What do squirrel tails have to do with fishing? A lot, thanks to the Squirrel Tail Program run by the Mepps lure company, which spinners like Aglia and Black Fury that are staples in panfishermen's tackle boxes.

Some of these lures, and other Mepps spinning lures, are dressed with hair from squirrel tails. This tradition dates to the 1960s, when tackle retailer Todd Sheldon had what he considered a successful day of fishing while using Mepps spinners, only to meet a young boy - also using Mepps spinners - who had outfished him. After learning the boy had added a small piece of squirrel tail on the hook, Sheldon started using squirrel tail hairs, too, leading to one of the most successful recycling programs in history

Hunters can either sell their squirrel tails to Mepps, or they can double the value of their tails by trading them for Mepps lures. This is a great way to use a product that would normally be discarded, while also extending the memories of squirrel hunting throughout the year. So next time you've got the crosshairs on a squirrel, remember you're not just in it for the squirrel stew; you're hunting for fishing lures too. To learn more about the program, visit www.mepps.com.