Herschell Wells Interview, August 20, 1982


Herschell Wells


Diann Wiesner



Download Audio Interview (83.4 MB)

Download Transcript of Herschell Wells Interview (277 KB)


Herschell Wells recalls how he started trapping during the early 1930s when he was a kid and how he focused on trapping muskrats and mink along the stream. Wells notes that as he got older, he started to prefer trapping predators, such as cats, fox, and coyotes. He also describes the process of setting the traps, skinning the animal, and treating the hides. Wells discusses making his own stretcher boards and which methods of skinning worked best for different animals. He talks about the popularity of trapping in the Butte, Anaconda, and Dillon area of western Montana and how that has significantly decreased trappable populations. Wells also describes his encounters with coyotes and fox that would dig up his traps, making it harder to catch other animals.


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Document Type

Oral History


Trapping, Montana; Fur trapping methods; Predator control; Fur trapping equipment; Butte, Montana, trapping; Anaconda, Montana, trapping, Dillon, Montana, trapping

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Fur Trappers Oral History Project, OH 099, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 099-025

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (20 p.: 28 cm.)]

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:02:23 minutes

Local Filename

OH_099_025.mp3; OH_099_025.pdf

Herschell Wells Interview, August 20, 1982