First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

BuckDaddy
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First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby BuckDaddy » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:56 pm

Here's the Scenario:

I run trail cameras for deer in the late season to pattern them. There's a spot about 300 yards south of where I live where an old wagon road used to be. At a point where the wagon road intersects two CRP fields, there is a great place to put a camera. Anyway, I've been noticing that every night, or every other night, coyotes are passing through this spot like crazy. Not just one at a time, either. The wagon road itself is several hundred yards long and they cross it at many different places. I think the reason they like it is that the road actually sits lower than the fields on either side.

I can't stand coyotes. They are super hard on our deer population, not to mention all of the bobcats we have running around that are illegal to trap or hunt. That being said, my dad and I decided to try trapping this winter season, which is in until March 15th. I watched every video and googled every forum discussion I could for about a week. I'm sure I am still missing lots of information, but this has been my process so far:

We purchased 3 MB-650s, 3 MB 550s, and 1 Bridger #3 dogless. I purchased peat moss, sheep's wool, a jar of RK's predator plus, Caven's violater 7 lure, and some red fox urine.

We placed coyote sets at various places along the wagon road where the coyotes could not access from the backside to work the set. 2" auger for the hole about a foot down. We bedded the traps about nine inches in front of the hole in a little peat moss, hammered them in using native dirt from the sides, covered with pan screening, packed with peat moss to cover, and then sifted native dirt over the top to hide and lightly brushed. I tried to manipulate any coyotes with sticks, dirt clods, and little rocks as seen on instructional videos. I used a teaspoon of RK's Predator Plus, a Q-tip amount of the Caven's lure on a stick, and a few squirts of the fox urine. Bait went down the hole with wool and lure was placed using a twig in the backing grass.


Day 1 Result - no coyotes, traps had not been messed with.

Day 2 Result - 4" of snow over night and freezing temperatures made me nervous. Now the sets were covered in snow. However, warmer rain was on the way so I just went back home and did not disturb anything.

Day 3 Result (today) - 3 of the 5 traps we set on the wagon road have been sprung. No hide or hair in any of them. 2 of them have tracks of some kind approaching them (too much snow has melted for me to be able to tell what it was), and one of the traps has zero tracks coming or going.


Can anyone tell me what they think may have happened? Can rain/snow pop sets if the pan tension is too loose? It has been freezing in temps the last 3 nights, but I'm just surprised they were tripped like that. All three of them were the MB-650s, which is ironic to me. I honestly don't know if an animal tripped them, or if they just sprung on their own. I would have thought there would have been more evidence of disturbance had an animal caused it, but I'm new at this.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.


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stash59
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby stash59 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Far from an expert, but have read and watched a ton of stuff. Also had a co-worker and still have a good friend that are hardcore trappers.

Yes freezing and thawing and refreezing can set off traps. Might need some anti freeze (calcium chloride). It's also possible the traps were froze just enough to miss a yote that may have stepped on the pan. Again may need some anti freeze! For next year you may want to make some waxed dirt (requires a few weeks for drying the dirt before mixing in the melted wax). Also try trapping earlier in the season when there is less chance for high moisture/freezing conditions!
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stash59
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby stash59 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:09 pm

Forgot to say stick with it. These "failures" are the best teaching tools! Good luck!!!!!
Happiness is a large gutpile!!!!!!!
mauser06
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby mauser06 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:27 pm

We're the traps pulled from their beds? Or sprung in the beds?


Freeze/thaws can fire traps but they'll be in their beds.


Deer will check out sets. Especially urines and sweet baits/lures. Typically deer take em to the end of the chain and pull out. No catch circle or disturbance.


Freeze/thaws/rain etc is tough for a new trapper.

I don't have much luck with peat moss. I can never get the trap to bed solid because the peat doesn't pack like dirt. I've gone to waxed dirt...but it's a process to make and added expense.


2 sets for you to look into that will work well in freeze/thaw/rain.

The hay set. And the pipe dream set. With the pipe dream set, find the reading/videos that show how the trap is bedded and covered. Thats more important than the pile. That bedding technique will work with any set. Dirt hole or flat set etc.


Hay sets are super easy....I don't use hay though. I like straw. Hay attracts deer....straw won't.

Basically make a mound of straw. Pound a trap bed in. I don't dig them with hay sets. Just pound a good depression. I make the mound of straw U shaped with the trap going between the "uprights" of the U. Where the ends of the uprights are is where I pound the depression for the bed. I use shears to cut the straw finer in the bed. Make a decent layer in the depression, set the trap in it, then cover with more fine straw. Doesn't need to be completely covered. Don't make the mound real high. A foot high and wide is plenty. I then just taper out the ends up the "uprights". Puts the focus in front of the trap but the uprights kinda guide them into the trap. If it's windy I will put a could small sticks or something on the straw to keep it from blowing away. Bait, lure and urine goes in the mound behind the trap. I usually dig a hole for the bait then use sheep's wool with a dab or lure in the mound and squirt the mound with urine.



Glycol works as an antifreeze. Can buy a gallon at tractor supply for $25 or so. It'll last a long while though...I use mine pure and soak the trap bed pretty well with it. Some guys dilute it so it can be sprayed from a bottle. If using it or other chemical style antifreeze feather it out around the trap as well so there's more thawed ground around the trap. Not just a thawed spot at the bed.


Solid bedding is huge. (Except in hay sets lol). You should be able to press a finger firmly anywhere on the trap and not have it move at all. If it's not bedded firmly, you'll run into issues. I can't explain why bedding isn't so important with hay sets lol. I've caught numerous coyotes in hay sets though.


I've also done trash mound sets in a similar fashion. I've done it with leaves and soy bean chaff left in the fields. Make a mound with leaves or bean chaff or whatever.


Dirt holes work. But don't be afraid of flat sets or others. Coyotes and fox typically don't like heavy backing or guiding. I find sets other than dirt holes tend to do better... predators roam a good ways and it's not uncommon for them to "know what a dirt hole" is and avoid them. I'd definitely recommend varying your sets. And dirt holes I like to dig as deep as I can. 12" at least...16-18 is better. I like to angle them a bit so they naturally wanna work it from the front and I try to make them with some sort of backing. A 8-10" stone or small log, a decent clump of grass etc. The road you're setting probably has lots of options like you said to keep them from working it backwards.

Another thing...I had better results by checking my sets from a distance than walking up to them every day. When I started, I worried about them and checked them up close daily. I'd mess with them, move a twig or leaf etc....I started checking them from a distance and only walking by once every few days or week or so. I know a lot of guys trap from 4 wheelers and seem to not have a problem just driving by their sets.


Keep at it. It's a lot of time and work but it's also rewarding.

Good luck!
BuckDaddy
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby BuckDaddy » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:00 am

Thanks so much to both of you. I've been around long enough to know that anything worth doing ain't easy out of the gate. I am putting trail cameras at my traps now and will at least know a bit more about what's going on the next time it happens.


I'm guessing the peat moss got me in trouble. I'm just surprised I'm not seeing any hide or hair in the traps that were sprung.

Ground is so muddy and sloppy I'm going to wait just a little bit before resetting but will post again when I get them back in the ground.

Thank you.
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby Ramp » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:19 am

Everything that mauser06 said x2. I too hava few sets in,this is what’s been working for me. I also use peat , but you cannot bed trap solid. So I’ve been power bedding with long nails. I also use wax paper under trap n for trap cover (make sure to crunch it up first) prevents trap from freezing down. This Wisconsin freeze thaw inch of rain makes it tough. Do a search on power bedding with peat moss couple good videos on it. Also like Mauser said check from distance n be patient. Change it up a bit best set for me has been a 6 inch rock for backing. As for trail cam I wouldn’t, coyotes r so skittish already let alone coming in to check out your set. Fired traps,could be deer , freeze thaw, frozen in set when coyote worked it. If they fired slow when they worked the set I’d move it n change it up. Trapping coyotes is tough this time of year but a lot of fun.
BuckDaddy
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby BuckDaddy » Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:02 am

Ramp wrote:Everything that mauser06 said x2. I too hava few sets in,this is what’s been working for me. I also use peat , but you cannot bed trap solid. So I’ve been power bedding with long nails. I also use wax paper under trap n for trap cover (make sure to crunch it up first) prevents trap from freezing down. This Wisconsin freeze thaw inch of rain makes it tough. Do a search on power bedding with peat moss couple good videos on it. Also like Mauser said check from distance n be patient. Change it up a bit best set for me has been a 6 inch rock for backing. As for trail cam I wouldn’t, coyotes r so skittish already let alone coming in to check out your set. Fired traps,could be deer , freeze thaw, frozen in set when coyote worked it. If they fired slow when they worked the set I’d move it n change it up. Trapping coyotes is tough this time of year but a lot of fun.



I'm stoked. Love this challenge. I have a few of the cuddelink cameras that I can check from a different camera next to the house here. Hoping that will help cover me. About to google power bedding here in a bit. Thanks again. I will be trying until season closes!
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stash59
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby stash59 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:16 am

BuckDaddy wrote:
Ramp wrote:Everything that mauser06 said x2. I too hava few sets in,this is what’s been working for me. I also use peat , but you cannot bed trap solid. So I’ve been power bedding with long nails. I also use wax paper under trap n for trap cover (make sure to crunch it up first) prevents trap from freezing down. This Wisconsin freeze thaw inch of rain makes it tough. Do a search on power bedding with peat moss couple good videos on it. Also like Mauser said check from distance n be patient. Change it up a bit best set for me has been a 6 inch rock for backing. As for trail cam I wouldn’t, coyotes r so skittish already let alone coming in to check out your set. Fired traps,could be deer , freeze thaw, frozen in set when coyote worked it. If they fired slow when they worked the set I’d move it n change it up. Trapping coyotes is tough this time of year but a lot of fun.



I'm stoked. Love this challenge. I have a few of the cuddelink cameras that I can check from a different camera next to the house here. Hoping that will help cover me. About to google power bedding here in a bit. Thanks again. I will be trying until season closes!


Keep us posted!!!!!
Happiness is a large gutpile!!!!!!!
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swampnovice31
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby swampnovice31 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:01 pm

im no pro but ive been killing predators since I was a toddler with my grandfather an my father.. did you first wash your traps in the dishwasher to get factory oil off? then.. did you dye or wax them? waxing not completely necessary.. but for sure dye your traps.. then most important.. location.. use whatever bait.. dogs love deer an beaver an just about anything.. next very most important.. bedding.. your steel should be rock solid once bedded.peat moss is good. should not be able to move the trap.. at all.. hope this helps.. even though a year almost later
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Re: First Time Trapper...Need Advice!

Unread postby trapperjay » Sun Nov 08, 2020 11:07 am

Probably freeze/thaw as mentioned. Check pan tension.


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