Thanks for visiting Trapping Supplies Review. This is a place for trappers to share their insights on all things related to trapping. If you would like to contribute a trapping article, equipment review or stories and pictures from your trapline, please click "contact me" in the sidebar and I'll be happy to include your post. Meantime, please feel free to post comments on any topic if you have additional insights. Together we can make this website a valuable resource for trappers.

A Salute to the Lowly Grinner

Almost nobody tries to catch them, and nearly every trapper hates them, but somehow we end up with them in set after set.  They are the ultimate "non-target" catch.  Yeah, I hate when they ruin a good fox or 'coon set, but here's my take on the lowly grinner: they are the ultimate survivors of the woods.

Think about it: these ugly little critters turn up everywhere.  The woods must be teeming with them, maybe because those higher on the food chain can't stand to eat them, just as many trappers can't stand to skin them.  They remind me of Gonzo on the Muppets, except not quite as friendly, and that's another thing.  For their size they sure are feisty, combative, and love to show those teeth.  I'd hate to get bitten by one.  They are butt-ugly too.  Seems like the Lord showed a sense of humor when creating them.  Killing something so ugly just seems to add insult to injury.

They must have an excellent sense of smell because they sure can sniff out my dirt hole sets better (or quicker) than the 'coons seem to be able to.  When you let them go (if you let them go) they seem like they want to stay and fight rather than run away.  Gotta give 'em credit for that.  They ain't scared, or if they are, they don't let on.

I have a new respect for grinners.  The last few I caught I just gave them a salute, let 'em go, and remade my set.  I have decided to co-exist in peace with the lowly grinner, the ultimate survivor of the woods.   


  1. I've heard some folks down south feed them on corn for a week or two to cleanse their system before eating them. It supposedly makes them more palitable. Having skinned my fair share, I've never worked up nerve to try one, though I once knew a guy who was conned into thinking it was tame rabbit and thought it was delicious until he found out the truth.

  2. They are durable...if they stay off paved roads...

  3. Grinners' were a target animal when I started at young age. They brought as much as 7.00 each and many an evening were spent skinning and fleshing. Have had coyotes eat them in my traps on a few occasions. Fox and fisher will also eat possum when conditions are rite.
    A fur buyer told us if you catch a possum in a fox set you might as well pull it because a fox won't work it. I assure everyone he was incorrect. Though thier value has wayned over the years, they are par for the coarse and accepted as such as they appear on my line. They work our sets so quickly sometimes due to thier being such prolific breeders and there are just more of them in many areas. An old fella ran with me one day on the fox line, he had trapped as a youth and never caught a fox. The line produced 13 grinners and no fox that day. We laughed as he dubbed me possum king. Asked him to come along the next day, he said he'd seen enough grinners. When I stopped by his place later with 5 fox, he asked if he could come tommorrow. Long live the grinner.

  4. Good story Kip. Thanks for posting.

  5. I really am laughing out load. Grinners! I have been nuisance wildlife trapping for 16 years and have not heard that one. Thats my new name for opossums and I am going to use it alot. (still laughing) We do bout 50 opossum removals a year from residences attics and under porches, and yes God made them take an ugly pill right after creating them.

  6. I love this post, and it's incredibly true. Whenever I get out all my
    trapping supplies, I'm always disappointed to see one of these guys, and it seems like letting them go can sometimes be more of a hassle than anything. But I like the approach you're taking, and I think I'll join in.