A LADY LIVING OFF THE LAND - Smithville's Janet Hodge


Reprinted from
Vol.31/No. 7/September 2006

A Lady Living Off the Land

By Bob Noonan

In 2005, Janet Hodge, 45, of Smithville, W.Va., received the West Virginia Sportsman of the Year Award, in recognition of her outstanding work with the Ritchie County Trappers Association and other outdoors organizations. She is the West Virginia Trappers Association State Organizer, a past officer of the Mountaineer Coonhunters Association, a representative to the West Virginia Wildlife Federation, and an active member of the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.

During state legislative sessions, Hodge keeps in constant contact with legislators and sporting organizations. She also helps the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources obtain otter sighting information, and is working with DNR managers to create a statewide problem coyote removal program. In 2004, she was inducted into the West Virginia Trappers Hall of Fame.

Under the business name Hawk Mountain Trading, she buys roots, fur, deer and beef hides, sells trapping supplies and designs Web sites.

THE TRAPPER: How did you get interested in the outdoors?

HODGE: I come from a rural family. My parents were both raised on a farm and moved to a town so small there were cattle behind our house. Everybody in the family hunted, fished or trapped, and I spent weekends and summers on my uncle Glennard Hart's farm.

THE TRAPPER: How did you start trapping?

HODGE: My uncles and grandfather trapped, primarily for muskrats and skunks. They did some opossum hunting with dogs, too. My brother, Tim, introduced me to trapping in 1971. He was 9 and I was 12 when we started trapping muskrats together. We'd check traps before and after school with a flashlight... Read the rest of the story at wvmountainsun.com