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December 10, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: He’ll remove your varmits

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Sam Poles, with a beaver trap, helps rural landowners protect livestock and property.
I moved to Northern Virginia to enjoy the fast life when I was 19. And once I settled down, I moved back to Fauquier.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
For 30 years, the Hume resident has helped property owners get rid of nuisance critters.

Sam Poles works all around Fauquier, Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax and Rappahannock counties with his business, Flat Tail Trapping LLC.

“I realized there are people who need the service, and it’s sometimes controversial,” Mr. Poles said. “But I help people and that’s where I come into it. For example, you have a coyote killing someone’s sheep and you catch it. You make people happy, and I like that.”

His desire to help others led to a 30-year career as a Fairfax County firefighter. That interest began at a young age, when he saved a man from a burning building.

A naturalist at heart, he loves the great outdoors of Fauquier County.

“One of the perks (of the trapping job) is getting to see properties all over the county that no one else would see.”

• Age
49

• Home
Hume

• Work
Owner of Flat Tail Trapping LLC, working as a “damage control trapper” of nuisance critters such as groundhogs, raccoons, beavers and coyotes for about 30 years. Live or still capture. Sometimes the animal gets moved with the help of a trained wildlife relocator, depending on the property owner’s request.

He retired after 30 years as a Fairfax County firefighter.

• Why do you do the job?
I started out for 10 years on the fur market as a trader, and then I built it into a business. I realized there are people who need the service, and it’s sometimes controversial. But I help people and that’s where I come into it.

What I love about trapping is that you have a tangible, finished product. For example, you have a coyote killing someone’s sheep and you catch it. You make people happy, and I like that. I love being outdoors.

As a firefighter, I enjoyed helping people. Back when I was younger, there was a fire on my street, and I went in and saved a guy. That sparked my interest, and then a guy asked me to become a firefighter.

• Family
Wife, Jackie, and two sons.

• Education
Fauquier High School, 1983.

• Church and/or civic involvement

Member of the Virginia Trappers Association, the National Trappers Association and Grace Bible Church in Marshall. Active volunteer at Marshall Middle School and Fauquier High School.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
All my life, 49 years.

• Why do you live here?
I moved to Northern Virginia to enjoy the fast life when I was 19. And once I settled down, I moved back to Fauquier.

• How do you describe this county?

Rural. I like it. It’s a nice place to raise a family. Friendly people and we are close enough to the city for a day or night out.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
Nothing. Maybe slow down the growth, but I know we need it.

• What do you do for fun?
I love spending time with my family. Playing sports. My relaxation is sitting in the woods, bowhunting.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Marriott Ranch. It’s my tranquility, and they allow me to walk around the property.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
Probably a little more congested. I think it will look like Loudoun County in 30 years.

• Favorite TV show?
The Outdoor Channel

• Favorite movie?
“Car Wash” from the 1970s.

• Favorite book?
The Bible

• Favorite vacation spot?
Virginia’s Eastern Shore

• Favorite food?
Ribs

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?

A good friend of mine told me to always see the glass half full. No matter what negative thing confronts you, there is something positive to come out of it. I taught my kids to always learn from negativity.

• Who’s your hero and why?

My old boss, Kenny Hunsberger, because when I was a young firefighter he always told me to be honest, do your best and no matter the outcome you will have done your best.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I don’t play the lottery, but I would donate it to charity and take a nice vacation to the Virgin Islands and take a hunting trip.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.


• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton


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Silii · December 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm
Not all trapping is humane and, unfortunately, that isn't mentioned in this article. Innocent animals, such as your pet, a fawn, other wildlife, can get caught in traps, and if it's a powerful bear trap, the innocent animal will tear and shred itself to death trying to escape.
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