- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Last Saturday morning, I spent three hours watching two men trap for beavers off the banks of the Kentucky River.
Never thought I’d write that sentence.
I also never imagined that I’d eat barbecued squirrel. Or taste test burgoo. Or finally learn how not to panic while driving on narrow country roads in western Anderson County.
I may be a day late in celebrating Valentine’s Day, but I figured it’s never too late to confess a secret love: my unabashed admiration for country life.
Even beaver trapping on a frozen February morning.
Being “country,” unfortunately, often has a negative association, and gets a bad reputation on television and in film. People often use nicknames like “hick,” “redneck” or “hillbilly” to describe behavior and speech that they view as ignorant and backwards.
They’re the ignorant ones.
I’ve never pretended to be an expert in hunting or fishing or any activity that could be categorized as “country.” My first experiences with these things came straight from the pages of “Little House on the Prairie.”
I proudly share facts of country life I’ve had to learn the hard way as a gullible city girl, like:
• A“cattle guard” does not stand watch over his cattle by night.
• Those points on a buck’s antlers actually mean something.
• “Skeet shooting” does, indeed, exist. But people will laugh at you if you ask where they keep the “skeet” birds.
For some reason, no one seems too impressed when I break out those gems of knowledge. But I’m always impressed with people who can teach me something new, something unexpected.
Like Amber Becker.
Amber is the 16-year-old daughter of Anderson County resident Danny Becker, and has been beaver trapping with her dad for years.
So spending a Saturday morning on a pontoon boat on the river wasn’t unusual.
At least, for her.
“We spend most of our summer on this boat, on the lake and stuff,” she said.
She explained to me how to set beaver traps near the tree roots reaching into the river, although not all beavers frequent these spots.
That beaver trapping is more for nuisance control, as opposed to hunting them for their often gristly meat.
That the pelt of a beaver is one of the softest types of fur to the touch.
Of course, Anderson County is not just about “country living,” just like Kentucky isn’t only made up of bourbon, the Bible Belt and basketball.
But if you ever get the opportunity to watch the sun rise and turn the river and the woods golden on a cold, clear morning like I did, there may be a moment when you ask yourself if there’s any other life worth living.