The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Local Sports

February 22, 2013

Minks make the great outdoors even better

(Continued)

It was in the late fall and the pelt was prime, so I took it home and skinned it. Later, I took it along with some muskrat hides to a buyer. He figured it was a farm-raised mink that had escaped from its pen. It didn’t have the quality fur that a wild mink has, but he gave me 10 bucks for it anyway.

Mink pelts were highly sought after by fur trappers for years. Back before the anti-fur movement, every lady wanted a mink coat. It was the trend. Their beautiful, thick underfur and long guard hairs made it very desirable.

I watched a mother mink and three kits one day along Cisco Brook in the Adirondacks many years ago. They were in-and-out of the water, swimming back-and-forth to chase some small trout that lived in the pool. It was fun watching those little ones swim after the fish as they darted under the overhanging bank. I figured it was lesson time for the family, and mom was doing a good job teaching the little guys how to fish.

Just writing this short article has brought back a lot of memories.

I watched a mink on Dunning Creek one day jump from rock to rock to rock in front of me. Another one crossed a beaver dam with a nice brookie in its mouth while I fished up Jimmy Creek. Then there was the one that kept peeking out at me from under a small wooden bridge on the Northville-Placid Trail. He was so curious and stayed around long enough that I even got a picture of him.

I hadn’t thought of those wonderful times in so long, but the mink made that whole memory possible. They are beautiful animals and such a great part of nature.

Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at robrockway@hotmail.com.

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