Acres Green Fur Trappers Hunt for the Most Pelts

The fourth grade classes of Acres Green began the week learning about the fur trade in Colorado in the early 1800s. What would it have been like to be a fur trapper? Would you have chosen this difficult profession? If you did, chances are you might not last very long!

After learning about beavers and why they were so popular and valuable in the early 1800s, students got a chance to attempt identifying tracks. First, groups examined life-size rubber tracks, looking for clues about nail prints, size, width, and anything else they could think of.

After practicing a bit, everyone got down to business making tracking guides so they could become successful trackers. Each group had a chance to go to the science room to spend a season tracking beavers as their trade. Every group found the stuffed beaver ensuring a good trapping season, but some were more successful in their hunt than others! Can you imagine if you had been sprayed by a skunk back in the 1800s? No change of clothes, no tomato juice bath, no bath at all!? What if you ran into a mountain lion? The best trackers were the ones who were cautious and identified tracks before making any decisions about what to follow.

At the end of each class, students were asked again whether this is the profession they would have chosen. Many changed their minds to farming or mining, but a few still loved the idea of the cold and snowy mountain life of a trapper. What a way to learn about our history!

Thank you to Acres Green staff and students for being such a great audience for this fun program.

#History #tracks #InClassProgram #ColoradoParksandWildlife

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