magic answers. He completely understands that your location has to have coyotes in order to catch them. His point is simply to suggest that trappers have to step back and determine whether the decline in catches is due to reduced population, trap wise coyotes, or misplaced traps.
In fact, it was Schneider’s ability to encourage trappers to re-evaluate their trapping practices that made the book such an interesting read. He was like a trapping counselor gently guiding the reader to think more deeply about your trapping activities. Please note, that the text does cover snaring, bobcats, and equipment, again from that big picture perspective.
The book uses a spiral binding for the 8.5 x 11 inch sheets. Images are in full color. The text and layout would have benefited from some editing. At times, Schneider speaks so highly of the instructors he has studied under that it can have the feel of an extended advertisement. I must say that it is refreshing to read an author speak so highly of others rather than tooting his/her own horn.
If you are in a trapping rut and/or need to get a fresh perspective, then this book is likely for you. You can obtain your copy by sending $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping to Kansas Trapline Products 250 Washington St. Auburn, KS 66402. Telephone 660-641-3682660-641-3682 or e-mail email@example.com for further information.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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