Trapping the beavers is not as easy as it sounds

— Photo from John R. Williams

A beaver dam has pooled water that is close to Thompson Lake Road and Old Stage Road. Some of the trees that the beavers toppled to build their home are at least a foot in diameter, says John R. Williams, adding, “This is quite a critter God has put here for one reason or another.”

On April 27, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh. This time it was a meeting of many OFs, and again it is because of vaccinations, and the releasing of some of the restrictions as more become vaccinated, and the percentage overall of citizens contacting the virus.

One of the discussions (a continuation of one of the conversations of last week) was on the beaver pond on two busy roads in the Hilltowns. Trapping the beavers is not as easy as it sounds. One of the events that might happen — which many of the OFs might never have thought of — is how to trap the beaver and not the neighbor’s dog.

The OMOTM are lucky to have a professional trapper as a loyal member of this group. When people in the area have problems with wildlife, the town, county, and state have contacted this individual to take care of the problems.

They still continue to contact him but, as always, age and other problems seem to creep up on the OMOTM and we are not as able to do what we used to do. Such is the case here.

This OMOTM said he does farm these situations out to his kids but with his supervision. However, no one from any of these public entities has contacted this OF on the beaver-dam problem.

According to one OF, some government departments have washed their hands of the pending problem and claim it is not in their bailiwick and so they don’t want to have anything to do with it. Hmmm.


Now what?

The OFs discussed a dilemma that has gone on for a long time, probably longer than the Old Men of the Mountain have been gathering to discuss the world and its problems. This is companies going in and out of business. This trouble happened to be on motorcycles, but it can be anything.

In this case, the difficulty was purchasing a motorized two-wheeled conveyance in one place, and then having something go wrong. In some of the places the OFs discussed, the shops were not just around the corner. The OFs then attempt to go back where they bought the item and it is out of business. Now what?

One OF commented that, when he tried to get his motorcycle repaired, in the first place he tried other than the place from which it was purchased, the owner said, “I only repair what I sell; better go somewhere else.”

Thank goodness, that response is becoming less frequent. Another comment from the place an item was purchased sounds something like, “Oh, we don’t carry that anymore; it had too many problems so we dropped it.”

Hearing that sentence is like swallowing a bowling ball and feeling it drop to the bottom of the stomach.

This predicament doesn’t have to be only motorcycles. It can be TVs, microwaves — anything. The problem is the OF now knows he has purchased a piece of junk, but sometimes it is top of the line except not too popular and doesn’t move, so as one OF mentioned it is not necessarily the cheap stuff. On the other hand, generally it is.


Hoof prints

In the chatter, it is often that one OF thinks what has happened has only happened to him. As the story is told, the OF finds another OF has gone through the same thing. Which only goes to point out what a small world this is.

One OF was telling how, when the company he worked for went to trade in the leased car the OG had for his use in the business (because the OF traveled for the company) there were scratches on the hood and roof. Those scratches were put there by goats.

The dealer that was going over the car at the trade-in completed his routine checking of the vehicle for dings and scratches and asked, “What are those marks on the roof and hood of the car?” He asked if it was parked under a tree.

The OF said they weren’t tree scratches; they were hoof prints. The dealer said with a very questioning tone, “Yeah right, hoof prints” and the OF had to maintain, “Yeah, hoof prints.”

After telling this little story at the OMOTM gathering at Mrs. Ks, another OF started telling another story about his vehicle also having hoof prints on his car. The stories were similar, but not quite the same; in the second OF’s story, the hoof prints were also questioned.

When people hear this they don’t believe it but they don’t understand goats. A goat’s favorite game is to butt heads while standing on top of anything it can get its eight tiny hoofs on. Goats then rear back and slam their goat heads together. They can do this for hours. This little game doesn’t look like fun to the OFs.


Bucket lists

The OFs discussed a little bit about bucket lists, a rather recent term applied to events the OFs would have like to have done but either never took the chance, or they were too busy making a living and raising little Jack and Jill, and keeping the wife happy.

At ages 50 to 60, maybe even 70, most of these were still doable, but at 80 that bucket was now just a little sand pail. However, I am proud to announce that I completed the first item on my bucket list. I have the bucket.

Those OFs who made it to the Mrs. K’s in Middleburgh and left their buckets at home were: Rick LaGrange, Marty Herzog, Roger Chapman, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Chuck Aelesio, Glenn Patterson, Ted Feurer, Jake Lederman, Mark Traver, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Bill Lichliter, Herb Bahrmann, Allan Fazzio,  Elwood Vanderbilt, Bob Donnelly, Dave Hodgett, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Joe Rack, and me.