Oral History Interviews:
Ron Long was born and raised in Oklahoma. He started trapping coyotes and bobcats as a young boy. The US Air Force brought Ron to Interior Alaska and he never left.
During his early years in the Fairbanks area, Ron trapped in a variety of locations. One fateful day, a co-worker suggested that Ron might want to check out the fur prospects on the western Tanana Flats south of Fairbanks. Ron was impressed with the amount of fur sign he found on that first scouting trip. He trapped the area for more than 30 years. In the first few years, he focused on mink and beaver. In later years, Ron switched his emphasis to fox, lynx and wolves. He became an expert on all species.
Ron was instrumental in the formation and development of the Alaska Trappers Association. He served as President of ATA and has received the Fabian Carey Trapper of the Year award.
Like every outdoorsman, Ron remembers years of bountiful harvest and years of poor harvest. He tells stories which make you laugh and others which almost curdle the blood. One day, Ron and a partner were riding tandem on a single snow machine. They were more than 25 miles from their line cabin when the rear axle on the snow-go broke. They walked back to the cabin in temperatures of 30 degrees below zero. Ron also describes one year when the mouse and shrew populations were at an all-time high. He had a hard time sleeping that year because the rodents were in his sleeping bag, scurrying around the tent or climbing the tent walls only to fall on his head (sounds like a scene from a Hitchcock movie).
Ron fondly remembers some of his trapping partners over the years, including Norm Phillips (Ron calls him "Phil") and Ron's brother-in-law Roy. Perhaps the best story in this session was the time that Ron "shot" his partner after a rough day on the trail.
Ron describes his favorite sets for fox, lynx and wolf. He voices his opinions regarding the ideal cable size for wolf snares. He also explains his rationale for proper spacing of traplines.
This interview runs the gamut from serious to humorous, from mundane to bizarre, from the practical to the theoretical. Most importantly, it is never dull.