Walter Arnold was a famous trapper and his stories are amazing

You may have heard of Walter Arnold, who was a well-known trapper and writer. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, his articles in Fur-Fish-Game were very popular.

As a wildlife student at the University of Maine, Jeremiah Wood learned that the Fogler Library had a collection of Arnold’s columns, but he never checked them out, too intimidated by Wood’s reputation.

About a dozen years later, Eric Martin, another old trapper, encouraged Wood to put some of Arnold’s amazing stories into a book. And we should all be grateful that he spent a lot of time doing just that. The book is titled Walter Arnold, Maine Trapper.

“There’s so much lost in history these days,” writes Wood, “and I’m a believer that not only is it enjoyable to read writings from the past, but we can also benefit a great deal from the information they provide…. Walter Arnold was a special man who shared a lot with fellow trappers in his day. I hope his words prove valuable to you.”

Well, they sure are, and Wood’s stories are amazing and fascinating. He had a farm and business selling trapping supplies, but much of his time was spent in various cabins, hunting and trapping in the north woods.

And he was a strong guy. He was out checking his traps in blizzards and days when the temperature was 50 below zero. Brrrr!

And he had a lot of life-threatening experiences, including several falls through the ice into deep and very cold water. And one time when he was grouse hunting, he slipped and fell and the shotgun blast just missed his face.

He usually had another trapper along, and he even took in a young guy who wanted to learn to trap. Wood’s daughter also trapped with him, and ended up marrying that young guy.

I would love to tell you some of Wood’s amazing stories, but I’ll let you enjoy them after you buy this book. You’ll enjoy the photos of Wood too.




George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.