Heavy snowfall pushes Yukoners off the trapline

‘It probably got me. I'm gonna shut her down anyway,’ says Yukon trapper, Frank Thomas, after a month of heavy snowfall that’s made bush travel nearly impossible.

‘It probably got me. I'm gonna shut her down anyway,’ says Yukon trapper, Frank Thomas.

Heavy snowfall in the southern Yukon over the past month has made bush travel in the territory nearly impossible. (John Bunbury)

Frank Johnstone traps along the B.C./Yukon border near Teslin.

“We were whining earlier about too much snow and six weeks earlier we didn’t have any,” he says.

Now, trappers say that a month of heavy snowfall has made it almost impossible to keep their snowmobile trails open.

Johnstone says there are sections on his trapline where you’ll sink up to your chest if you step off the trail.

The heavy snow has also produced overflow on most bodies of water, making lake travel extremely dangerous.

“If you get stuck out there and you have to walk a few miles with wet feet, you are going to wish you had help.”

Johnstone says some area trappers have already given up for the season.  

"If you haven't been out in the bush yet this year trapping, it's kind of like starting trapping on March 31st."

The heavy snow has affected the animals too.

"The moose are really moving,” Johnstone says. “They've come down out of the hills in droves because of the snow depths. The wolves don't seem to be on their heels, yet, but the marten have shut down quite a bit because they're underground or under snow."

Frank Thomas is a weekend trapper up the Canol Road.

He's tired of trying to keep his trails open.

"It probably got me. I'm gonna shut her down anyway. Just gonna go help other guys break trail and have some fun for the rest of the season."


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