Olive Hamilton Interview, July 16, 1981


Olive Hamilton


Diann Wiesner



Download Audio Interview (87.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Olive Hamilton Interview (291 KB)


Olive Hamilton tells of her two years trapping in Mineral County, Montana, in the mid-1920s. She describes trapping marten, mink, beaver, otter, coyotes, and other wildlife. She discusses the process of skinning different animals, including the difficulty of skinning certain ones. Hamilton recalls walking an eight-mile trap line on snowshoes in the wintertime with her husband and their pack dog, Pilot. She recalls how they would try to smoke bears out of hibernation on these trips and their encounters with those animals. Hamilton describes the trapping process for animals like mink or marten, including the location of the traps and the bait she used. She also talks about stretching hides out on a wooden board to preserve them, and she recalls being bit on the finger by an angry mink the first time she tried to pull one out of a trap.


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Document Type

Oral History


Hamilton, Olive L., 1896-1992 – Interviews; Trappers -- Montana -- Mineral County – Interviews; Trapping -- Montana -- Mineral County -- History -- 20th century; Mink trapping -- Montana -- History -- 20th century; Coyote trapping -- Montana -- History -- 20th century; Beaver trapping -- Montana -- History -- 20th century; Trapping -- Montana -- Equipment and supplies – History; Traplines; Skinning Marten trapping; Women fur trappers

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 099-013, 014

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (29 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:11:02 minutes

Local Filename

OH_099_013_014.mp3; OH_099_013_014.pdf

Olive Hamilton Interview, July 16, 1981