Dud Campbell’s trapline


The latest topic du jour at the world dilemma think tank is Dud Campbell’s trapline. It should be noted that no animals were harmed in the production. In fact, the “victims” of Dud’s trapline probably gained a pound or two during the ordeal.

  It all began not long ago now when Mrs. Miller complained about having a raccoon come around at night and eating the cat food she’d left on the back porch for Sissy. After about five cups of coffee down at the Mule Barn, the elders there, aka the Supreme Court of Dang Near Everything, decided the ‘coon had to go, but nobody wanted to kill the thing just for wanting to eat cat food. So Dud said he’d take care of it.

  About two weeks later, Dud invited the guys out to the parking lot to see what was in his pickup, and there was a ‘coon, hissing at the world through the steel mesh of a live trap.

  “What did you use? Where did you put it? How long did it take to catch him? Are there more ‘coons in town? Where will you release him?”

  And one by one the questions were answered. Oh, as the weeks went by, Dud had figured out the perfect bait to entice them into the trap. Oh yes, a delectable combination of peanut butter, marshmallows and sardines.

   And it worked. Soon, Dud had two of these traps working, so that he could refer to it as the trapline and not just “the trap.” Sounded better. Before long, the score was quite impressive. Three ‘coons, one bobcat, a raven, one cocker spaniel, Sissy (who was released on her own recognizance into Mrs. Miller’s custody and was immediately placed under house arrest.), and a skunk.

  “How’d you turn that skunk loose, Dud?” Doc asked.

  “Very carefully,” was our resident trapper’s reply.

Brought to you by Ol’ Max Evans, the First Thousand Years, available at www.unmpress,com




Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.


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