Non-trapper “Mountain Man?”

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Jfoster

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Hey folks. Were there mountain men that didnt trap? For instance, were there those that leaned toward hunting deer/elk/bear and harvested pelts to sell/trade from them as opposed to trapping beaver? Reason im asking is im consistently drawn to the rendezvous era, but im not a trapper at heart. Ive hunted my whole life and have skinned pert near everything my state has to offer, but was never much on trapping. So based on that id like to stay “true to my roots” so to speak. Just dont know if such a thing existed.

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Black Hand

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Hey folks. Were there mountain men that didnt trap? For instance, were there those that leaned toward hunting deer/elk/bear and harvested pelts to sell/trade from them as opposed to trapping beaver? Reason im asking is im consistently drawn to the rendezvous era, but im not a trapper at heart. Ive hunted my whole life and have skinned pert near everything my state has to offer, but was never much on trapping. So based on that id like to stay “true to my roots” so to speak. Just dont know if such a thing existed.

Thanks pards.
Who says you are required to trap in order to portray a Mountain Man...? I do suggest you know how it was done, but you don't actually have to do it (I did trap one time just to have the experience of standing in ice-cold water up to my undercarriage with 6-8ft of ice visible on the shore - never got anything).
 

Jfoster

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Who says you are required to trap in order to portray a Mountain Man...? I do suggest you know how it was done, but you don't actually have to do it (I did trap one time just to have the experience of standing in ice-cold water up to my undercarriage with 6-8ft of ice visible on the shore - never got anything).
I have dabbled in my younger years with trapping. It was okay, but im just more of a hunter. Rambling around the woods with a flintlock hunting deer and such just appeals to me more than freezing to death in water with traps.
 

Logcutter

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I was a trapper when you could still sell furs. That is to say when furs were still worth something. I had a trapline that at the height of the season would take me from 5am to noon to run. Then id skin, flesh, and stretch fur till late. Id take two weeks vacation then after that was done I'd trap on weekends on a shorter line. Most years I'd make enough to pay for all my expenses and then Id use the rest to pay for my property taxes for the year and our Christmas for the kids. One year I bought a used pickup with what was left. Sometimes had enough left over for a rifle or some thing for the house. Now most fur is near worth less and I haven't trapped in years. I don't really miss the trapping, but I do miss reading the sign and making the sets to catch some fairly smart animals. Now I'm with Jfoster, I'd rather carry my flintlock and hunt deer.
 

Jfoster

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Thanks folks. I guess my real question is if any men actually took to the mountains and ended up being just hunters as opposed to trapping. Were there fellas that did that and sold pelts as opposed to selling trapped furs. So im really asking if it would be HC/PC.
 

Black Hand

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Thanks folks. I guess my real question is if any men actually took to the mountains and ended up being just hunters as opposed to trapping. Were there fellas that did that and sold pelts as opposed to selling trapped furs. So im really asking if it would be HC/PC.
The trapping brigades (the myth of the lone trapper is more Hollywood than History) had hunters...
 

Jfoster

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The trapping brigades (the myth of the lone trapper is more Hollywood than History) had hunters...
Interesting. So a person could enact the persona of a hunter attached to a brigade and still fall into the rendezvous period?
 

Jfoster

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Thanks. A follow up question, this person would more than likely carried a personally owned rifle yes? As compared to the company trapper that would have used what was possibly provided? That being the case, i was looking at the iron mounted Pennsylvania rifle from TVM. I appreciate the lack of glare and flash since its iron mounted. Im just trying to ensure that style of rifle would be good to go for the time frame before, during, and after the rendezvous period.
 

necchi

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Your Golden.
While there may be documentation of firearms made and available during the period. There is also documentation of functioning older rifles being used well into the 20th century.
Rifle flint and percussion caps are documented as trade goods during the MM period,, so all manner of current rifle for the period and older where used.
If your asking about stuff that would/will be correct for today's typical "Rendezvous" encampment,(?) Just don't wear a baseball cap, bluejeans and tennis shoes (And turn the cell phone off)
Other types of events and goals are somewhat different.
Read stuff from this page;
http://www.mtmen.org/

Where do you live? East/West/N/S,,?
 

Jfoster

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Your Golden.
While there may be documentation of firearms made and available during the period. There is also documentation of functioning older rifles being used well into the 20th century.
Rifle flint and percussion caps are documented as trade goods during the MM period,, so all manner of current rifle for the period and older where used.
If your asking about stuff that would/will be correct for today's typical "Rendezvous" encampment,(?) Just don't wear a baseball cap, bluejeans and tennis shoes (And turn the cell phone off)
Other types of events and goals are somewhat different.
Read stuff from this page;
http://www.mtmen.org/

Where do you live? East/West/N/S,,?
South/ South East. Specifically the Natural State.
 

Black Hand

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Thanks. A follow up question, this person would more than likely carried a personally owned rifle yes? As compared to the company trapper that would have used what was possibly provided? That being the case, i was looking at the iron mounted Pennsylvania rifle from TVM. I appreciate the lack of glare and flash since its iron mounted. Im just trying to ensure that style of rifle would be good to go for the time frame before, during, and after the rendezvous period.
Iron mounts were less common/absent - Brass was used.
Your comment about flash/glare is a common one, though incorrect (I thought the same). Once brass has tarnished (wipe with dirty cleaning patches), it is not shiny, mellowing to a darker color and does not stand out or reflect. Get the brass....
Lancaster rifles were also common.
 

Jfoster

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Iron mounts were less common/absent - Brass was used.
Your comment about flash/glare is a common one, though incorrect (I thought the same). Once brass has tarnished (wipe with dirty cleaning patches), it is not shiny, mellowing to a darker color and does not stand out or reflect. Get the brass....
Lancaster rifles were also common.
Good to know. I was also looking at one of the lancaster variants from them.
 

Nativearizonan

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The term "Mountain Man" was not even used until after the rendezvous period was over. It became a popular expression during the late buffalo hide hunting period, or even later. The term Plainsman was also used during that period, as the plains were still a hunting ground for buffalo. Most often people of the period we think of as the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade, the rendezvous period, were identified by terms such as trapper, trader, hunter, or guide. The same people often did all of these things at one time or another, though. More trappers early on, more hunters and guides later on. Buffalo hides were a lot more work, but still worth real money, and they could be traded for goods to keep people from having to go back east and hunt a job.

John "liver eating" Johnson, the bases for the movie "Jeremiah Johnson, trapped a little, but hunted buffalo, and also collected scalps and hunted wolves for bounties. He was actually too late to have been involved in the heyday of the RMFT. In the SW especially, due to the Mexicans paying for Apache and Comanche scalps, there were "Mountain Men" like James Kirker, who mainly hunted scalps. He was said to have had a large crew of Delaware, Shawnee, mixed blood, and Anglo hunter/trappers working under him at one time. These types were popularly known as "Injun Fighters", even though many of them were also Native Americans. War, or at least self-defense, with the native population was also practiced at one time or another by nearly all "Mountain Men".
 

Scott_C

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The brigades also had camp tenders: men who cooked, skinned critters and generally cared for the camp while others were out collecting furs and game. (They were not often held in the highest regard by the others.)
 

tenngun

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A few educated men too worked for the companies mostly as scribes. There were teamsters that cared for the mules packing the furs. And there was the gentleman who went west like Stewart to see the world. At the same time as the fur trapping was going in the Santa Fe trail was running, less popular to portray was more pofitable. Missionaries made there way west also.
 

Jfoster

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A few educated men too worked for the companies mostly as scribes. There were teamsters that cared for the mules packing the furs. And there was the gentleman who went west like Stewart to see the world. At the same time as the fur trapping was going in the Santa Fe trail was running, less popular to portray was more pofitable. Missionaries made there way west also.
Would plainsmen or hunters be attached to the wagon trains along the Santa Fe?
 

tenngun

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Yes and scouts, and life and equipment was little different then a trapper in the mountains. Jedidiah Smith was a trapper from 1822 till ‘28 or 29, then invested in a Santa Fe trail outfit in ‘31.
As such you could have fresh tayloted clothing and equipment, Smith was caring a brand new halfstock precussion Hawken rifle while the boys in the mountains were still using mostly Pennsylvania ‘plain rifles’.
 

Jfoster

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Yes and scouts, and life and equipment was little different then a trapper in the mountains. Jedidiah Smith was a trapper from 1822 till ‘28 or 29, then invested in a Santa Fe trail outfit in ‘31.
As such you could have fresh tayloted clothing and equipment, Smith was caring a brand new halfstock precussion Hawken rifle while the boys in the mountains were still using mostly Pennsylvania ‘plain rifles’.
Thanks. Im trying to find my “niche” so to speak. That way i can zero in on what would or wouldnt work. Ideally id like to use things that would have been typical for my area, but my issue is figuring out what would or wouldnt have been found in the Ozarks region. Im finding out more and more that not everyone carried the same style of rifle and accoutrements and it would be very much geographic dependent. One could always argue they picked up something when they got to where they were going though.
 

tenngun

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Check out the paintings of calab Brigham. He was hip deep in ozark frontier. I would suggest a visit to Arrowrock mo since your in the ozarks. Also contact the folks of Early Arkansaw Reinactors
A mountain man was resuppied by mule trains and river boats. Working out of the ozarks your access to stuff was a lot easier.
 
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