How Trapping Works

History of Trapping

Trapping has existed throughout the history of man. During the Ice Ages, when much of the world was covered in glaciers, people needed warm covering­s, which came in the form of pelts from trapped animals.

­In the United States, fur trapping was a very popular industry as pioneers settled the land. Fur trapping and trading occurred as early as the 1600s in North America, and in 1670, the fur-buying company Hudson's Bay Company was founded in Canada [source: Wild About Trapping]. When Lewis and Clark explored the Louisiana Purchase, one of their tasks was to recount the various furry animals populating the wilderness.

Fur trapping often led to greater exploration of the growing country as mountain men set out to find more animals. As they would expand, explore and settle, others would follow, establishing trading posts and fur outfits farther and farther westward.

As the country expanded, trappers not only were able to be commercially successful, but they helped their fellow citizens as well. As people settled farther into the wilderness, they came into more contact with the wild animals. Trapping helped control animal populations that would come in contact with crops, livestock and sometimes people.

Since pioneer days -- and certainly since the Ice Age -- trapping has changed quite a bit. Read on to find out the technology behind modern trapping.