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.

Do You Need a Great Trapping Log Book?

Trapping-General

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.

4 Steps To Make 2019 Your Best Trapping Season

Trapping-General

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.

This shows a days check of a trappers trapline including raccoons and possums.
A successful trapping trip for the Traveling Trappers.

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.

Preparation

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 Maps

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

this is book about animal trap identification

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.

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.