New to trapping...

Discussion on shooting predators & varmits and the trapping the furbearing animals.

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New to trapping...

Postby Whistlerwhittler » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:09 pm

This weekend I finally took a trappers safety course so that I can get my license. I'm looking forward to trapping muskrats and beaver this season. I've had access to a couple of private beaver ponds (~25-30 acres each) for duck hunting and I've already got permission to trap from one of the landowners. I plan to talk to the other landowner soon. I'll be scouting these places out soon because our duck season starts in October.

So now I've got to buy some gear. Because I'm new to trapping I'd like to start out small. So my question is what assortment of traps for muskrat and beaver would be good for a beginner? I already did pick up three 110 conibears this weekend. However from looking at some sets it seems that I'll probably want some leg-hold traps as well. Also, what is the minimum number of traps to set to make it worthwhile yet manageable for someone with limited time? Here we've got to check traps every 24 hours and I'd like to be able to check them early before I go to work.

At the course they discussed dipping the traps. I've also read that instead of using the commercial dips, you could let the traps rust slightly and then boil them in some mixture of plants; black walnuts, sumac, etc. What method do you prefer? If I do use the commercial dip, should I also let the trap get a light coat of rust first?

Thanks for any help.
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Postby Preacher1011 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:09 am

I don't dye or wax my traps. As for a number, I usually run about 1-2 dozen traps since I'm a full time student and work nearly full time. For rats you'll want 110 conis and I prefer a #11 double jaw longspring trap, double jawed if you have the option. If you hang up with a coon that will hold it too, plus the extra longspring adds some more weight than it's single springed brother the #1, so it's good for drowning. For beaver you'll want some 330 conis (if you feel comfortable setting them, don't forget a conibear setter for these) and no smaller than a #3 longspring trap. #3's are what I use, but if you have big beavers you may want to step it up to a #4.

If there's anything else let me know. Oh and you'll want a fleshing board, a fleshing knife, and some stretchers. Catching them doesn't do any good if you can't put them up.

Also, make sure to check your regs about setting conibear traps. Different states have different regs. Some have to be submerged or in a hole. Here they have to be touching water, or 10 inches in side a hole. Buckets count as a hole as long as the trap is 10" inside. You might want some snares too eventually. They are cheap (20 bucks or less per dozen) but a little more complicated to use. I have a howto on snaring stored somewhere if you want it, just PM me your email address and if I find it you can have it.
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:34 am

Thanks for the advice. At the course they skinned a couple of muskrats as a demo. I did pick up a bundle of muskrat stretchers when I bought the 110's. Around here the 330 conibears must be set in the water. Snares are not allowed in NY state, but thanks anyway.
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Postby Preacher1011 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:41 pm

Whistlerwhittler wrote:Thanks for the advice. At the course they skinned a couple of muskrats as a demo. I did pick up a bundle of muskrat stretchers when I bought the 110's. Around here the 330 conibears must be set in the water. Snares are not allowed in NY state, but thanks anyway.


Really? No snares? I'm sorry. I know in Pennsylvania (I know I just butchered that) has a seperate snaring class. Too bad they are a cheap way to go. Are you just wanting beaver and muskrat? When I started I ran a water line and that was it. If you go for rats and beaver, chances are you'll run into coon, mink, and up where you are maybe martin and fisher. The one thing I liked about running water only is that the possums wouldn't come bugger up my sets. Good luck and welcome to the addictions.
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:33 pm

I figured the muskrats were a good place to start trapping, they don't seem as complicated as some of the predators. The beaver hang out in the same spots and many landowners have issues with them so I thought I should try to target them too. Plus by water trapping I'll get to see more ducky spots. It would be a nice bonus to catch a mink. Mink are common around here. However the fisher and marten are not. We don't have a fisher or marten season in this part of the state. You can trap them in northern and eastern NY.

Thanks again for the help. I'll have to let you know how it goes.
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Postby flatbottom mudslinger » Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:56 am

you can ask 10 different people advice about trapping and get 10 different answers so heres my 2 cents....The best all around leg hold you can get is a 1.75 double jaw, double coil spring, these work on anything from rats to coyotes (a little small for beaver) On mine I have 3 swivels on the chain, one at the trap, one in the middle, and one at the stake, it helps keep yotes and fox from twisting their leg off (I really dont believe they chew their leg off). I got the extra chain and swivels off of my conis. To stake the conis I just run a stick down through the coil in the spring on each side, on one side put the stick in at an angle so it runs up between the jaws, this will help keep the trap from tipping over, and if you are a welder or know someone who is weld a peice of heavy wire between the trigger wires to form a triangle this keeps mink and other small animals from sneaking through (not really necessary on a #110) as far as dyes go make sure you get the factory oil off, Ive used gas and mineral spirits, then hang em up to dry. Ive never tried boiling in walnuts but I have soaked them in walnut saturated water for about a week and it works, boiling would be better though because the heat would open the poors in the metal. Keep in mind that a black trap sticks out like a sore thumb so if there are other people that might be in the area a good ol rusty trap is a lot harder to spot and although the metal might not last as long at least youll keep the trap longer.
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Postby fingerlakesfur » Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:17 pm

you should join The NYS Trappers Association, alot of great contacts & you get a subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller Magazine....great palce to start & well worth $20 to have a voting voice.

Shoot me a PM if your interested, I'm the treasuer....I'd be glad to help you out.
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Postby Preacher1011 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 8:31 pm

You may want to join the NTA as well.
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Sun Sep 28, 2008 9:27 pm

Thanks everyone for all the advice! I'll probably be back here soon with more questions. I'll also have to let you know how I do this season.
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Postby Just Ducky » Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:31 pm

I found a great site awhile back that has all kinds of trapping info on where to place traps and how to set them, Which traps for which animals and so on.
Check it out its at all one word: traps 4 kids dot com.
These guys even do photos of their set ups to give you more and better ideas on trap placement.
Obviously the site is set up to educate the kids who are interested, but its great for any novice to learn the ropes.
Enjoy
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Postby floating redneck » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:33 am

just remember in ny special regs on 330 triggers in certain areas also 220s set on land
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:57 pm

Thanks. I have replaced all the triggers on my 330's.
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Postby Greg Wile » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:08 pm

:thumbsup:
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Not bad for the first night with only 5 sets made. 3 beaver and one rat. I will put out a few more traps and some snares but with my back hurting the way it does I will not be setting the world on fire.
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:59 pm

Wow, that is a nice haul! Thanks for posting some pics. Hope your back's feeling better.
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Postby Greg Wile » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:18 am

Just got back from checking my sets and here are the results.

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This is the funnel trap that I told you about in the PM that I sent a while back. It has 2 inch mesh and if I had a size smaller I would use that instead as the rats tend to poke their heads out though the mesh. This and colony traps rock!
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Build memories, take a kid out doors and teach them about nature by interacting with it, hunting and fishing.

Learn from the past, don't dwell on it.
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Postby Preacher1011 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:09 pm

I want to get out bad. The Wildlife Commission really screwed us this year. Our trapping season usually starts on the 10th of November, but they pushed it back to the 28th along with duck season. I guess it's alright though, stuff usually isn't prime on the 10th, but coons are hard to come by toward the end of the month which are what make up a majority of my sets. :mad:
Locked&Loaded wrote: I got out shot by a 13 yeard old girl.


jrockncash wrote:Is that mask only for ghosts or can fat guys with little weiners use it too?


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Postby Greg Wile » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:28 pm

Preach, I plan on making some coon sets as well as some for coyote and bob cat a bit later on.
Build memories, take a kid out doors and teach them about nature by interacting with it, hunting and fishing.

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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:58 pm

That's a neat trap you made. I'd have to see if it's legal in New York State. I'm itching to start my first season, it starts on November 25. I did scout two spots for beaver and muskrat today. Saw lots of muskrat huts, about 25 huts on 10 acres (and that was just around the perimeter of the cattails). Also saw some fresh beaver chewing and lots of trails/runs. I brought the shotgun along and got a nice drake woodie as a bonus to the scouting. Tonight I put tags on and dyed some of my traps. I put them in a tote with a bunch of walnut hulls, and then I covered the mix with water that I boiled on the stove. Like some sort of wicked tea! Thanks again for sharing the pics.
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Postby fingerlakesfur » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:09 pm

unfortunately...we can't use repeater traps for muskrat in NY...something we are trying to get passed...but it hasn't happened yet
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:14 pm

I thought I remembered hearing that. But cool trap anyway.
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Postby fox1 » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:35 am

A little advice for a newbie on using conibears. Keep youre basket close enough to reach or a pair of pliers in a scabbard on youre belt. If you already have youre trap set and end up getting youreself caught in it you want to be able to reach the tools you need to free the trap, but at least you get out with the trap still attached to you It is a long drive home with youre arm hung in you're own trap. Don't laugh cause it happens.
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Postby Whistlerwhittler » Fri Jan 02, 2009 2:15 pm

Thanks for the advice. I've been keeping a rope and my linesmans pliers on me while setting and checking the 330's.
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