Kyle Kaatz’s Last Issue as Editor
Through the course of my life, there have been people that have helped me accomplish my goals. I’ve learned that living out your dreams is directly impacted by the people who enter your life. Although Trapper’s World is not a person, it was the reason I met many of the people that helped me accomplish my dreams. I’m so grateful for where I am, and what Trapper’s World has introduced me to since the summer of 2001 when Tom Parr and I took over the reigns.
It might come as a shock to many of you that this is my final editorial. I think quite frankly, Trapper’s World will begin to grow to new heights as Tera Roach takes over as editor. Tom Parr has bought out my ownership, and I know Tom and Tera together will achieve great success moving TW forward. I’m not riding off into the sunset, I will be helping transition the editorial duties to Tera, and believe me I have plenty of articles of my own to write for TW in the future.
So I want to thank Trapper’s World for every goal it has helped me achieve. I want to name a handful of names, first off, Keith Winkler. Thanks to Keith, I met Tom Parr and got to be involved in TW in the first place. Thanks to Tom Parr, in business it is rare to find such an amazing partner, and I’m proud to have worked with such a gracious man. Wayne Derrick and Jackie Malone, I will forever cherish the memories of the traplines these two men introduced me to. To Morris Fenner, who gave me the great advice, “Remember the people that help you on the way up, as you’ll meet them on the way down.” To Mike Marysada for always being there when an article was needed, and for sharing your insights on so many aspects of this trapping business. To J.C. Conner, Matt Jones, Tim Caven, Slim Pedersen, Scott Welch, J.P Wilson, Craig O’Gorman, and all the great staff writers that have been apart of these 12 years, I thank you for sharing the ride.
Before I was ever involved though with TW, other people set the stage for me to be a young trapper, and to be in a position to recognize the opportunities life presents. I was just 21 years old when I took over as editor. I was very naïve, but I realized this was a great opportunity.
My dad always told me, “do it while you’re young,” whenever I daydreamed about far off traplines. I listened to that and did. I’m glad I have the miles of traplines behind me that I do. My knees hurt, and my feet ache because of it, and I have as little hair as my trapping mentors told me I would after trying to study on what a coyote may or may not do. The reason I have this, is because I listened to my dad, and the reason he had that was probably because he also listened to his dad.
My grandpa has logged more trapping miles with me than any other person I have ever trapped with. Grandpa was there for the first failed efforts on my Iowa roadline, and for so many great memories I should write another book. At 90 years old, Grandpa still makes me stretchers when I need them, and reads every issue of TW. I don’t know where Grandpa learned to be a Grandpa, but I can only imagine he learned from his dad, and from his brother, and from his uncle, and from his cousin like I have along the way.
A lot of it is work ethic. Most of the short comings and failures life offers can be overcome with extra effort. Sometimes that extra effort is simply applied towards gaining the knowledge you don’t possess but feel you should. Whether you’re short on the funds to pay the mortgage, or about to start a round of chemo, it’s hard work, and really the only measure of getting a passing grade when we are really tested seems to be based on how hard we worked. I didn’t understand that always, but now I think about all the people that look down upon us now that were apart of the trapping world in 2001. A lot has changed. That’s a little sad, but it’s life; and change always opens the door for new opportunities.
So I’m very excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for me, and for Trapper’s World. With the fur markets as high as they are, there is no greater time for new beginnings in the life of a trapper if you’re willing to work.
When I was young, and we’d be at the cabin hunting, often Grandpa would say, “Are you up for all day?” in the morning. I generally laughed and said, “I think so.” Well as time goes by, I start to see meaning in that question, it’s not a joke. It’s really an eloquent question that pretty much is the difference between success and failure. If you’re tired you will not seize the day by going back to bed. Every day presents a ton of opportunities, and you know I think I also realize why after 90 years Grandpa sometimes needs a nap.
Thanks for the memories Trapper’s World.- kk