What Are You Willing To Do For A Good Season?

Trapping-General

Each year about this time, every trapper begins to think, even obsess, about the upcoming trapping season. Its time to start cleaning and dying traps, buying up lure and bait, and getting those trapping properties lined out for those cool mornings in the woods. Trappers realize more than anyone what a huge task it is to be a chaser of fur.

But lets go deeper. Beyond the cleaning and browsing of trapping catalogs and websites. Beyond the phone calls and letters to farmers and landowners for trapping rights on unexplored areas. What are you willing to do for a good season? I mean really do? Walk farther? Trap more? Learn better skills? Call ten more farmers to ask for trapping permissions? Step out of your comfort zone and trap a different fur bearer you never have caught?

My biggest challenge this year will be to get in better shape before trapping season begins. With all the COVID 19 isolation and staying at home this spring and summer, my waistline has gotten out of control and more than I want to carry on the trap line along with the raccoon I plan to carry out with me every morning. Another challenge for my is to become more species specific. Even though I’m known as The Dog Proof Trapper, every year I find myself going after coyotes. I hate skinning a smelly dog. I don’t know why I do it. Every year I say to myself to stick with those raccoon but one or two song dogs always end up in the freezer.

For you it may be something different. Maybe you need to become a more skilled trapper and find a mentor or take a class to learn the skills needed to fill the fur shed and make a profit. Perhaps you need to start your preparations earlier so you are not struggling to get everything ready the night before trapping season begins. Maybe you want to trap more and increase your catch. Maybe you want to use a better bait like DP Dynamite, rather than those store bought honey buns you crush and throw in a dog proof trap every year, only to find that the ants and possum have ate it all.

DP Dynamite

Specially formulated for dog proof traps, this corn based paste bait is accented with cherry and molasses and various sweet oils that make Mr. Coon stand up and take note. Put just enough to make the animal reach the trigger and put a little on the lip of the trap for an explosive catch rate that will be sure to surprise you. Price includes shipping.

$15.00

As trappers we have an obligation to the sport and to those that have come before and will come after our trap lines are done. We must be good stewards of the land we trap, the animals we harvest and the traditions that come with all we do. This means being prepared and giving it our all each day we are in the trapping woods. So, as this summer begins to wind down, really sit and think. What will you do to make this trapping season better? I hope this post finds you and your family safe and happy in these crazy times we are facing. Remember to get our there and enjoy the woods and the things God has given us. Tight chains.

 

 

 

Three Tips For Making Killer DP Sets

Trapping-General

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.