New Gland Lure Available

Trapping-General
Masked Reaper $25/$8

Introducing Masked Reaper, a pure coon gland lure. This is fresh and ground raccoon glands preserved for lasting quality. The new lure will be available on the website this evening. Prices are $25 for 4 0z and $8 for 1 oz. Price includes shipping.

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American Trapper Interview

Trapping-General

Special thanks to Rich Faler and Ralph Scherder with the American Trapper magazine for allowing me to reprint this article. The following was printed in the July/Aug 2020 edition. If you are not a member of the NTA, please consider joining.

Shon Ingram, 47, hails from Sevierville, Tennessee, in the Smoky Mountains. Although he enjoys trapping multiple species, he specializes in trapping raccoons with dog-proof traps and has developed his own line of coon lures and baits which are sold through his business English Mountain Lures. He is also a full-time firefighter and does animal damage control work.

Ralph Scherder: How did you get started trapping?

Shon Ingram: I’m a transplant from Alabama. I used to be in the healthcare management business and just woke up one morning and decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I came to this area of Tennessee and really liked it, so I decided to stay. I became a firefighter and started trapping. That was about 10 years ago.Being from Alabama, I was a big deer hunter. But here in east Tennessee, the deer population isn’t like in other places, and I got tired of hunting and not seeing any deer. I decided I needed to find another hobby, and that’s when I discovered trapping. I found something I liked with the dog-proofs (DPs), and I just immersed myself in it from the beginning.

RS: What was it about dog-proof traps that you really liked?

SI: We have a lot of coon hunters where I live that have high-dollar hunting dogs. In that area, there’s a dislike for trappers who use coilspring traps and snares. A lot of it is lack of education about these traps. They don’t understand them and how they work, and they think the coilsprings will hurt their dogs. I wanted to avoid any conflict, so I started using dog-proofs and just fell in love with them.I enjoy trapping other animals, too, and I like using cable restraints. But I’ve really put all of my ducks into learning how to use dog-proof traps. In my animal damage control business, I don’t do much urban stuff. Most of what I do is for farmers, controlling beavers, snaring coyotes, or setting DPs for coon in their barns. Those are the types of trapping I like best.

RS: Are you running mostly dryland sets or trapping around creeks?

SI: This is mountain country, so there are a lot of creeks and high ridges and everything in between. I have a lot of agricultural fields to trap, too.

RS: When trapping different types of terrain, how do your techniques change?

SI: They change, but mainly it’s just getting a raccoon to work the trap. They have to want to eat whatever bait you put in the tube. When trapping the ridges, I lure things differently. That’s where most of your big boar coon live or are traveling, especially during mating season, so I use more gland-based lures. In the creeks and agricultural areas, I definitely use more food-based lures.

RS: When you say gland lures, are you referring to raccoon gland lures or from other species, too?

SI: I use a lot of raccoon gland lure, and I’ve also had great success with beaver castor. Just about any animal is attracted to castor. It works great for everything, even coyotes. One of the trapping lures we offer has a hint of beaver castor in it, and it’s probably one of our best sellers.

RS: How important is it to use bait that raccoons find tasty and want to eat? When I’ve used DPs, it just seems like they work the trap harder when I’m using bait that tastes good to them.

SI: That’s a definite. For instance, if you’re using just a straight gland lure in the DP, they’re really not going to reach into the tube. They’re reaching in because they’re trying to get something to eat. If I’m using a gland lure, I use bait, too. The gland lure is just to get them in the vicinity, get them to stop and actually work the trap.

RS: Do you find much difference in how raccoons work a DP during the early season as opposed to late season?

SI: I do. Early season, I think they’re more focused on lures and baits that are fruit- or berry-based. Late winter, they’re more into protein-based, meat-type baits that provide an opportunity for more than what’s available in the woods that time of year. By then, a lot of their food sources have dried up and they’re looking for something substantial.

RS: During the early season, when food is more available, you’re also competing with those food sources for a raccoon’s attention. How do you get them to work the trap even though so much other food is available?

SI: If I’m trapping a cornfield, raccoons already have all the corn they want to eat. If coons are coming into the cornfield to get food, they’re not going to be interested in a bait that also has corn in it, so you have to use something completely different. And I do that no matter what food source I’m trapping around. I always use a bait that smells different than whatever food is nearby.

RS: How did you get interested in making your own lures?

SI: When I first started trapping and got into some of the trapping groups on Facebook and other social media, people would say that you can catch a coon on anything. All you had to do was go to the store, buy a bunch of candy, throw it in a DP, and you’ll catch a coon. And that’s how I started out. I was getting store-bought stuff and having some success. So yes, you can catch a coon that way, but can you catch as many coons as you could be with better baits and lures? No. I started reading about lure formulation, experimenting with ingredients like all lure makers do. It’s really just trial and error. But once I developed a few lures and baits that were really working for me, I started giving them to other people to try on their traplines, and the feedback was great. People really liked the stuff. The business is growing, but it takes a lot to get your name out there. I focus mainly on lures and baits to use with dog proofs, and it’s been good.

RS: Raccoons can be awfully snooty at times, and I’ve seen them walk by a lot of sets, especially since I started using trail cameras so much. It often amazes me how many raccoons walk by a set. When we have a coon in the trap the next morning, we’re happy with the result, but we don’t ask ourselves how many walked by before we caught one of them.

SI: If a lure doesn’t catch their attention, they keep walking. I think they’re more finicky than people give them credit for. I use a lot of trail cameras on sets, too, and it can humble you. It shows you the importance of a good lure or bait, even when using DPs. Sure, just about anything will catch a coon. But it takes a good lure or bait to catch a lot of coon.

RS: Do you use many trailing scents?

SI: I do. I use a lot of oil-based trailing scents, and I use one that smells completely different than whatever bait I’m using in the tube. I’ve had the most success with anise oil. Raccoons love anise oil. They’ll walk a trail or roadway and hit that trailing scent and go right to the DP. Smoke oil is also extremely effective as a trailing scent.

RS: How do you stabilize and anchor your DPs?

SI: It depends on if I’m working creek bottoms or along a ridge. If I’m on the four-wheeler on a ridge, I already have my DPs baited and set and a cable on the chain so that all I have to do is look for a tree to attach it to. That’s the most efficient way to set a bunch of traps in a hurry. If I’m in a cornfield and there’s no tree to attach to, I use a cable stake. I’ve tried a number of ways of using these traps. I’ve dug holes and stuck the DPs in there to make a sort of pocket set. I’ve used rocks piled up around the traps. DPs are very versatile, which is what I like about them. You just need to make sure the trap is stabilized, either sticking straight up or angled in the ground. If it starts to lean too much, or falls on the ground, your catch rates really go down.I’ve used pretty much all types of covering on the traps that you can think of, everything from golf balls to aluminum foil to Styrofoam cups. But I don’t use them unless the weather’s going to be bad, such as heavy rain or snow.

RS: How do you prepare your traps?

SI: At the end of the season, I take all of my traps up to the carwash and pressure wash them, and then take them home and hang them up to dry. Make sure everything is cleaned out of the tube. Sometimes stuff can get stuck in there and prevent the triggers from moving adequately. Then I’ll either dip them or spray paint them. Once they’re done, I use a tiny bit of silicone spray to lubricate the springs.How I paint them depends on where I’m trapping. If I’m on public land, I use brown spray paint or camouflage, but if I know I’m the only trapper on a piece of property, then I like to spray them white. Studies have shown that raccoons see the white better at night, plus they’re easy to see when I’m checking traps on the four-wheeler. In high traffic areas, though, you have to camouflage them.

RS: Where do you see the future of trapping?

SI: I think the act of trapping itself has not changed a whole lot, but everything else has changed. NAFA has gone under. Prices are down. Not many trappers are actually making money fur trapping, unless they’re species-specific and put up huge numbers. But do I think that it’s going to come back? Yes. It always does. The big question is when. Nobody can predict the future as far as when fur prices will go back up. Sooner or later the market on raccoons will come back. They’ve got to. And when they do, I hope to be here to see it.I’ve had a lot of great people help me get started in the lure business. But I’ve also had others say that I’ll never “make it big” in the lure business because all I focus on are raccoons, and there’s not much money to make right now in coons. One very well-known lure maker, in particular, has been a great mentor to me, and he told me that you have to make your own niche in this business. You can’t be everything to everybody, so find something that you love and focus on that. For me, that has been trapping raccoons with dog-proof traps and making lures and baits that help other trappers enjoy it more, too. •

How To Protect Your Trap Line From Thieves

Trapping-General

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.

I spy……..

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.

Trappers Advice

Trapping-General

Why I Hand Write Labels

Trapping-General

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Recently, English Mountain Lures had the distinct privilege of finally being listed in a major trapping supply retailer. It has taken three years of constant emails and networking to get to this point. Its something I am extremely proud of.

Last week, on a private Facebook message someone asked me why I spent so much money and time on lure ingredients, containers and labels only to hand write my product names on the labels.

Well, this is the way I look at it. All of our products are hand made in small batches to ensure freshness and product consistency. Each container is filled and labeled by hand and the name written on the label as a testament to our quality control and obsession with making the best dog proof bait and lure for trappers across the United State. I hope you agree with my reasoning and like I told the person sending the message, I hope you choose to buy our products and try them on your trapping line. Thank you to those that have made the 2018-2019 trapping season a great one. English Mountain Lures looks forward to serving you for many years to come.

 

The Meaning of Trapping

Trapping-General

What is the meaning of trapping to you? For some its simply a sport that rivals that of deer hunting and fishing. Others is a tradition that has been passed down from generations that have come before you. Things that your grandfather has taught you about his experiences on the trap line. Walking that line with your son or daughter, just like you did with your dad many years ago. To some its feel of the crisp fall air as you drive to the trap line, that steaming cup of coffee in the console. Its like Christmas at every trapping location. What will this one hold? Will I finally get the animal that I have tried so hard to outsmart?

Trapping can mean so many things to different people. For me, trapping is a form of recreation. You see, when I moved to Tennessee from Alabama I was a huge deer hunter. Up every morning of season before daylight to sit in a tree stand and freeze my rear end off. The first year in Tennessee I hunted hard. And saw no deer. The next year I hunted harder. And saw no deer. Come to find out the population of deer in East TN and Alabama is vastly different. I needed something to do outdoors and hunting wasn’t gonna cut it anymore. Enter trapping. It afforded me the opportunity to get outside and not freeze my butt of near as much. As I progressed in my trapping journey I found that I could make extra money by selling fur to fur buyers, selling the by products of the animals like meat and glands to other trappers, as well as making my own baits and lures for those that use dog proof traps.

I took a brief survey on our Facebook group page (The Dog Proof Trapper) and here are some of the replies. Among the responses was predator control, ensuring that the tradition continues through the ages, spending time with my family, enjoying time in the woods and for the sport. The one that struck me every time was “its in my blood”. How often do you hear that anymore? We get so busy with the journey of life that we forget whats really important. Most of the population just exists now a days. They don’t LIVE.

How are you living your life? Do you make time for pure enjoyment anymore. Maybe that is something to consider. Have a great week and get out and enjoy what God has given you.

New Coon Lure!

Trapping-General

www.youtube.com/watch

The Dog Proof Trapper Is On YouTube!

Trapping-General

Guys just an update to let everyone know that we now have a You Tube page. On there you can find videos and other content that will help you with your trapping needs. In addition, there are links to other You Tube sites that will help you. The site link is listed below.

The Dog Proof Trapper YouTube site

youtube

The Trapping Toolbag

Trapping-General

Good morning guys. Here’s a great idea that I came across this week that has made my trap line a whole lot easier. Using a tool belt keeps everything at your fingertips and keeps you from going back and forth to the truck.