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Trapper Gord Wilderness College


Ross Hinter has joined Trapper Gord Wilderness College in the Grand Prairie, Alberta region in the Education department.  Visit Trapper Gord's website for the Wilderness College to learn more about the opportunities for learning.  Courses book fast!

Trapper Gord Wilderness College

Here at the TrapperGord Wilderness College we live and breathe trapping. If you have always wanted to become a trapper or have a desire to better understand this fascinating industry the four day Standard Trapper Education Course might be for you. On the other hand if you are a seasoned trapper and are looking to learn some new tricks or find you need to learn more about a new furbearer that’s recently moved onto your trapline or want to brush up on the latest in fur handling techniques the TrapperGord Wilderness College will have what you are looking for.

Trapper Gord Wilderness College

Trapper Gord Wilderness College

Our workshops and courses range from one day to five and cover a wide range of topics but are mostly centered around how to harvest fur, equipment use, fur management and fur handling. Certificates are given with every workshop to participants who successfully complete the course.
Onsite we have comfortable cabins and great meals combined with expert instruction and plenty of hands on opportunities make these workshops a premium deal. If you are brand new to trapping or if you are a seasoned trapper this is a great time to give the TrapperGord Wilderness College a try. It’s as good as it gets and you won’t want to leave!
We are also on the road a lot. We hold about 25 workshops across Canada every year.

Your Local Trapper

Who Is Ross Hinter?  

Wildlife Conservationist, Craftsman, Educator, Cowboy

“He could easily have lived in the mountains with Jeremiah Johnson”
“John Conti, Mass, USA”    

Ross Hinter grew up in British Columbia raising his family of 5 children while working as a cowboy on the ranches of the Cariboo and the interior.

He spent a great amount of time with the Shuswap & Okanagan First Nations Peoples, learning valuable insights and gaining a great love and respect for the land. 
As a young man he had a yearning to go to the bush, following the tracks of animals and quickly became attuned to their world. 
The influence of Mors Kohanski, Bradford Angiers, Grey Owl, and Thoreau, can be summed up as  “life Changing” for Ross.

Youtube Video with Ross Hinter presenting 
Trapping & Sustainability

Ross has an ability to work magic with opposition and brings the humaneness back to the world of trapping.  After all, The Beaver is Canada’s national symbol, and Ross has learned to know them!  How they hold their young while nursing, and never using the bathroom inside their lodges.  

Ross believes that our relationship with nature is intertwined, and is not just something we observe. His desire to bring people back in touch with the Earth fuels his passion to teach, encouraging us all to better understand, respect and take care of each other and our environment.  Importantly, if you have the heart to learn, he has an unmatched passion for sharing his knowledge with you.  

In an ever-shrinking habitat, humans push the boundaries severely. As animals are pushed into smaller areas, they become overpopulated and can become diseased or starve.

It begins to open up a whole new world for trappers and the opportunity to lead into how important the future of wildlife habitat is.

It is not a sport nor do we ever want it to be so. As an Industry, it is our oldest land based one in Canada and we are fortunate to be utilizing a renewable resource.  With such a small footprint on the landscape, this is a very important part of conservation.  With this industry comes a responsibility to manage and use this resource for the good of all. Sound management has an enormous credibility in being able to speak for the fur-bearers, not just for the numbers but the habitat necessary for their survival into the future. In a country that has one of the largest land bases and numbers of species in the world, we have already started to show our value to future biologists graduating from the University of Alberta as well as industry, government and research workers looking for knowledgeable bushmen. 

Life in the Canadian North drawing upon the bounty of the Boreal Forest. Using humane methods of trapping, you may utilize the animal hides for more than just fur. The life of minus 40 in the winter time is all part of many Canadian Traplines. 
This is Canada's history and heritage, and a renewable resource.

When I began doing public presentations to try and educate the public about trapping and conservation,  that was 18 years ago. I started because I needed to speak from my heart to tell the truth of how nature works from someone who is out there doing it. To show my 5 children that I cared about animals and their future, even though that was hard for people to believe because I was a trapper. Who better to speak and step up to the plate than trappers, that understand what is involved in the everyday life of these animals and what is needed to sustain them. 

Even the people who feel they have no part in killing animals, need to realize the greatest threat to wildlife is not trapping, it is loss of habitat.  Think about that next time you flush the toilet in the new 7-11 that was just built on the corner!  Or the next time you pick up a steak on a Styrofoam tray at the local supermarket.  
"Don’t lose touch with the link to reality!"

Ross’s journey has led him down numerous paths that included:
 Television commercial on conservation awareness  
 News media and magazine articles 
 Educational promotion with the University of Alberta and Alberta Colleges 
 DVD “Meet your local trapper” Trapping in the 21stCentury of the essential role of trappers in wildlife conservation, scientific study and preservation of traditional skills and knowledge.
 Instructor for Trapper Gord’s Wilderness College, European wildlife biologists, Environmental groups, Bushman Inc, Buffalo Lake Naturalists, Junior Forest Wardens, Karamat Wilderness Ways and the Roots To Learning Tours from the USA as well as Hunting for Tomorrow – Annual Outdoor Women’s Program

Other adventures, such as being chased by a black bear, narrowly escaping, and having both hands caught in a conibear trap, while alone, far from help, he had to break his fingers in order to get free before passing out. 

Ross Hinter demonstrates
the Conibear Trap
in which he found himself
caught in and narrowly escaped

(You can read his article in the November 2012 issue of the Alberta Outdoorsmen Magazine") or

These successes however, pale in comparison to one of his greatest accomplishments. Ross has helped over 9000 students young and old, begin to walk the path of wisdom and respect for the natural world; this he considers to be, a great privilege.  

He has not been without danger, when at 28 degrees below zero, while working near thin ice outside a beaver lodge, on a remote Alberta Lake, his recurring nightmare come true, as he plunged through ice.  Grabbing on to the beaver lodge on the way down into the ice hole, saved his life. After getting himself out, his frozen clothing became a suit of armour.  For this wilderness survival instructor, it was a lesson never to be forgotten.  

He has faced down wolves, lynx and other wild animals as a trapper, trapping in 40 below zero temperatures, traveling snow covered stump ridden trails that once again almost cost him his life, but the most dangerous by far, was facing down a woman in downtown Calgary.

He was working the river valley trapping beaver that had invaded areas, when she spotted him.  Wielding a thick club she came for him as she was trying to protect the beaver!  This reaction is an opportunity to try to educate the public about the misconceptions of outlawed steel jaw traps of yesterday.

Time with Ross is spent hearing stories and experiences that will have you laughing and crying, while enjoying a look through the wilderness window through his eyes.  Weasels that try to get acquainted with your head in the night or store butter in your boot. Beavers that wrap themselves around your shoulders while your driving your truck, because you didn’t have the heart to take its life.

Ross’s experience, gained through years of working with animals and living on the land, may change forever the way you think about the role of trapping. The fascinating world of wild animals and our complex relationship to them are deepened when seen through his eyes.  Dispelling many of the myths of an increasingly urban society, which has cast a negative image when we hear the word “trapping”.

Most of the public gain their information about the wilderness from nature shows, which ignore diseased animals and overpopulation, only adding to the misconception of trapping. Ross gives flight to the stereotypical “trapper” label, by conveying to us that humane trapping is an effective tool for managing fur-bearers, and gain respect for the species.


"So How DO you take a bath" when you live Off the Grid?

Under the canopy of the big sky at times, and at other times, next to a wood stove with a glass of wine.  All off the grid, and enjoyable, every time. 

Our latest purchase from South Carolina, is the "Eccotemp" and portable hot water on demand system.  We are testing it out and so far, there are some pros and some cons for Off Grid use.

Overall, it's nice to have in the summer, when you don't have the wood stove on inside the cabin.  We use our cast iron tub in front of the cabin, and heat water on the outdoor Yukon burner.  The eccotemp, will help us get water direct from the well, right into the tub, under the stars!