Protecting Wild Things and Wild Places
American Trapper Magazine
Articles included in this issue:
• First Coyote!
• Troubleshooting - What Am I Doing Wrong?
• Scent Control - Does it Work?
• Flat Lining Furbearers
• Blind Sets for Midwinter Mink
• Michigan Grizz!
• Muskrat Love
• Natural Centers of Attraction
• Year of the Cats
• Returning to the Sport of Trapping
• Adventures with Jerry
• Plus lots more!
You're important, interesting, different.
You can make a difference with your ideas, beliefs, experiences.
You can help others, inform others.
You can gain recognition & be appreciated.
It's fun to see your name in print, and you might get fan mail.
What to Write About
Any subject that would interest other trappers is appropriate. Know your subject. Some research may be helpful.
Trapping methods and trapping experiences are always well received by our readership, especially if humor, cleverness, or problem solving is included.
If you wish to editorialize on any current issue, your presentation must be honorable and respectful to those with other views.
What Not to Write About
Don't lie. It's unnecessary and never helpful. Why regret it later?
Stay away from negative things. You do not have to tell everything.
Avoid profanity, religion, sexism, and invasion of privacy.
Do not steal or plagiarize ideas. Give credits to known people whenever possible.
Don't preach to non-members in a membership publication.
When & Where to Write
Find a quiet place and clean the area so you will not be distracted.
You will write best if you are fresh, rested, happy.
Write far in advance of deadlines. Relax. Keep some pop, coffee or refreshments handy.
Play music softly if you like.
Most creative writing occurs in the morning. Try it.
How to Write Creatively
Writers often use a writing system or have a writing method that works for them. Most use a three part process:
1. An outline
2. A rough draft
3. Rewriting, editing, final touches
1. The Outline
As you determine what you want to write about, use a pencil or pen and jot down on paper the ideas, thoughts or experiences you want to present. Don't worry about spelling, complete sentences, or even order.
Look at any photos you might have as they might prod you into more thoughts for the story.
After you're comfortable you have most items addressed in the outline, arrange the thoughts into an order so the story will flow logically for the reader.
One way to do this is to write a number 1 to the left of the idea that should come first……then a number 2 for the second thought, etc. You might then rewrite the outline in the new logical order.
2. The Rough Draft
Writing a rough draft is usually easy with the aid of the numbered outline. Now is the time to start writing the sentences necessary to get your thoughts across. Remember a paragraph is a sentence or sentences required to express a complete thought.
It is helpful to use a computer with a word processing program to write. It helps to see how your language will look printed.
If you use a typewriter, double space so you will have room to jot notes to yourself later.
3. Rewriting, Editing, Final Touches
The final writing process is often what separates the excellent from the average. One trick is to not rush right into the final draft. If you put the rough draft away for a few days you will see a number of things that need to be added, deleted, or rewritten.
Self Editing Rules
Introductory paragraph - Up to 90% of all readers are apt to leave a story within the first 3 paragraphs. You might want to write your opening paragraph last and power pack it with interest or "quotes" that suggest goodies will follow.
Clarity - Be aware our English language is confusing. We have many words with many meanings, and readers have to sort out what you are trying to say. Prune excess words. The best writing says the most with the fewest words. Make sure the reader can't misunderstand what you are trying to say.
Prune - Delete repetitions because they bore the reader. Change repeated words to other commonly used words when you want to address the same thing in the next sentence. A thesaurus is helpful for this, and many word processing programs offer this service on the computer toolbar. Word repetitions are only useful for deliberate emphasis.
Continuity - Delete language that tends to wander too far from the central theme. Different subjects are best addressed in different stories.
Ending - The ending paragraph or paragraphs should clearly signal the end of your story. Save a little humor or bang for the ending.
Title - Good title selections are often easiest after the story is written. Good titles (and subtitles) help attract readers.
Vary sentence length - Add interest by using different sentence lengths. Compound sentences should be broken down into short, easy to understand sentences. One or two word sentences create interest if not overdone.
Add Personality - Use personal experiences and direct "quotes" when it fits the story. People are interested in what others say and do.
Surprises - Stimulate the reader. Humor is one example of surprise. Carefully choose your words of humor for best impact.
Graphics - Proper photos or artwork greatly attract readership. Let the editor judge your photos as he can enlarge, reduce, or crop for best effects. Send at least several photos if you can to increase the odds of your story being printed.
Flashback - Tying a paragraph into a previous paragraph is known as a flashback technique. Flashbacks are frequently used to signal story endings.
Captions - Write lots of information about the photos you submit with your story. Either you or the editor needs to write interesting photo captions to help turn browsers into readers.
Writing Tips & Guidelines
by Tom Krause, Former Editor American Trapper
Your photos, methods and experiences will help others, so consider writing an article for the American Trapper magazine.
Three good reason to do so:
1. The American Trapper pays for articles.
2. Having an article in a nationally known publication will help establish yourself in the national trapping community.
3. Enjoy the thrill of reliving your trapling on the pages of the American Trapper.
The American Trapper plans to publish five issues next year, so a selection of photographs are needed. Good quality cover shots are especially needed.
Review the Writing Tips in the right-hand column to help you with your article.
If you have questions or would like to submit an article or photos for publication, contact the editor:
P.O. Box 224
Greenville, PA 16125
Share Your Trapline Experience!
American Trapper Back Issues
Fall 2009 & Fall 2010 also available but not pictured
Quarterly issues were printed in 2009 thru 2012. Beginning in 2013, there are 5 issues per year, and in 2014, 6 issues per year.
The current January/February 2017 issue cover is a photo of Brian Hendricks with a prime mink taken in a blind set.