Trappers and those interested in the legendary Alaskan way of life are rendezvousing at Joe Dilley's Peninsula Trapping & Snaring Supply on Forest Lane in Sterling. As a sportfishing guide by summer and trapper by winter, Joe Dilley has lived the archetypal Alaskan lifestyle for nearly 40 years. Joe grew up in Alaska and started his trapping supply shop a couple years ago. "I've been trapping here on the Kenai for 36 years and I'm happy to be able to help out the trapping community in this way. I'm here and enjoy sharing what I've learned about the sport. Everyone is welcome to come by and visit, there are usually several trappers here at any given time who are always willing to share their stories and ideas on how to be successful, it's a pretty tight-knit group." says Dilley. Joe's daughter Shay is a junior at SoHi, and has learned the skill of hand crafting snares. "It's takes a lot of practice and work to get it right, but we make a great product here." said Shay. "I wasn't really into it when I was younger, but the older I get the more I realize that there's not a lot to do in Alaska if you don't get involved with outdoor sports, other than sit inside and eat and watch TV and this is a whole lot more fun than that. When you're out there on a trap line and realizing that you're not just watching this in a movie and the animals your trapping could kill you in less than a minute, it's really pretty exciting."
While trapping has been popular in Alaska since before it was a Russian territory, this is 2011 and Dilley says trappers need to acknowledge the way society is in Alaska today. "I always stress that trappers need to be conscientious about the area you are setting a trapping line in, and the animals you are targeting. We have a lot of young people interested in trapping today and I stress to them not to set a line near roads or housing developments where there might be a stray cat or family pet. When that happens it's detrimental to all who want to trap responsibly," said Dilley.
According to Dilley, to trap on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge it is required that you take a trapping and snaring class at the Refuge because there are specific requirements on labeling and checking your traps and snares.
Peninsula Trapping & Snaring Supply is located off Forest Lane and is a little difficult to find, but Joe says he's never had a pizza arrive at his place cold when he gives the driver these directions: "Heading toward Sterling from Soldotna you take a right on Forest Lane and come 1.8 miles down Forest Lane past the second Sapphire Loop on the left, my drive is the next left and there is a small sign at the drive and if anyone has trouble just call my cell 398-6047 and I'll talk you in," says trapper Joe.
Getting started trapping on the Peninsula is relatively inexpensive according to Dilley who manufactures all his equipment on site. "Lynx stainless steel snares are only $17.00 a dozen for example, wolf snares are $27.00 a dozen and we produce everything right here. Shay is crafting them as we speak and I know we have the highest quality product in Alaska," he said. Business hours for trapping and snaring supplies? "It's really 24-7; I'll take a call from a trapper anytime night or day. I'm a trapper and when you need something you need it now, so we're actually open round the clock to meet your needs here at Peninsula Trapping & Snaring," said Dilley.
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