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.