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?
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.
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.