Hey guys just a quick post to let you know we have Anthony Ashers trapping log book for sale on our bait and lure page. Not only can you keep track of your catch, but there is also a section for the trap set and bait/lure used for each catch. I have always been one for keeping a running tab of my catches in a notebook but this year I will definitely be using this logbook. Tight chains!
What trapping lessons have you learned the hard way? How do you overcome these mistakes and get better at trapping fur bearers? Trapping can be considered a lot like dating. You make a lot of mistakes before you figure out what you are doing. If you sit back and think, you are sure to come up with several lessons learned throughout your trap line adventures each season. Just like with anything in life, these lessons make us better at what we do. Mistakes will happen. Its how you react and adapt to them that proves you to be a good trapper. Here are my ultimate trapping lessons learned the hard way.
More is Better!
In other words always carry more stuff than what you think you will need. For instance, how many times have I been out trapping and needed one more trap or cable? I now try to plan my line beforehand but always add a few more traps and supplies such as cables, stakes, or quick links.I seem to find the perfect spot for a trap on my way out of the woods every time. Now I go prepared. You can get great supplies at https://www.fntpost.com/
Trapping Season Goals!
I always seem to over think and make huge promises to myself and others of my season catch numbers. Do this and you are setting yourself up for failure. Trying to get to a certain number of animals puts too much pressure on a man. Then you can’t enjoy the experience of trapping. Now some people will say otherwise and that having a number in mind helps you plan finances and whatnot, but it brings me nothing but stress. But I am a hobby trapper and do it for the enjoyment.
If you trap fur to support your family and do this as a full time job, its a bit different. My passion and income is in lure and bait making and the trapping is just a plus. I prefer to just get out and trap, throw the furs in the freezer and count it all at the end of the season. Last year, I did this with my beaver pelts and was pleasantly surprised at the number and the fur check when all was said and done. To see some of that years beaver catch and learn about our baits and lures for raccoon trapping go to http://www.dogprooftrapper.com.
Enjoy the Process!
How many times have I sat on the front porch, watching the rain come down in sheets and knowing I needed to get out and do the 24 hour checks that are law here in Tennessee? Or have I been up half the night skinning while my family slept in their warm beds? Trapping requires commitment and dedication. The easiest part is putting in your trapline. Then comes the days of trap checks and hoping for whats just around the next bend in the road. Sometimes you are surprised and happy to see whats there and other times there is disappointment at an empty or sprung trap. My point is you have to enjoy what you are doing, no matter the weather, time of day or results of the trap line.
For me, trapping is a lot more exciting than deer hunting, which was once my passion back home in Alabama. Now sitting still for hours in a tree stand often times ranks up there with a tooth pulling. As we work thru this spring of quarantine and social distancing we have learned just how important getting out and enjoying the outdoors with friends and family is. Never disregard time with them and time in nature. Enjoy the processes of trapping, even the bad times.
Hey guys just wanted to let you know about our latest article in American Trapper. It’s a great article on using your fur to make extra money in our down and out fur market. Hope you enjoy!
What makes a good dog proof trap set? Is it WHERE you put the trap, WHAT you put in the trap or HOW you present the trap to the raccoon? I would venture to say all three matter! All the great coon trappers will tell you that the lowly raccoon gets a bad wrap. They are a lot smarter than we trappers give them credit for. Below are a few observations that I have about our sport of dog proof trapping and how you can improve your catches and enjoy more time in the woods.
Location! The first thing you must remember about dog proof traps is that they must be set on location. In other words, the traps must be where the raccoon is traveling, where you see sign that the animal has been there or where you expect it to be. If you set in a trail, place the trap right in the middle so that the coon has to literally trip over the trap walking down the trail. If you set near den trees, put it at the base of the tree where you see the scratch marks of claws going up the tree. In you are setting waterways, place where you see tracks or evidence of feedings. Dog proof trapping is considered easy by other trappers and sometimes it seems we don’t get a fair shake as compared to those that use coil springs. In my opinion, its a different game entirely because you have to be that much more on point to make a solid catch. When you find a good location, don’t just set one trap, set 3 or four. Remember the old adage, if its good enough for one set, its good enough for two. Just be sure and place then far enough apart so the two traps don’t get tangled.
Making them Eat! Baits and lures are a much debated topic when it comes to dog proof trappers. Some say its really easy to catch a raccoon. I disagree and would argue that although they are called “trash pandas” you must still be particular what you throw in a DP trap. There are two schools of thought when you look at coon bait and lures. Some people say go the store bought route and others say the use commercial lures. Since I am a lure and bait maker, I would, of course, tell you to buy commercial. Why? Well there is much thought and research put into lure making. Its not as easy as it looks trust me! I have had more failures than successes with doing bait and lure formulations. Some stuff works great and others wouldn’t catch a starved pigeon in New York’s Central Park! If you are starting out trapping, sure, buy the store bought stuff and use in DP’s. But as you get serious about trapping and making money from your fur, look to commercial products with proven success. Now, what do you use in the traps? As far as taste preferences and scents go, I would offer that it depends on the season. Early season trapping should be focused on fruits and sweet formulas, while late season is more meat based. Why you ask? Those big boar coon are traveling ridges and logging roads looking for a mate come January and February. Then they prefer something meatier and eats much like a coyote or fox would. Remember when using a lure to use something different that the bait you put in the tube. For instance, if I am using our Mini Bear Crunch, which is a dry bait composed of corn and protein pellets accented with chocolate, I will used a totally different lure, like Smoky Lust, which is anise and smoke. Believe it or not I have even used beaver castororium as a lure in the late season. Yes, from a beaver! Many a trapper would be surprised if they knew what ingredients were in their favorite lure.
Setup and Presentation! Most dog proof trappers just pound in a length of rebar or throw a cable around a tree, attach the DP and shove it in the ground on location. There are many more ways that the DP can be utilized other than just putting it in the ground. Presentation is only limited by your imagination. Here are a couple of presentation ideas. Dig a good sized dirt hole set, and place the DP trap in the hole with only about a 1/2 inch sticking out of the hole in the ground. Other idea would be to attach the DP to a tree, either by a mount sold by trapping companies or a fence staple around the spike on the bottom of the trap. Another idea is to place the trap inside another object like a drainage pipe. If you are setting near the water, consider putting your dog proof on a drowning wire. What about log crossovers? Take a drill and put holes in the log to mount your traps in. Just leave enough cable so the coon can hang off the log.
These are just a few ideas about how to improve your raccoon trapping. Remember to have fun and be safe in the outdoors. Take a kid trapping or introduce someone to our craft. Please visit our website for more great ideas as well as our online shop for great dog proof trapping baits and lures.
Its early morning. The sun is just coming thru the pines as you begin checking your trap line. Your sets include dog proof raccoon traps, snares in runways for coyotes and cats, and Duke #4 coil spring traps. You arrive at your first set and its gone. No catch circle. Just a cut cable and nothing to be found. Trap thieves! Hopefully this is just a single act , but as you soon find out its not. At each set you find your traps gone, snares cut and empty catch circles with pools of blood just beginning to congeal.
Unfortunately this happens. If you have been trapping long enough you will fall victim to this especially if you trap public land. Even if you trap private hunting land you may be subject to problems with fellow hunters that don’t want dogs injured in traps. I have had this happen to me and it feels like your guts have been cut out when its discovered.
Here are several ways to reduce your risk of getting traps and animals stolen from you on the trap line.
- Trap on private land
- Don’t trap near roadways
- Use green or brown dog proof traps
- Set up game cameras
- Don’t advertise your presence
Private or Public Trapping?
Trapping on your own land is by far the safest option. Not only can you restrict access to the property but you can also have your pick of animals to trap. Make sure that your land is posted as private property and you have control of keys to the gates. For example, I trap on 40 acres of my own property and the only access is thru a road that runs beside my house. I know where all of my traps are and can set them there year after year. In addition, I can pre-set locations and get ready for trapping season beforehand.
Avoid The Roads and Crowds
Another idea is to avoid trapping near roadways. In other words, get out of any area that a lazy person could park and walk to steal your traps or your animal . People are lazy. Most people will not walk more than 100 yards from their vehicles. I learned this when I was a avid deer hunter. Most hunters will only walk an average of 200 yards from their truck when hunting on public land. To kill more deer, I learned to “go deep”, put the boots to the ground and get away from roads. The same can be said for trapping. This also prevents people from driving roads and spotting traps or animals in a trap.
Hide and Seek
Since this is a dog proof trapping blog, lets talk about what you can do to reduce theft of those DP traps. There is a big push to use white traps as this is thought to attract coons. I offer the opposite advice. Hide those suckers. I use Duke DP’s exclusively and only the olive green ones. These traps also come in brown, black and grey. If you use natural colors, this prevents would be thieves from seeing your traps from a long ways off. Some trappers use flagging tape to mark the trap locations. Instead of this, use a hunting app and mark your trap locations so only you know where they are. Are you a coyote trapper and use footholds? Here’s an idea. Use blind sets that won’t draw attention like a dirt hole set. Blend the trap in versus leaving a brushed out area of dirt or grass clippings. If the surrounding area is leaves, sift leaves in on top of the trap bed to further hide the area.
If you are in a situation where you are getting traps and animals stolen on a regular basis, you might consider using game cameras to monitor your trapping area. I have used this several times to keep track of my trap line activity on public land. This is a great idea, but I would caution trappers to use cheap cameras and hide them well. It can be a great tool on your trap line that would can use to prove theft and provide information to law enforcement.
No advertising allowed!
Finally, one last piece of advice. Don’t advertise your presence. Facebook is great but thieves are really smart. I have posted pictures of land and maps before asking for advice or showing trap line pictures and others have been able to find where my traps are. Now I don’t let anyone know where I am except the landowners and immediate family in case of an emergency. Don’t park at public parking areas and keep trapping items out of public view. Do whatever you can to reduce your presence in a public area.
These are just a few pointers on how to reduce theft of traps and animals. Nothing is fool proof but there are things you can do to ensure a good trapping experience.
Introducing for the 2019 trapping season…..Bandit Buster! It’s an anise trailing scent for use in your DP sets. 4 oz flip top bottle. Get yours for $10.00 while we still have it in stock.
Several weeks ago I met a young man by the name of Anthony Asher. Anthony is a author that has written a series of books called Adventures of Rex the Police Dog. Why does this relate to us trappers? Well his latest venture is a log book for trappers. You can keep notes on your trap line in an easy to read format. Each book is set up to record the date, set type, target animal, location, baits and lures, weather conditions and notes. Anthony has three variations; a long liner version as well as one to keep in your truck and a small one to keep on you or in your pack
The truck version is 8.5 x 11 and has 300 sets in the book. The long liner version, also 8.5 x 11, has 500 sets, 40 lure charts, 40 bait charts, 14 urine charts, has a notes section in the back of the book. The pack version is 5″x 8″ and has 150 sets per book, and a notes section in the back. All of these can be ordered through Amazon and hopefully will be available on our website soon.
What are 4 steps you can use to plan your trapping season? The 2019 trapping season is approaching fast. As summer heat gives way to cool fall mornings our attention turns to cleaning traps and getting our dog proof trapping supplies back in shape from the long summer break. How do we make this trapping season the best we have seen in years? It’s not going to be because of stellar fur prices. Likewise will it be due to our getting a break on anti-trapping legislation. The key to planning your trapping season will be what you do beforehand and how you ensure fur in the back of your truck.
So what are some of the tips that can help you in your planning to have success this 2019 trapping season?
- Prepare early
- Use mapping apps or software
- Read up on your prey
- KISS and Enjoy Yourself
We are going to discuss a few reasons why using these tips are important to planning your trap line and making your trapping season successful. First, you need the prepare early. I plan for the trapping season year round whether its scouting or working on trap cleaning and repair throughout the off season. Secondly, you need to know the area that your are going to trap. This is where game cameras help me out a lot. Thirdly, you need to KNOW your prey. If you are trapping raccoons in dog proofs, you need to know habits of the animal.
Preparing early for making a trapping season successful can encompass a lot of things. For me it means running game cameras like the Browning Command Op Pro Series throughout the summer to see what animals I have on my property. You can find out more about trapping with game cameras here. Setting game cameras on pre-set locations or bait piles can ensure that you have good populations of animals before you ever put a trap in the ground.
Using mapping software or phone applications can be an excellent way to ensure success each year. Many people use these maps to mark trap locations, look at topographic features to predict animal movement and keep track of where you parked your trapping vehicle. There are many options to chose from, some free and some for a monthly fee for use. These include IGoTrapping, OnX Hunt and Huntstand. Everyone has their favorite, but I personally use the Huntstand app because of its Huntzone feature which gives you real time wind direction and scent dispersal zones at your current location.
Trapper, Know Thy Prey
Every trapper must know his prey intimately. His habits, his breeding patterns, his food preferences, what he does when the whether changes and what his tracks look like in sand, mud or snow. In this day and age of the internet, books have gone by the wayside. I encourage you to buy some books on general trapping and animal identification such as Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks and Trapping North American Furbearers, a classic by Stanley Hawbaker.
Most importantly, remember to keep it simple stupid! Use the KISS method in your trap line and you will enjoy your self so much more. We as trappers can “think ourselves to death”. We worry too much about the right trap set, the right bait and lure, the right location and so on. Go out, set some traps, try some new bait and lure and be content with your accomplishments. Just enjoy being out in nature and seeing what the good Lord has given us.
This is a very important video from my friend Clint Locklear. The Trump Administration has announced it will take executive action to delist wolves in the lower 48 states. This is a huge deal for trappers and predator control managers. Please take a moment and go to https://biggameforever.org/ to fill out a support letter on this issue.