Author Topic: "Bobcat Bailey"  (Read 373 times)


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"Bobcat Bailey"
« on: June 13, 2018, 09:05:08 PM »
After viewing the "Thread" recently posted on " Bobcats", it reminded me of one of the Best Trapper's in our area, when it came to Bobcats in Washington State.

Old Time Trappers will remember Chuck Bailey and how he got the nickname "Bobcat Bailey".

I first met "Bobcat" at an organized get together of Trappers, one rainy night at a small meeting hall in Kent, WA.
He was among the other Trappers that had gathered, a determined nucleolus of modern day Mountain Men, bent on organizing what we now know as the present day Washington State Trappers Association.
In attendance that evening were Paul Hatch and his Son, Al Worrell, Fred Lawrence and "Bobcat" (who was still in his 30's) along with myself.
Elections were in order as we tried to organize this new Association, with Fred Lawrence accepting the job of President.

(Still a teenager and still a little wet behind the ears, I remember it caught me off guard, when they offered me the job as Treasurer).
As a youngster I used to dream of having my own Trapline close to home, one untouched and out of reach of the more experienced Trappers.
 Unlike my pipe dream, Chuck had just such a place and it was one of the best spots for Bobcat Trapping in our area.

Specifically, He held the Gate Keys to the City of Tacoma Watershed,  (at the time, an area off limits to everyone except for a privileged few).

 Starting on the Westside and winding it's way up toward the Old Ghost Town of Lester, his Line then dropped down the backside of Stampede Pass, out the back gate into Eastern Washington and continued through the Headwaters of the Yakima at Cabin Creek. A Trappers real "dream come true" Trapline.

Now my friend and mentor Alan Worrell had a similar gimmick for accessing those hard to reach stretches along the Yakima River.
(In fact he too pretty much had a Trapline all to himself, one that put many a Beaver in his Boat).

Al (being an independent Mountain Man), would hire a Taxi Cab (with nothing better to do at 4 AM) to meet up where he had parked his truck down river below Cle Elm. The Cabbie would then run him all the way back upriver to his waiting Drift Boat, to launch into some of the best Beaver Trapping Waters in our area.
He would spend all Day checking, pulling and making sets until he finally pushed his boat ashore loaded down with Beaver, the end of a long but productive day alone on the river.

One interesting side note, (near Cle Elm) From I-90 you will notice a chunk of land posted with quite a few signs reading "RESTRICTED AREA", " DO NOT ENTER" and "KEEP OUT" (looks kind of Official, like maybe it could be Government Property).

 Al told me "I just pulled my Drift Boat up on shore walked over and spoke to the owner about trapping on his property". He said the guy was really friendly and said "sure glad to have you as long as you respect my property"! (He was getting tired of Beaver taking out the trees he had just planted.)
 The only reason he made all those signs looking like they do, was to discourage Folks from tromping through his place and leaving more Trash than Footprints.
He said, "So far it's worked like a charm!" :chuckle:


Here's Bobcat Bailey's Obituary

Charles L. BAILEY a.k.a. Chuck or Bobcat Bailey Of Renton passed away quietly on Feb 25. He was 65. Chuck had been diagnosed with Lou Gherig's disease just six months earlier. He was born on March 24, 1938 to Charles and Adeline Bailey and graduated from Renton H. S. in 1956.
He proudly served in the US Marine Corp Reserves. He was a 40 year veteran of the Machine Welders Union and was employed at Boeing for 31 years taking an early retirement at age 55.

Chuck loved the outdoors, hiking, fishing and especially fur trapping. He was an avid UW Husky football fan and enjoyed coaching youth football and baseball. He enjoyed collecting snow shoes, canoes, traps and old backpacks. He was an oil painter and loved his C. M. Russell prints.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 10:15:58 AM by AL WORRELLS KID »
"It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."

John Steinbeck

Offline Humptulips

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Re: "Bobcat Bailey"
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 09:37:04 PM »
Chuck and I were great friends. Funny, we never talked about bobcats that much. We always ended up trading stories about funny incidents involving civets. :chuckle:
One of Chuck's stories,
Chuck was a great Huskies fan. During one year the Huskies went to the Rose Bowl under Jim Owens Chuck was marten trapping in the Cascades for a month without contact with anyone. He hiked out to I-90 sometime after the 1st of the year and thumbed for a ride. I'm sure he looked pretty wild after a month in the woods. Chuck said he opened the car door of the guy that picked him up and asked "Who won the Rose Bowl?" Guy probably thought he was nuts. :chuckle:
Bruce Vandervort

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Re: "Bobcat Bailey"
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2018, 05:29:28 PM »
Thanks for posting this, I really appreciate hearing the stories of men like Chuck Bailey.  I hope you are writing a book about him or at least a chapter for a book about men like him,  Carl Jensen, and  etc.


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Re: "Bobcat Bailey"
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2018, 01:10:57 PM »
Thanks, UrbanTrapper and  Humptulips
No book, just remembering good times around the campfire, together with other Trappers and Mountain Men.
Nice to know times haven't changed all that much since the 1820's, still Good Folk's out there you can ride the river with.

"It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."

John Steinbeck


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