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A character who makes his (or, rarely, her) legitimate living by hunting down animals for their meat and fur. Most often found in stories about America's frontier days, fading into The Western.

Generally, the Hunter Trapper will have or quickly acquire excellent survival skills and woodcraft, often with the aid of a Native American friend. Improbable Aiming Skills are common, but this character is seldom The Gunslinger, as in the early days, their rifles hold only one shot. Often wears a Coonskin cap.

Expect to see a successful Hunter Trapper garbed in the skins and furs of his prey, with the more ostentatious ones perhaps wearing claws and teeth as decorations. Many of these characters are The Stoic, uncomfortable with civilized society's demands for emotional involvement, but a few are Boisterous Bruisers instead, especially if they're Sidekicks. If it's a period Romance Novel, one might serve as the male Love Interest (though being "tamed" by the heroine is inevitable in this case.)

The French-Canadian version of this character is the Voyageur, actually rivermen who worked for the fur companies, but who did hunting and trapping on the side.

Often overlaps with The Pioneer; can turn into the Mountain Man if he decides to stay outside civilization permanently. Contrast the Evil Poacher.

Examples of Hunter Trapper include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Wild Rock, the clans rely on hunting and trapping for food. Emba is by far the best Hunter Trapper, making meat scarce for the forest clan, while Yuuen is terrible at it.

Comic Books

  • Wolverine Mc Allister from the Journey comic book published by Aardvark-Vanaheim.
  • The villain Buck Wylde from the Zorro comic book published by Topps was one of these.

Film

Literature

  • Older Than Radio: Natty Bumppo, the hero from The Last of the Mohicans and other Leatherstocking Tales by James Fenimore Cooper.
  • In the Trixie Belden books, Mr. Maypenny, who works for Honey's father as gamekeeper in his preserve. I don't believe he gets paid for his services (at least not as much as Mr. Wheeler offered him, according to Mr. Maypenny's telling of it) but gets to hunt and trap the animals in the preserve for his own use. (Also Mr. Maypenny is the non-crazy/non-unicycle-riding/non-poacher that Honey and Trixie thought he was.)

Live Action TV

  • One of these tries to goad Lucas McCain into killing him in a showdown in The Rifleman episode "Day of the Hunter".
  • Parodied in a sketch of The Kids in The Hall, where a pair of French Canadian trappers row a boat with wheels on dry land, and kill businessmen for their expensive Armani suits.

Tabletop Games

  • A couple of hunter/trapper archetypes (suitable for use as PCs) appear in Deadlands: The Great Weird North.

Video Games

Real Life

  • William "Buffalo Bill" Cody was less on the trapping side, and quickly parlayed his fame as a hunter into a career in entertainment, but he counts.
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