As a child growing up on a farm in Pa., David was interested in the out of doors and let his imagination run to the woods and mountains imagining what life was like as a mountain man and trapper. David had one of the original Davy Crockett coon skin caps along with other accessories. David had a trapline for muskrats and enjoyed going out early in the morning to check his traps.
In his senior year in high school David learned how to skin and tan furs and enjoyed making various items from the finished hides. David also picked up any animals he found on the highway and managed to salvage quite a few furs.
David joined the Marine Corps in 1969 and became a field radio operator and was sent to Vietnam. He excelled in map and compass work and eventually was sent to the village of Hoa Vang as a Marine liaison to the Army and Australians where he maintained a hugh topo map of the AO (area of operation) and plotted daily patrols, ambushes and operations and checked on friendlies in an area before offensive operations were approved. Vietnam was the place where David built his first deadfall trap while on guard duty and killed a large number of rats before his shift ended.
After the serving in the Marine Corps David moved to central PA and began building a self-sufficient life back in the woods of the Roaring Creek Valley spending a lot of time hunting, fishing and trapping. For money he took a job as a topographer by Columbia County and spent several years traveling along every creek and river in the county plotting the flood plain on topo maps from the 1972 Agnes flood. Being in the outdoors and spending time in the woods and mountains was perfect for David plus he got paid for it!
Through a series of events David eventually found his way to Nova Scotia, Canada where he bought 100 acres of wooded land located in the Stewiacke Valley. Nova Scotia was somewhat isolated and it was there he began building a self sufficient homestead complete with log cabins, barns, livestock, gardens and a sawmill. The purpose of the project was to help needy young men. Part of the program was wilderness camping which included hunting, fishing and of course trapping along with map & compass work and survival. During the months of November and December, David took the boys out where he would pitch a base camp with either Baker style tents or a large outfitter tent. From there David took the boys trapping and divided the fur up between the boys. They caught muskrat, mink, otter, coon, beaver, fox and bobcat. But the highlight was bear trapping using a foot snare (not for the faint of heart)!
Back at the homestead David taught the boys how to skin their catch and tan the furs and make items from the finished product. Sometimes David and the boys took finished hides and traded with the Mic Mac Indians at a trading post.
David left Canada in 2001 and moved to SC where he retired in 2013. And now has a grandson who wants grandpop to show him how to trap and hunt.