I recently gave a demo at the NTA convention in Pecatonica Illinois.
Instead of starting the demo with a joke or something funny, I told a true story. Certainly, it was and is funnier now than when the events of the story actually happened.
Years ago, I believe it was the winter of 1984, I was preparing for a trip to Pennsylvania to sell a load of raccoon skins that I had bought. At that time, I was a fur-buyer. Everything was bagged in burlap fur bags, loaded into the truck for the trip east. We left Indiana at 9:00 p.m. with snow swirling and dropping temperatures. The plan was to drive all night, arrive at our destination in the morning, sell the 'coons and drive home.
My brother in law was driving the early morning shift and I was trying to get some needed sleep. As the sun was coming up (on a very cloudy day), the truck hit a patch of ice, slid into the side ditch and took a half turn- leaving the truck completely upside down. Talk about a rude awakening! Of course both of us hit our heads on the ceiling which was now the floor. Fortunately neither one of us was hurt, other than a few bruises and my brother in laws pride. We rolled the windows down and crawled out to assess the situation. The windshield was crushed in on the passenger side the camper shell door had come open and 'coon skins were falling out. The extent of the damage was a little hard to determine with wheels in the air and the cab and camper shell in the ditch.
It didn't take long for the state police to arrive. My brother in law had to endure a science lesson from the trooper (I think he was trying to impress the rookie that was with him) concerning the freezing point of water and how it affected the roads. Fortunately science class was cut short by the arrival of the wrecker. The wrecker flipped the truck over to the proper position. Remarkably, the damage was not that bad. The truck started up on the first try, we recovered the raccoon skins and we were on our way.
We stopped at the next exit, topped off the fluids that had leaked out and headed to our destination. While the 'coon were graded, a local mechanic repaired the side mirror and made a few minor repairs.
With the 'coons sold and check in hand, we headed home. The truck was moderately damaged and fairly functional. Only one door opened and the passenger side windshield was crushed - outside of that no real inconveniences.
I will admit, I have one lasting condition/side effect from this experience- whatever you want to call it. I have a difficult time sleeping while someone else is driving.
For those of you that watch Hoosier Trapper Outdoors - that's pretty much why I am always driving!
Until next time….
P.S. This blog is dedicated to Mark Steck - story teller extraordinaire!
Charlie Masheck has been a trapper since 1972. He started Hoosier Trapper Supply in 1976 and was a fur buyer from 1976 - 1991. Charlie is also the formulator of the Leatherwood Line of trapping scents, Top Dog Predator Bait and Lip Licker Deer Lure. His 46 years of trapping experience and association with trappers and the fur industry have given him a history and perspective of the trapping trade few have.