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 firstname.lastname@example.org.