Trapping questions. Tracks and sign.

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #31
I had to change my sets a little. A tree fell over the dam and the farmer dragged the tree across the set, and then he walked his dog across the top of my other one. I took the suggestion from Steelshot of burying the deer leg. It sure attracted attention! I also took the suggestion of QBD in changing the approach. They definitely prefer entering the set from the right. I've got a young yote who worked the set quite a bit. If my trap was further from the leg I would have had him! Also got a red fox, an otter and one mature yote. the action starts around the 2 min mark, but I left the first bit on there so you can see him warming up to the set.
 
#32
They are coming in from the upper side of the set because that is the travel way. Set the trap in the grass clump up there in the middle of the path.

Bury the leg deeper and conceal it a bit. He can satisfy his curiosity with little effort with it exposed like that. As you can see, it may make him wary when approaching the set. This applies to any attraction at a flat set.

It looks like some sort of flagging behind the set. Get rid of it. You are not cat trapping.

Set the trap 10" to 12" back at flat sets. You can see how he will stretch that long neck to investigate when the attraction is above ground.

Get rid of the log. It serves no useful purpose as he can step right over it . You can see that he spent time investigating it.

He investigated and dug at something at the front of the set. Did you lure it from the front?

Good trappers whose opinion I trust tell me that cameras at sets tend to make them spooky. I might use one in the off season to check reactions to test baits and lures, but they are not natural when actually trapping.

Keep the prevailing wind direction in mind.

Just some observations from an old guy who catches a few dumb ones.
 
#33
They are coming in from the upper side of the set because that is the travel way. Set the trap in the grass clump up there in the middle of the path.

Bury the leg deeper and conceal it a bit. He can satisfy his curiosity with little effort with it exposed like that. As you can see, it may make him wary when approaching the set. This applies to any attraction at a flat set.

It looks like some sort of flagging behind the set. Get rid of it. You are not cat trapping.

Set the trap 10" to 12" back at flat sets. You can see how he will stretch that long neck to investigate when the attraction is above ground.

Get rid of the log. It serves no useful purpose as he can step right over it . You can see that he spent time investigating it.

He investigated and dug at something at the front of the set. Did you lure it from the front?

Good trappers whose opinion I trust tell me that cameras at sets tend to make them spooky. I might use one in the off season to check reactions to test baits and lures, but they are not natural when actually trapping.

Keep the prevailing wind direction in mind.

Just some observations from an old guy who catches a few dumb ones.
^^^ this guy gave me advise last year, and i went to catching them. Listen to him, he catches a few.

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JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #34
Thanks for the continued advice. I answered a few questions in blue type.

They are coming in from the upper side of the set because that is the travel way. Set the trap in the grass clump up there in the middle of the path.

I definitely need to do this, but I won't be able to do it on this dam. It's used regularly by the farm. There are a couple of less used paths thru the woods that I can set up on though.

Bury the leg deeper and conceal it a bit. He can satisfy his curiosity with little effort with it exposed like that. As you can see, it may make him wary when approaching the set. This applies to any attraction at a flat set.

I did this today, and added some more scraps around it.

It looks like some sort of flagging behind the set. Get rid of it. You are not cat trapping.

That is an optical illusion. That flagging is a leaf on a thin branch. It is much closer to the camera than it appears, and not behind the set. Good catch though!

Set the trap 10" to 12" back at flat sets. You can see how he will stretch that long neck to investigate when the attraction is above ground.

I did this as well today. The camera showed that, for sure.

Get rid of the log. It serves no useful purpose as he can step right over it . You can see that he spent time investigating it.

OK. I got rid of the big one. Left 2 smaller ones as backing, so if they start to dig, they will do it on the side the trap is on.

He investigated and dug at something at the front of the set. Did you lure it from the front?

That was the original dirt hole that I dug. It was covered up when the farmer dragged his tree across it. The yote had no trouble finding it though.

Good trappers whose opinion I trust tell me that cameras at sets tend to make them spooky. I might use one in the off season to check reactions to test baits and lures, but they are not natural when actually trapping.

I'd like to address this one, as I definitely agree. This is something I know a bit about though, unlike trapping. I've been doing trail cams for a long time. I buy and build video cameras. Video shows a lot more than pics do and I use it exclusively. Critters definitely spot cameras, even when they aren't on. If you want to be stealthy you have to follow a few rules depending on what camera you're using. I currently have a Browning IR camera on trap #1. It's tiny and quiet, but has visible red flash. If you want to be unseen you have to put it up high. It is currently 8 or 9 feet in the air and pointing down at the trap at a 45 degree angle. They only time I have a video of something looking at the camera is when a coon is caught in it, and after doing battle for a while he looks up and sees it. It makes for a crummy deer cam, because using it like this really reduces the field of view. Works good for this though!
The camera I have on trap #2 (the one in the last video) is a newer Reconyx. It uses IR that is out past 930 nM. It cannot be seen, so as long as the camera is well camouflaged, nothing is going to be bothered by it. There are a lot of cameras advertised as having a black flash, but unless they are higher than 900 nM, critters and people can see them. I'm confident this camera isn't spooking them. Anything that looks at it doesn't investigate it for long. If it offers any disadvantage at the moment, it is that I'm leaving extra scent in the area by checking it.


Just some observations from an old guy who catches a few dumb ones.
Joe
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #35
Checked my traps this morning and had the one at the dam dug up. Here's the culprit. A very dark yote. That would have been cool as a first catch! It came in scraping at the ground. Apparently it's had success in the past doing that. Didn't even fire the trap.

 
#36
Checked my traps this morning and had the one at the dam dug up. Here's the culprit. A very dark yote. That would have been cool as a first catch! It came in scraping at the ground. Apparently it's had success in the past doing that. Didn't even fire the trap.

What is your pan tension, she was all over that trap. You should have snaged her.

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#38
Joe, I bury my deer legs vertically with post hole diggers and I leave just the hoof exposed. I tamp the dirt back in so they have to do some work to get to the leg. Also, as you can see from the video, they will work the set from behind so I'll put a blind set at 12 o'clock and blend it in. I've learned quite a bit watching your videos. Thanks for sharing.
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#39
I agree. That yote worked that set hard and appeared to be all over the trap. How deep was the trap and how much pan tension or how do you prevent dirt from getting under the pan. May be my old eyes but it appears that a lot of dirt was moved and I never saw any reaction that a toenail even hooked any part of the trap. Very good video, learning tool for sure.
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #40
Well I'm sure glad I've got video! And thanks again for the replies. You guys have nailed it. Another rookie mistake on my part. My pan tension is high, but I didn't think that it could be adjusted. I thought you adjusted them by changing the tension of the pivot screw. MB550s don't have that screw...so I thought I'd have to leave it like it was.
After googling how to do it, I will change both of them to see what happens.
I also buried that leg vertically, but she eventually got it up. This time I buried a front leg with a shoulder on it. there will be more work involved this time.
I sure do appreciate everyone's patience with me! This is definitely a lot of room for mistakes.

Joe
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#42
A little bit goes a long way when trying to reduce pan tension on a 550. Make sure the tip of the dog night latch does not have sharp corners or burrs that will drive tension up. Tension can be reduced by bending the dog or very carefully with a file. Do a little and check it until you get it where you want it. I like about 3 lbs. You want the pan to drop in one smooth motion and be pretty consistent

If you adjust it then wax the trap, wax will reduce the tension as well. Check it after you have finished trap prep and before you head out to make a set.
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#43
Joe, one other thing I have noticed on occasion that will cause increased pan tension on 550s.....turn the closed trap upside down, the pan should drop down against the inside of the jaw. Sometimes, the end of the end of one of the springs will be rubbing against the pan pivot and can add a noticeable increase in pan tension. You can usually eliminate the interference by either tapping the spring toward the frame or using a screwdriver to pry the end of the spring away from the pan pivot. Also make sure the pan pivot is fully seated in the indention in the frame. The pan should not be rubbing on the spring ends where they go over the frame.

I hope this makes sense to you.
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #44
A little bit goes a long way when trying to reduce pan tension on a 550. Make sure the tip of the dog night latch does not have sharp corners or burrs that will drive tension up. Tension can be reduced by bending the dog or very carefully with a file. Do a little and check it until you get it where you want it. I like about 3 lbs. You want the pan to drop in one smooth motion and be pretty consistent

If you adjust it then wax the trap, wax will reduce the tension as well. Check it after you have finished trap prep and before you head out to make a set.
Odie, I am using a nylon pan cover.

QBD, this afternoon I headed back out into the pouring rain and mud to visit my 2 MB550s again. I got soaked to the bone, but I uncovered them, filed them, tested, filed some more, and then bedded them as best I could in the mud. I don't know what the tension is, but it's noticeably different than before I filed them. Rather than trying to cover the trap in mud I took a bunch of soggy oak leaves and covered the trap, and the rest of the surrounding area. It looks nicely blended, and the trap is pretty solid. So....for about the 9th time, I'm hopeful to find something in the morning. :)

Joe
 
#45
Move the set away from the original dirt hole. That is what the coyote is digging, not your trap. This is twice that video shows interest in that spot. Also, wind direction change will cause them to approach from the back/opposite side.

She jerked that limb backing out of her way. Loose objects usually are not an impediment to their approach and may be kicked into the trap bed..
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #46
Joe, I bury my deer legs vertically with post hole diggers and I leave just the hoof exposed. I tamp the dirt back in so they have to do some work to get to the leg. Also, as you can see from the video, they will work the set from behind so I'll put a blind set at 12 o'clock and blend it in. I've learned quite a bit watching your videos. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the advice. The leg in this video was vertical, but not very long. It was just an 18" section of front leg. It wasn't too hard to dig out. The one there now has a shoulder attached to it and is buried straight down. I was not smart enough to use a post hole digger. I used a shovel.
Thanks for the compliment on the videos. I'm learning a lot too, but obviously not fast enough. :)
I do like how it dragged the stick out of the way. I was definitely not expecting that!
Joe
 
#48
Thanks for the reply. We'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks. I was all excited when I checked my first traps this morning. From a distance I saw the catch circle and some grey fur. I thought I had a yote, but it ended up being a grouchy raccoon instead. It was pretty funny.
Loving your posts Joe. I’m new to the game, or should I say addiction, also. I had a predator set out for 6 days before I caught a red fox in it. My first predator ever. Biggest thing I learned from it was not getting frustrated after 2 days and pulling the set like I was before.
Joe
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #49
Since I've last posted I have had a little success. I've gotten a few coons, and a muskrat. Had a snapped trap with some beavers, and a bit of activity, but haven't gotten one yet.
I changed my coyote sets around and caught the one in the video here. It's a heartbreaker though because he pulled my stake out. It was a 30" piece of half inch rebar. You can see him leaping straight up in the air. That must be what pulled it out.
Since then I pulled the rest of my traps until I figure out what to do about that. I don't want that to happen ever again. After I saw the video I grabbed my rifle and went after it. I never found any sign of which way it left the field. I walked for hours in the pouring rain, but came up empty.
Here is the last few moments before he left.
 
#51
Joe sorry to hear about that. I remember Dwayne (animal damage control trapper) that depending on the anchoring system he’s using he will use 6 feet of chain if he’s concerned about a coyote jumping straight up in the air cu it won’t jump that high. I’m sure the more experienced fellas will have feedback as well. In regards to beaver they are the first thing I’ve caught and I’ve had a lot of luck w them. Dam crossovers, castor mounds and blind sets at den entrances have done well for me. Dive poles help a lot for me. Lots of beaver masters (no pun intended fellas) on here...do what they say. The only muskrat I caught was in a blind set on a beaver slide.
 

QuietButDeadly

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
#53
Glad you got one to step on the pan but sorry to here about the staking issue.

A single rebar stake is usually OK to anchor a DP for coon because they are not prone to pumping the stake. The coyote will jump and with a short chain and single stake, even if he does not jerk it out of the ground right away, he will continue to jerk and pull the stake a little bit each jerk (what we call pumping the stake) until he eventually gets it out of the ground.

Rebar is fine to anchor canine traps but it needs to be 2 stakes driven in an X pattern so the chain does not pull parallel to the stake. There are several double stake swivels made to accommodate 2 stakes. JC Connors chestnut rings work well also. If the weight of the rebar is not an issue, rebar is one of if not the most cost effective way to anchor your trap in most soil types. And they are much easier to remove than most earth anchors.

And if you have more than 8" of chain, you need a shock spring as well.
 
#54
Sorry about the yote but I would recommend using an anchor as well. I use 12” wolf fangs and there’s no way a yote could possibly pull it out in solid ground. I was using 18” but they were such a pain to get out of the ground.


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#55
Sorry about the yote but I would recommend using an anchor as well. I use 12” wolf fangs and there’s no way a yote could possibly pull it out in solid ground. I was using 18” but they were such a pain to get out of the ground.


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I had my doubts about wolf fang so I took one and drove it 12” into sand on a river bank. Just about threw my back out trying to break it loose. I like em a lot. Especially bedding them directly under the trap
 
#56
Sorry about the yote but I would recommend using an anchor as well. I use 12” wolf fangs and there’s no way a yote could possibly pull it out in solid ground. I was using 18” but they were such a pain to get out of the ground.


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I had my doubts about wolf fang so I took one and drove it 12” into sand on a river bank. Just about threw my back out trying to break it loose. I like em a lot. Especially bedding them directly under the trap
Make you a trap puller, save your back.

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#57
That video makes me want to put 2 or 3 traps around a dirt hole set.
I caught a nice male coyote last year in a dirt-hole set - I reset it and the next day it's mate dug up the trap and then pooped on it. I've got a picture of it somewhere.
 

JoeR

Four Pointer
Thread starter #58
I bought a few more traps yesterday. I'm headed out this afternoon to set them. There's a couple of different anchors I'm going to try, and I built a heavy drag to add to the spot where I lost my trap. It's spiked rebar with a heavy lead weight on the end. No dog is going to pull it anywhere.
I've only got a few more days to trap then I'm back to travelling for a while.
Thanks again everyone for the help.
Joe