Saying that Tina Schultz comes from a “trapping” family is a bit of an understatement. When she was
growing up in western Iowa, her parents, Neil and Josette Ziegman each had their own trap line every
fall, and whenever possible Tina and her two brothers split up and tagged along with them. Each days
catch was skinned in the basement and Tina and her brothers helped with that too, learning at an early
age how to properly care for harvested fur.
Iowa is raccoon country and a problem that has always plagued coon’ trappers is being able to trap
raccoons in and around farmsteads and populated areas where they flourish without also catching
all the neighborhood dogs. Sometime in the 1980’s the first dog-proof raccoon trap (DP trap) was
developed, and today there are no less than a dozen different companies making them. No matter what
their size and shape, they all employ some sort of enclosed compartment into which a raccoon must
reach to get a bait placed there, tripping a trigger in the process that results in the coon’ being held by
the foot. The science behind the dog proof trap is that the very nimble and dexterous raccoon will reach
into most anything it can get its paw into to get a snack, while dogs just will not; thus the dog proof trap
was a huge hit.
Now all trappers are tinkerers, and Tina’s dad is no exception. Despite the success of the dog proof
trap, he disliked the stakes that were provided with most brands, and he disliked the triggers that were
on all DP traps available at the time, which tripped in only one direction, by being pulled upward. He
developed a dog proof trap of his own with a better stake that had a stabilizer on it to hold it more
securely, and a trigger that worked when either pushed or pulled. Ziegman’s trap was apply named “the
Z Trap” and was a big hit.
Meanwhile, Tina was going through a rough patch. Laid off from a good job at a large packing plant,
she had returned to school and become a Med. Tech., but her marriage fail shortly thereafter, leaving
her as a single mom. Her job as a Med. Tech. made her a good living, but long and irregular hours left
her craving more time with her twins, Terynn and Brayden. Trapping was still in her blood, and through
countless hours spent with her dad marketing his Z Trap at trapping conventions around the country,
she had heard plenty of trappers say how much they liked the stake on his Z Trap, but wished it still
had a one-way trigger that tripped only when pulled upward. She saw a market for a dog proof raccoon
trap like that and also saw that having a product of her own could someday allow her to work fewer
hours at an outside job and spend more time with her twins as the three of them built and ran their
own business. Her dad promised to help get her idea off the ground as long as she showed him she
was serious and totally committed to marketing this new trap. So leaning on her dad’s already acquired
knowledge of design, manufacturing, and everything else needed to build and market a new product
to the trapping community, Tina Shultz’s “EZ Trap” dog proof raccoon trap was born. Designed by Tina,
the EZ Trap has a one way trigger that fires when pulled upward, and incorporates a stake similar to the
one used on her dad’s Z trap that’s designed to allow it to be fastened to anything like a tree stump or
cement block where a 3/8 diameter hole can be drilled.
As with all new products, new trapping products take time to catch-on, but as more trappers try and
approve of Tina’s EZ Trap, word of its value and versatility will spread. By year’s end she will have hit
at least ten trapping conventions around the country and numerous other gun shows and rendezvous.
During the short time we sat talking at her booth at the Kansas Trappers Convention, she sold a couple
dozen EZ Traps to customers who had stopped by earlier and were returning to purchase.
For now Tina still works as a Med Tech. in Carrol, Iowa and runs her EZ Trap business, but she still
finds time to take her kids trapping with their grandpa three or four times a week. I love stories about
women and girls in the outdoors, but female trappers are rare; especially those who design their own
traps. Check out Tina’s website at www.eztraps.com and continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors!
Steve can be contacted by email at email@example.com