Yukoners make fur trapping a family affair
'It's become a really great part of our life,' Lisa Preto says
Lisa Preto grew up in Whitehorse, but had no real experience with trapping or remote back country travel until her partner Andy, relatively new to the Yukon at the time, became enthused by the idea of working a trapline.
"He's very energetic with the things he's interested in," Lisa told CBC News.
It wasn't long before Andy was assisting on a trapline and honing his skills. Now the couple work two of their own traplines — one near their home in Haines Junction, the other near their cabin in Mayo.
They get help (of a sort) from their children, Rose, 4, and two-year-old Sylvia. As often as possible, the Pretos bring the girls along on the snowy winter trail to check the traps.
"Just being outside in the sled, they're looking around at stuff, feeling the crunch of snow on their mitts, rolling around in it," Lisa said.
"We hope that as our kids get bigger that they'll want to spend more time out there, and they'll learn more practical skills."
The Pretos trap beavers, lynx and martens, selling many of the pelts at auction. Lisa also makes fur accessories such as parka ruffs and headbands to sell locally and online.
Lisa knows that not everyone understands the appeal of trapping. Even relatives and friends were a bit baffled by the couple's enthusiasm when they got started, she said.
The Pretos don't mind explaining themselves.
"It's become a really great part of our life," Lisa said.
"People come with their opinions of trapping, they think that we're just out there killing animals. But I think the more time you spend outside in the natural world, the more you care about it."