Photo by Robbie Augspurger

Shaun Deller does not want you to trap nutria. Not only do you need a valid fur-takers license, he warns, but the giant water-loving rats (known since time immemorial as "The Filthy Scourge of the Willamette") are "quite aggressive and dangerous when cornered." However! Unlike amateur idiots like you, Deller—an artist, homesteader, and trapper—knows what he's doing. In the past he even taught a class on how to hunt nutria, biking with his students along the Springwater Corridor to Southeast Portland's Johnson Creek where landowners were having problems with nutria "chowing down on all of their crops." After talking with the landowners, Deller identified nutria paths, set instant-kill body-gripper traps along them, and posted a warning for humans nearby. Deller and his students then biked along their line of traps until they found trapped nutria, which they strapped into their bike baskets and brought home to skin, butcher, and cook up. "Since you probably want to know," Deller says, "nutria tastes like chicken with a slight fishiness. I recommend marinating it in some lemon juice and Cajun spices and then grilling it. Your guests will not know that it isn't chicken!"

Deller's no longer teaching the nutria-hunting class, but check out to schedule a private workshop.