When just getting started with trapping, whatever the species, we very much recommend a mentor to help you in the beginning. A mentor can really help shorten the learning curve in trapping your first animal. Mentors can be found within your own families, local trapping organizations or even Facebook groups! I know many trappers that were just starting out who found great help from a mentor. With anything, please be sure to do your research if connecting with someone you are unfamiliar with. It's perfectly ok to ask for references from someone they already mentored or to reach out to your local trapping organizations board to ask some questions about the individual.
As far as equipment to get started goes we suggest starting out small with just the essentials. Although we are in the trapping supply business we never want to see anyone buy items that they will not be using and will be hanging on the fur shed wall in new condition for years to come. Its better to find out you need an item you don't have then to buy everything you "think" you need and not use 50% of what you purchased. Again, a mentor or online group can help you understand what you will absolutely need right out of the gate.
There are two categories of supplies to to consider: Trapping Supplies and Fur Handling Supplies.
Depending on what the intended target species is you will need trapping supplies such as sifters, trowels, hammers, a staking system, connectors, dirt hole punch, baits, lures, urine/oil, pack basket or trapping bag, dye, wax, and of course, traps. These are just some items you may need to get started land trapping.
If you plan on water trapping you will need some different items like waders, gauntlets, pack basket, a safety, castor, lure, drowning system, trapping ax, hammer, wood stakes and traps. Again, everyone's situation will require different equipment but these are some of the basics.
As far as fur handling equipment we suggest starting out with a fleshing beam, serrated pelter, Havalon style knife, tail slitting tool and guide, tail puller, a two handled fleshing knife like a Necker 600 (don't skimp on this item you will end up spending more if you purchase an inferior knife that you struggle with), gambrel, push pins and solid wood fur stretchers. A good fur handling DVD will also be helpful.
We hope this information is helpful in getting you started on your trapping journey! You are about to embark on one of the oldest traditions in America. Best of luck and tight chains.
--Dougherty & Sons Fur Stretchers and Trapping Supplies