Mar 13, 2013 - Lew Diehl, RivertonEditor:
Jake Korell was a modern-day mountain man.
Jake learned to trap moles for rancher at about the age of 7. He graduated to skunks at the age of 9. Skunks were worth about $3 each in 1925. Due to the odor, he was kicked out of school in the third grade.
He worked in the sugar beet fields as a youngster and began to break horses, both to ride and as draft teams. He said he never was bucked off.
He moved west with his young bride, Martha, and bought land near Pavillion.
They broke out the sagebrush, built a sod house, and started a family.
By farming and ranching in the summer and trapping coyotes, foxes, raccoons, bobcats and anything else with fur in the fall and winter he was able to make a living for his young family.
Early on, Jake learned the art of taxidermy from J. Bob White, which he taught his children as well as adding to the family income.
The family spent several years as hunting outfitters. They became prominent in raising, showing, and racing high quality quarterhorses.
The horses have become champions in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming.
At the advanced age of 98, "Trapper Jake" caught more than 100 Coyotes, several fox, raccoon, badger, and bobcats this year.
Jake always had a fondness for teaching children about the outdoors, to respect every living thing, caring enough to see that nothing becomes extinct.
For many years Jake visited area schools and participated in the fourth-grade mountain man rendezvous activities at the 1838 Rendezvous site.
This is truly a family living much as the early mountain men and settlers.
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