The SHESide

It all began with a brilliant idea from female trapper Linda White. What could be done to get more women and girls into trapping? What could she do, personally, to make this happen? How about an article in the American Trapper (every issue!) that highlighted women trappers along with their joys and struggles with getting into this male dominated pastime?

But this wasn’t enough. How about forming a committee of like-minded individuals to dream up more ways of getting women and youngsters into Trapping and Animal Damage Control work?

What about having a program at the annual National Trappers Association conventions that highlighted and championed women and girls?

With this the SHESide was born!!

Some Pictures from Past SHESide Women’s Workshops

Check out these biographies of the “movers and shakers” behind the SHESide and those doing Demos for the 64th annual NTA Convention and Outdoor Show in the SHESide

 area at the fairgrounds in Escanaba!

Member of the SheSide Committee and 2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Linda White (NY)

Co-Owner of Trapping Girl Inc. and Sawmill Creek Baits and Lures, FTA Director, 2021 recipient of the NTA Leadership award for her work with women and kids in the trapping community, Board for Women of the Wild, Organizer and founder of Kids for Catches, Host of the podcast “Women of the Wild”, Co-Organizer & Instructor for the Women’s Trapping Weekend in NE, PA, MI and OH, Columnist for the SHEside and Chairmen of the Committee

 (Fox Demo 7/28 at 10:30 am and Beaver Skinning and Hooping Demo 7/29 at 1:30pm): 

Unlike most trappers, Linda did not start trapping at a young age. She was introduced to the sport by her now husband Michael. His passion and knowledge are what got her started, but the lifestyle and true understanding of what trapping really stands for is what got her hooked and grew a passion inside her like no other. 7 years later, she is running her own K9 line over 2 counties in NY throughout the season, and spending as much time as possible trying to educate the public on trapping and the outdoors. She fully believes that education is key and that more people need to understand the value of what trapping brings. Linda has trapped multiple states, adding more to her list every year; has spent countless hours in workshops, classes, writing articles and producing podcasts that speak to men, women and children about trapping, the outdoors, and all it has to offer. Due to her smaller features and late start to trapping, she connects well with women, children and beginners. It is her mission to help make anyone who is interested in trapping to feel like they have a friend in the community who understands the struggles they might be facing and give encouragement to keep going.

Member of the SheSide Committee and 2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Laura Gidney (NY)

Treasurer for Fur Takers of America, a Master Trapper Education Instructor for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the first woman in NYS to win the Wayne Jones award for excellence in teaching, the Secretary for the Orange County Trappers Association, and Committee Member for the SHEside

 (Trapping with Kids 7/27 at 10:30am, Skinning Fox 7/27, Skinning Bobcat 7/28 at 1:30pm) Zac Gidney (NY) Junior Trapping Instructor for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. (Trapping with Kids Demo 7/27 at 10:30am): 

Laura has always loved everything outdoors but has come to love trapping the most. She and her husband, John, have instilled a love for the outdoors and wildlife in their children, Maggie, Johnny, and Zac. They started out trapping as a family, but more recently, due to work obligations, Laura and Zac run the trapline together. Zac started trapping at the age of 5, when he caught his first red fox (with assistance on setting the trap) and he’s been hooked ever since. Laura and Zac teach several trapper education courses each year and also teach trapping and fur handling for the NYSDEC Summer Camps and for the local gun clubs. Laura continues to keep relationships with students, where they can send photos of catches, ask questions, and even come to the fur shed for help with fur handling. The Gidneys live in Orange County, NY, an hour slightly northwest of New York City, which lets them trap in both New York and New Jersey. They run what most would consider a small, multi-species trapline, with less than 20 total private properties ranging from 1 to 50 acres. In their 10th year of trapping, they hit the milestone of 100 canines and 50 beaver for the first time in a single season. Laura has processed all the fur they’ve caught, but starting with the 10th year, Zac joined her in the fur shed. This fall, they will be starting their 12th season of trapping. Laura and Zac are looking forward to what they can accomplish together and sharing their experiences and knowledge with you.

Member of the SheSide Committee and 2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Karen Stewart-Linkhart (OH)

Director for OSTA and FBU. Contract employee for NTA, Committee Member for the SHEside

 (Trapping from a Canoe 7/28 at 11:30)

Karen traps coyotes with snares on the family farm she and her husband, Dave, share in Ohio. She also works water lines with him on the area creeks and rivers (in a canoe) for mink, raccoon, beaver and muskrat. In January and February their trapping adventures take them to crawfish farms in Louisiana. They work together to get the many initial sets out. Then Karen uses the afternoons putting out additional sets (1.5 modified Dukes and snares) while Dave works in their mobile fur shed. She caught a Louisiana bobcat in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, her catch list includes: coyote, otter, muskrat, raccoon, beaver, nutria, opossum and wild pigs.

Member of the SheSide Committee and 2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Lydia Reichenbacher (OH)

Outdoor journalist for various magazines including OSTA’s Buckeye Trapper, Professional Photographer, Committee Member for the SHEside

It’s clear to anyone who talks to Lydia that her passion is trapping coyotes. At age 14 she found an old rusty trap in the barn, which started her curiosity for trapping. While noone else in her family trapped, she learned all she could online and in books, then convinced her Dad to drive her to the Ohio state convention and sat through hours of demos straight. As a young girl she would walk her own trapline by herself, a few miles long and set for all species, often skipping math class to do so. Each fur season since then, she has ran her own line increasing her catch rate steadily and is proud to have ran a successful trapline through every stage of life, including through college in Iowa, then with a newborn baby, and then with her arm in a sling after three extensive shoulder surgeries. She has trapped in Iowa and Ohio. Lydia now runs a trapline for coyotes with her 3-year old as her little shadow. Although she feels strongly connected to all trappers, her main interest is to encourage trappers, (professionals and beginners) to “get out there and do it!” regardless of what life circumstance throws at them. She instructs on coyote trapping at various events throughout the year including the upcoming OSTA state convention, workshops and meets. This past year her favorite catch was a triple on coyotes, one was silver, one was deep red, and one had extra long fur.

Member of the SheSide Committee and 2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Megan Lockwood (OH)

Owner and fulltime Nuisance wildlife control trapper, PR for Women of the Wild, Co- Organizer & Instructor for the Women’s Trapping Weekend in PA, MI and OH, Committee Member for the SHEside

(Nuisance Trapping 7/29 at 9:30 & POC at the main table all weekend):

Megan is obsessed with the outdoors. In 2005 She started learning to trap and ran her first line that fall. She quickly became in love with trapping. She had learned from reading any and all books the local library had on hand about trapping and from gentlemen at her local gun club, which was one of her first jobs. Her passions grew for shooting sports and hunting as she was an archer for the Michigan State 4-H archery team. As she got older, the urge to run bigger lines grew. She started doing nuisance work for a local DTE power plant controlling coyote, groundhogs, and raccoons. She continued to only trap on land until 2012. That’s when she switched gears and started learning water trapping. She once again started reading and researching mink and muskrat trapping in water. Her first season she was successful with 636 muskrat and 29 mink out of local farm ditches! That got her hooked. After moving to Ohio in 2018, She quit working in the medical field and gave full force starting a nuisance wildlife control company. She now full-time traps year-round excluding animals from houses and other structures. Megan has been trapping now for 17 years.  Her goal is to teach women and youth the importance of wildlife control.

Member of the SheSide Committee

Chris Davis (OH)

OSTA photographer, Committee Member for the SHEside

Chris was first introduced to trapping about 10 years ago when her husband, Bill, asked if she’d like to join him on the trapline one weekend. When Chris retired seven years ago, she joined Bill on the line full time, even traveling to Mississippi to trap together with friends for a few weeks. Initially, she took on the role of “trapping apprentice” – updating the notebook they use to log set locations, selecting bait/lure combinations, scouting areas for sign while Bill made sets, etc. But, after watching from the sidelines for a few years, she decided it was high time to get into the game and start making her own sets!

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Aubree Anderson (NY)

Aubree, a 30 year old nurse from NY, got introduced to trapping when she met her significant other, Casey in 2019. After observing for that first season, she has loved it ever since. She has learned most of her knowledge from watching demos and asking many questions at the booths at the conventions as well as trial and error which seems to be her most enjoyable way to learn. In 2020 she ran her first small line with her family and got three coyotes from a line of just 6 traps. That is when Aubree realized she enjoys fur handling the most. She doubled her numbers in 2021 catching 7 furbearers, and in 2022 she trapped many firsts including a Grey Fox and got to trap in Nebraska with a small group of ladies. Aubree really enjoys sharing her love of trapping with others, as well as beekeeping, and raising chickens. One day she hopes to have a small farm with her family where she can trap and hunt right out of her own backyard. Aubree is very humbled to have this opportunity with the SheSide this year to talk about her beginner experiences trapping.

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Edna Korth (AK)

The Last Alaskans

(How to Trap Martin 7/27 at 11:30am) 

Edna is on the hit TV show The Last Alaskans with her husband Heimo Korth.

Edna Korth is a Siberian Yupik Eskimo born and raised on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea of the west coast of Alaska. She grew up in the village of Svoonga with about 350 other residents living in a barren landscape.

Edna’s father, Emerson, like many other men of the village was a hunter. When Edna was still quite young, he taught her to shoot a rifle and she learned well. She became as good with the rifle as any boy in Svoonga and wanted to become a hunter too. But Yupik women were not allowed to hunt! But that all changed when Edna married Heimo and moved to the eastern interior of Alaska. Heimo encouraged her to hunt and trap and she became very proficient at both.

As an expert hunter and trapper and with all the other wilderness and survival skills she learned growing up on that barren and unforgiving Island, she was more than prepared for the type of wilderness living that she and Heimo enjoyed.

Many of Edna’s adventures have been viewed by millions of people on the series the “Last Alaskans.”

Much of the information for this short biography came from The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness by James Campbell, with Mr. Campbell’s permission.

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Katie Breunig (WI)

Writer for Outdoor Women Lifestyle Magazine, Huntressview, DSG, Trapping Girl Inc. and Sawmill Creek Baits and Lures Staff

(Cable Restraints Demo 7/27 at 9:30 am, Trapping 101 round table 7/28 at 12:30)

Katie was born and raised in south central Wisconsin, and has always had a strong passion for the outdoors. Anyone who knows her, knows she spends October – February in high gear. Between trapping, hunting, and fishing there’s never a dull moment and usually more on her list than she can feasibly get done. She started coyote trapping 6 years ago with her uncle and eventually started her own trapline. Since then, she has started trapping more than just coyote. Beaver trapping has become a close second to coyote trapping and she is looking forward to the upcoming season.

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Charlie Tumpak (OH)

OSTA member, co-owner of Tumpak Lures, NTA 2022 Kids Cave Demo Guest

Demo: (Trapping 101 round table 7/28 at 12:30)

Charlie is 12 years old. This will be her fifth year trapping. She loves trapping, because you get to understand how the different animals behave. Also, she likes knowing that trapping is important to the ecosystem. Her favorite animals to trap are mink. They are really fun to catch and she enjoys when they can be a challenge. She can’t wait to talk about trapping!

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Lisa Pruitt Ballew Hare (AL)

Member of the Alabama Trapper and Predator Control Association, FBU  Volunteer

Demo: (Beaver Skinning and Hooping Demo 7/29 at 1:30pm)

Lisa was born in East Ridge, TN and resides in Jacksonville, AL. She has been with her husband Tracy Hare for 24 years. They have 2 sons Dalton and Grayson and two grandsons. Lisa is a CSR at Superior Gas Company. She became interested in trapping when she started dating Tracy. She is a member of the Alabama Trappers and Predator Control Association and holds the office of Recording Secretary for the ATPCA. Lisa and Tracy were inducted into the Alabama Trappers Hall of Fame in 2021. Lisa’s favorite species is raccoons. She loves to catch them with the use of a DP using fish oil and cat food. She also loves to hoop beavers, spend time at the ball field, the beach, the mountains. She spends time helping the association setting up educational booths for the state, regional and national conventions, as well as assisting sister organizations like Furbearers Unlimited where she works with the fundraising coordinator with the national convention booth and the FBU


2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Mary Kiser (TN)

(Fur Sewing Workshop 7/27, 28, 29 at 2:30pm)

Mary was and raised in eastern Pennsylvania, and then moved to Tennessee in 1999. She is happily married for over thirty years. He and her husband have six wonderful children and 2 1/2 grandchildren. (#3 due in November) She has crafted and sewn for as far back as she can recall. She loves living a life in the country and using what nature has to offer as much as she can. When not creating and designing, she loves to cook, bake and can.

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Melonie Stanger (GA)

Former Radio DJ, Software Developer, and a Wedding Cake Bakery Owner for 16 years, Owner of Mel of the Mountain

(Buckskin Tanning Demo 7/29 11:30) 

Melonie spends her days working her deer hides to turn them into buckskins and teaching others these ancestral skills, as well as nuisance trapping when time permits. After years of working on hides in the driveway and basement, she recently built a temperature-controlled barn to be able to make buckskins all year long and is currently working on creating a buckskin wardrobe for herself and plans to make garments for others as well.

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Sarah Gomez (IA)

Owner of Shetraps and Sarah’s Trapline Lures

 (Beaver Trapping 7/28 9:30am):

Sarah Gomez is an accomplished trapper from Iowa. She was introduced to trapping at a young age of 5, by a family friend on his raccoon snare line. She quickly learned what a raccoon trail looked like and dreamed about having her own trapline. Several years later, after talking about trapping with a friend, the spark was reignited. She purchased a dozen DP’s, name tags, stakes and some bait and set them out on her own. She quickly became proficient at catching racoons and putting up large catches. Skinning, scraping and stretching her catches is as enjoyable to her as the trapping is. Curiosity led Sarah to start trapping coyotes, red fox, weasels, bobcats, muskrats, otters and beavers, which she has excelled at. Sarah has now trapped in Iowa, Northern Michigan, and Louisiana. She feels a strong bond with all trappers – but especially with young girls and women. Her passion and excitement is contagious and she loves to talk to beginning trappers and hopes to plant the same seed that sprouted in that five-year-old girl many years ago. Sarah also attends 14-15 conventions throughout the year and does demonstrations (at most) to help new trappers and always has time to encourage others.

2023 SHEside Demonstrator

Cindy Lewis (AK)

Cindy Lewis — cast member of The Last Alaskans

(Survival Skills 7/27 at 12:30pm)

Cindy always loved the outdoors and especially mountains, but the thought of living in Alaska had not yet entered her mind! Cindy and Ray got married in February 1983, then shortly after left Michigan in June of 1983. They arrived in Anchorage, where they both held jobs, but as time passed, they found Anchorage to be “too much like Chicago” and not what they came to Alaska for. In 1987 Ray made a trip out to the Nowitna River, where they found homestead land available. The years that followed they put in the acquired time needed to make the land theirs. Ray worked seasonal and Cindy had a year-round job until they started spending their falls, winters and some springs in the woods. Molly, their first daughter, came along in September of 1993. Then Emma in December of 1995, so they wanted to find some place closer to Fairbanks. Our homestead was quite far and expensive to get to with our family growing! A friend found an already established trap line on The Little Black River. Sarah, their youngest daughter, was born in January of 1998 and pretty much grew up on the Little Black River. The girls never slowed them down. They learned respect for the land and animals and to this day still love getting out in the woods, when they can steal away from the duties of being responsible adults! With their move to Alaska, the opportunities to trap increased dramatically, but trapping always remained secondary to just living in, and enjoying the wilderness!