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.
Does anyone else have the end of season trapping blues? I know you can still trap coyote and beaver here in TN, but where I am, there is not an abundance of them. I hung my traps up last month for the year. Now I’m getting that itch. You know the one I am talking about. You need to get into the woods and be in nature. So far I have cleaned and re-dyed all my traps and snares, put up all the leftover fur, stored the glands and cleaned up the fur shed. Oh and made two rat colony traps. So what’s the solution? What does a trapper do in the off season?
Well I can tell you what I am going to spend the spring and summer doing. I am going to read and learn more. See that’s the thing about trapping. You never know everything. So in April I’m going to the Tennessee Fur Harvester Association Spring meet in Maynardville. They have a whole weekend planned of training and demos showing skinning, trap setup and vendors. Plus great food and fellowship. That’s how I learn the best. By talking with others and getting ideas and learning one on one with others. I’m super excited, especially since its only 45 minutes from the house. If you would like more information, you can go to their website at http://www.tfhaonline.net or give me a call.
I will also be fishing and turkey hunting. You see I use a lot of the trash fish that I catch to make coon bait for my DP traps. There are some great recipes online at Trapperman.com or you can make your own like I will be doing. Summer is a great time to experiment with various bases and essential oils to get a bait that is just right. Its where I come up with those that will be sold at English Mountain Lures in the future. Its trial and error, but summer is the time to try them out and do come catch and release on those bait bandits of the night. Ground fish, anise, vanilla, honey and small marshmallows mixed is a great recipe that I pulled off the internet that you might want to give a try.
Have a great spring and summer! Go fishing, turkey hunting and enjoy life!
According to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (VFWD), additional predator “control” strategies (such as a bounty system or management method other than hunting and trapping) wouldn’t benefit wild turkeys.
In their current Big Game Management Plan 2010-2020 draft, the VFWD suggests that: “Predator/prey relationships are extremely dynamic and complex. These relationships involve a variety of factors which defy a simple, quick fix. Wild turkeys are prey to a long list of predators including coyotes, bobcats, foxes, fisher, weasels, skunks, opossum, raccoons, snakes, hawks, owls, domestic dogs, and humans. In the case of implementing ‘coyote control,’ for example, assuming that this could be effective, removal of coyotes would only reduce competition among the remaining host of predators that would continue to prey on turkeys.”
In other words, coyotes help control the list of other turkey predators.
“Coyotes, in fact, prey upon weasels, opossums, raccoons, foxes and rarely skunks,” the VFWD suggests. “All of these species are effective predators of nests, chicks, and nesting turkey hens. For this reason, it is possible that removal of coyotes could allow the populations of these other predators to increase resulting in more, not less, turkey predation and an overall decrease in a turkey population. Complex species relationships are common in nature.”
Could the wild turkey and coyote have more in common than we think?
“Many of the qualities that hunters admire so much about these birds, such as their incredible eyesight,ability to detect movement and wariness, are products of the turkey’s long evolutionary history that they share with their predators,” the current VFWD management plan draft suggests. “As wild turkey populations increase, the potential role of this species as a significant source of prey for other Vermont animals may now be greater than ever before.”
Predator hunting is encouraged however. There’s no closed season on Vermont coyotes, and a fall trapping season as well.