How to Become a Trapper: Pt. 5, Suppliers + Bait & Lure.

Greetings,

Well now you know what you want to buy but where should you buy it?  From eBay? Amazon?  NO!  DO NOT buy trapping supplies from either of those two places!  They will charge you MUCH more than what it is really worth!  Traps are sometimes priced right on eBay, but probably 99% of the time you’ll pay way to much for supplies from those places.

Go to a real trapping supply dealer.  Minnesota Trapline Products is probably the best place to buy from.  They have good prices, lots of stuff, their customer service is wonderful, they are super easy to work with, they’re nice people, and their shipping is FAST!  You can visit their website at:  http://www.minntrapprod.com

Fur Harvester’s Trading Post (F&T) is also a pretty popular place and they carry lots of stuff too!  You can visit their website at  http://www.fntpost.com

Schmitt Enterprises  http://www.schmittent.com  , Murray’s Trapping supplies, Southern Snares & Supply  http://www.southernsnares.com  , Cumberland’s NW Trapper’s Supply http://www.nwtrappers.com  ,  & The Snare Shop are other choices.  There are many trapping supply dealers out there but I highly recommend Minnesota Trapline Products.  They are the BEST!

Now for bait and lure.  There are 100’s of bait and lure makers out there and all of the ones you’ll see on Minnesota Trapline Product’s, F&T’s, Schmitt Enterprise’s, or Cumberland’s NW Trapper’s Supply website are probably all pretty good makers.  But the top 6 bait & lure makers I would recommend would be Caven’s,                                             Derrick’s (www.derricks-nm.com), Dobbin’s, Reuwsaat’s, Mark June’s, and Weiser’s.  Other great makers would be Lenon’s, Milligan’s, Payne’s, Rusty Johnson’s, Cletis Richard’s, Hoosier’s, and many other are good makers as well.  I’m not saying that anybody’s is bad, those are just some really good ones.

Most lures work differently in different places and at different times of the year so certain baits or lures may not work very well for you, so just keep that in mind.  When you are buying baits and lures you will probably be hesitant when you see the prices.  But just remember it doesn’t take much bait or lure at a set, and if you catch even a skunk, and sell the essence and hide you will have paid for that bait or lure.  Just think if you catch a $100 + bobcat! or a coyote, or a fox, or a badger!  Then you’ve paid for a lot of your stuff!  Just keep all that in mind.  Then if some stuff doesn’t you can sell it on online trapping forums!

Other things to go in your bait and lure bag is sheep wool, cotton, fur, feathers, bleached bones, etc.  Sheep wool, cotton, fur, and feathers are all excellent eye appeal agents and bait and lure holders.  They will help keep the odor there longer and protect it somewhat from moisture.  It may be illegal to use any of the things mentioned in some states so check your regulations.

Bone’s are good at a variety of sets and I’ll talk about using bones at sets at a later time.

I hope you learned something from this post and maybe you got some ideas that will help you.  I would highly appreciate it if you would comment, follow me, and like posts!  If you need any help or have some questions let me know.  I love answering questions for some reason!  (You probably think I’m weird!)

Remember to support trapping and I hope you will have good luck getting started!

Tight chains,

Anthony Asher.

 

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How to Become a Trapper. Pt. 4, Other Equipment.

Greetings from Texas!

So in this post I’ll talk a little about hammers, sifters, gloves, bait & lure, etc.  A hammer is practically mandatory on any trapline, whether it be a land or water line.  For hammering in stakes, digging trap beds, etc.

Like I mentioned in another post you can buy hammers made specifically for trappers.  There are 4 types that I know of:  the “Ground Hog” sometimes called the “3-in-1” tool which is a sledge hammer with a blade welded onto the back of the head for digging trap beds, and a trowel on the end of the handle for digging dirt holes.  (That is the type I currently use; they cost about $20 ea.)  There is also the Cold Creek Trapping hammer which is a smallish sledge hammer with the blade welded onto the back of it (about $16 -$18 ea.) The “Sod Buster” is a bit bigger than the Cold Creek one and costs about $20 ea.  Then there is the Freedom Brand style which is a serious hammer and costs about $35.

You can make a trapping hammer if you have a welder, or you can use a hatchet, or a claw hammer.

Now for sifters.  You can get by without using a sifter but it is sure handy, and it speeds things up!  You don’t realize what a nice thing they are until you don’t have one!  There are many brands of sifters but I DON’T recommend buying the “Pro Metal Sifter”.  They are junk in my opinion; I bought one and it broke first time I used it.  Do yourself a favor a buy or make a quality one.  Freedom Brand, J.C. Conner’s “Texas Tea Cup”, the “Lifetime”, “Mega Steel”, or “Aluminum” sifters would probably all be good choices.

You can make one out of wood and heavy duty screen, or if you have a welder you can make one out of sheet metal and small expanded metal.  Another method is to get an old pot or pan and drill a bunch of little holes in the bottom for the dirt to sift through or you can cut the bottom out of it and weld small expanded metal or screen to the bottom.  Just some ideas.

There is nothing special about the gloves you use but I, personally, like to use rubber gloves.  If you are water trapping you’ll want some warm, water proof, long gauntlets.  You can buy gloves from trapping suppliers but I’m sure they a purchasable from other sources.

If you are trapping land animals you will most certainly need something for making dirt hole sets.  A narrow trowel works great in soft ground but in hard ground I recommend a dirt hole punch or a drill with an 1.5″ – 3″ diameter auger on it.  You can make dirt hole punches from small metal pipe or you can buy one.

Other handy things to have with you when trapping are: extra tools, wire, s-hook / j-hook tool, s-hooks, j-hooks, swivels, quick links, extra chain, trap parts, and other things like that.  I always have need of j-hooks, s-hooks, swivels, and chain on my trapline!  Plus s-hooks and j-hooks cost roughly $12 for 100 so you can get plenty for cheap.  The s-hook / j-hook (sometimes called rivets) tool cost from $12 – $20 but they are well worth it!

Well, I’ll talk about bait & lure next, so stay tuned!  Remember to support your state trapping organization, the NTA, the FTA, and / or the GOA.  They fight for out trapping, hunting, and gun owning rights so we need to support them!  Subscribe to a trapping magazine (Trapper’s Post, Trapper’s World, etc) too!

If you have any questions let me know!  If you need help with anything don’t hesitate to ask, I’m here to help you out!  A thank you to everyone who has liked, followed, and commented!

Good luck getting started!

Anthony.

 

 

How to Become a Trapper. Pt. 3, Stakes & Trap Fastening.

Greetings,

In this post I’ll talk about the many ways of trap fastening.  First I’ll talk about using rebar stakes.  Here is a little chart to show you how long you stakes need to be.

Coyotes:  24″ – 30″ inch,  Bobcats: 24″+ inch, Fox: 18″ – 24″ inch, Raccoons: 18″ + inch,  Badger: 24″ – 30″ inch,  Skunk & Opossum:  15″ – 18″ inch.

I personally don’t recommend using rebar stakes because you always have to worry about “do I need to double stake here”  “is the ground to soft” etc.  Plus rebar is heavy and you don’t want to hike around on your trapline with you traps, equipment, and bait & lure.  That gets pretty heavy and it’s not too fun to walk up on a set only to see that you caught something and he pulled up your stake and got away!

I recommend using earth anchors.  These attach onto the trap’s chain with cable or sometimes chain.  These are lighter and much less bulky than rebar stakes.  You drive the earth anchors into the ground with that particular stake type’s driver.  You then remove the driver, pull up and sideways on the anchor to “set it”.  It is practically impossible to get that up!

When it come time to pull the set there are several methods of getting the stake out of the ground.  You can drive 3 holes close in around the anchor, fill them with water, then wait a minute.  Usually they will pop out of the ground but sometimes they will be stubborn and you have to dig it up.     Another way is to just use a dirt hole punch and use that to dig it up, or the easiest way is just to buy a earth anchor puller, or a t-post puller to get them out of the ground.  Most pullers cost $30 – $50 but they are well worth it, believe me!  They will save lots of time and energy.

There are many different earth anchors but I recommend MB Super Stakes, Wolf Fang cable stakes, or Duck-bill cable stakes.  Wolf Fangs or MB Finned Super Stakes work well in soft ground.  (Wolf Fangs will work in any type of ground but if you have soft ground they are ideal because of their large surface area.)

Snaring your trap off to a tree is another method.  You can use old used snares or you can buy the cheapest snares on the market for this.  So here is how to do it:  run the loop of your snare through the swivel on the end of the trap’s chain.  Now run the snare loop through the swivel on the other end of the snare.  Next run the snared around a tree or something, slip the trap through the snare loop and snug it off to the tree.  That simple.  Be sure the tree or whatever you use is stout enough to hold any animal you might catch.

Another method is the use of drags but I don’t recommend this for beginners.  Drags are bulk and heavy, plus you need about 10′ feet of chain on your trap to run drags so this gets REALLY heavy.  If you have a pickup, ATV, or some other vehicle to go around in it might be alright.

I’m no expert on drags since I don’t use many myself but when using drags you need 8′ – 10′ feet of chain.  You can make drags yourself if you have the equipment or you can buy some.  I recommend MB Trailblazer Drags, or Saber Tooth drags.

Well, thank you for reading and if you have any questions let me know in the comment section!  If I can help you with anything please let me know, I want to help.

Remember to support your local state trapping organization, the NTA, the FTA, and / or the GOA.  They protect or trapping and hunting rights!

Best wishes,

Anthony.

 

How it Get Started Trapping. Pt. 2: Traps.

Howdy,

Now I’ll talk more about traps.  If you are going after coyotes I recommend using #1 3/4, #2, or #3 coilspring traps, unless you are using longsprings then use #3’s or #4’s because longsprings aren’t as stout as coilsprings.  #1 1/2 coilsprings have been known to hold coyotes effectively, but it is best to go with something bigger to avoid trap damage.  Plus you don’t have to worry about pull-outs.

If you have plenty of money to spend and want to start out with the best equipment and best traps, buy Minnesota Brand 550’s.  (MB-550’s.)  These traps are more expensive, but they are probably the best trap on the market, and will last a lifetime!  They are a #2 sized trap.

If don’t have a lot of money to spend I recommend getting Duke® #1 3/4, #2, or #3 coilsprings.  Duke makes good traps, though some will tell you other wise, and they do hold stuff!  I use lots of Dukes each season and I haven’t had a problem with them.

Good bobcat trap sizes are about the same as for coyotes, but we have found that #1 1/2 coilsprings hold them very well.  Bobcats don’t place many feet at a set, so traps with large pans are most effective.  Some guys will set #3 longspring traps and weld thin metal plate onto the original pan for a bigger kill zone with good results.

Good traps for bobcats are Sleepy Creek #3 longsprings with expanded pans.

I can’t say much about Red Fox because I’ve never been trapping anywhere were there were any red fox.  Around here we have only Grey Fox and good trap sizes for them are #1’s, & #1 1/2’s.  Bridger makes a fox trap a tad bigger than a #1 1/2 called a #1.65 for fox, but I’ve never tried them.  Grey Fox have brittle leg bones so try to set smaller traps like #1 1/2’s for them!

Probably the best fox trap to buy would be an MB-450, a #1 1/2 sized trap designed for fox.  These have price tags a little heavier than most other traps that size so I’ve you don’t have much money get a Duke, Bridger, Victor, Sleepy Creek, Montana brand etc #1 1/2.

Raccoon require traps same size as fox and a Duke #1 1/2 with laminated jaws is a great choice.  If you are going with Dog Proof Raccoon Traps (DP’s) I recommend Duke brand.  That is all I’ve ever used, and I’ve never had a problem with them.  I’ve heard good things about the “Z-trap” DP, and the Bridger T-3 DP’s too.

As for badgers, they are very strong animals and I wouldn’t recommend anything below a #1 3/4 coilspring for them.  #2 and #3 coilsprings would be best, or if you are using longsprings a stout #3 would probably suffice.

Skunks and possums are not very strong so no need for anything bigger than a #1 1/2 for those.  #1 double-jaw coilspring, #1 “guard trap” longspring, a #11 longspring double jaw, or any of those traps even without the double jaw or “guard” would be fine selections for skunks or possums.  Skunks will often try to chew on their paw when they are trapped so the double jaw or the “guard” helps to prevent them from doing that.  Possums most of the time won’t struggle much, but will “play possum”.

Well, I hope this post has helped you, and I will be doing another post on stakes and trap fastening soon.  If you are serious about getting started trapping, but you don’t know what to buy, contact me at asheranthony45@gmail.com and I’ll do your shopping for you!  Just let me know how much money you are willing to spend, what animals you want to trap, and I’ll do the rest.  Or if you don’t feel safe with somebody else buying stuff for you with your money I’ll just advise you on what to buy if you’d like.  Either way I totally understand; I just want to help you in any way possible!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section.  Remember to support your state trapping organization!

Tight chains!

Anthony Asher.

 

 

 

How to Get Started Becoming a Trapper. Pt. 1: Equipment.

Greetings,

A lot of you have probably trapped before with cage traps because you were having problems with skunks, raccoons, possums, etc.  But have you ever thought of becoming a full ledge trapper where you go out with steel traps, your equipment, and harvest fur every season?  I’m telling you it is TREMENDOUSLY interesting, fun, and exciting, plus you are doing good!  There is lots of work involved but there is also lots of ways of making money which I will talk about in another post.

First of all I very highly recommend becoming a member of your state trapping organization.  This way you can attend rendezvous (conventions), where you can get supplies, learn, have fun, and get in touch with seasoned trappers.

One of the things that attracted me to trapping was how wonderfully nice the trappers are, how eager they are to help you, and teach you!  Plus some trapping associations have magazines they send out periodically which you can learn from.

You must be prepared to spend some money when you first start out.  How much?  It depends on how bad you want to start, what animal(s) you want to trap, etc, but here is a list of what you will need.

Traps, Stakes, Hammer, Sifter, Bait & Lure, loves.  There is different supplies you will need for trapping different animals but that is basically what you will need.

Traps.  There are many brands of traps but perhaps the most common brands are: Duke, Victor, Bridger, Sleepy Creek, and Minnesota brand, but there are smaller companies like, Montgomery, Montana, J.C. Connor’s “Jake” traps, etc, etc, etc.  The size depends on the animal and I will go deeper into traps another time.

Stakes.  If you are using rebar stakes 24″ – 30″ inch is good for coyote, 24″ for bobcat, 18″ – 24″ for fox, 18″ for ‘coon, 15″ – 18″ for skunk, possum, etc.  Here in Texas we have HARD ground so those lengths work well for us, but if you have softer ground you may want to use two stakes per trap and cross them when you drive them in.

You can also use drags, or earth anchors.  Earth anchors attach to the end of your chain and you drive them into the ground so deep, then remove the driver.  Pull sideways on the trap chain and the earth anchor will set making it impossible to pull up unless you haven’t driven it deep enough or the ground is to soft.  With earth anchors  you have to get a special puller to get them up, you can dig them up, or you can punch 3 holes around it, fill them with water, them you can get them up. (I’ll talk about drags later.)

Hammer.  You will need a hammer for pounding in stakes.  You can buy trapping hammers which are small sledge hammers with a blade welded onto the black of the head for digging trap beds.  One type, the “Ground Hog” or “3-in-1” tool as it is called also has a trowel on the end of the handle for digging dirt holes.

Sifter.  You will need a sifter for sifting dirt over your sets to prevent rocks and sticks from falling onto your trap.  If one falls on the pan it could and most of the time will prevent the animal from stepping there.  Also if sticks and other debris is inside the jaws, when the trap fires it could hold the jaws open allowing the animal to escape.  (I’ve had it happen.)

Bait & Lure.  There are many commercial baits and lures and I would recommend beginners buying some instead of trying to make home-made bait.

Gloves.  Any manner of gloves will work: leather, cloth, rubber, etc.  The purpose of this is to minimize the amount of human scent you leave at the set, and to keep foreign odors off your traps.  When baiting or luring a set remove the glove so no smells will get on them.  Don’t use old dirty gloves, get a clean pair.  Garden gloves work great and they’re cheap!

You can also buy starter kits for different animals which come with most (or all) of what you need.  If you want to get a starter kit I suggest you get one from http://www.minntrapprod.com

If you have an questions feel free to ask them; please follow, subscribe, and comment, and don’t forget to support your state trapping organization.  If are beginning and are not sure what to get, contact me at asheranthony45@gmail.com, tell me what you want to trap, and how much money you want to spend and I’ll do your shopping for you!

Best of luck to you!

Anthony Asher.

Mange.

Greetings,

One of the most common diseases you will run into while trapping is mange.  Mange is a parasite and they cause the hair on the animal to fall out, which can cause the animal to freeze.  I have trapped 6 coyotes and 4 of them were mangy!

It is very difficult for canines to get over mange, though felines will usually get over it.  If your pets get it mix this solution together and spray them with it:

2 cups 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (use ONLY the 3% hydrogen peroxide, anything higher will burn the animal.)

4 cups warm water

3 heaping tablespoons Borax.

Usually when you catch a coyote he will be struggling a lot when you get there, and will act really excited.  In most bad cases of mange they just lie there like they there like they feel rotten, or sick.

So when your trapping it is good to get those mangy coyotes out, because every time you get rid of another mangy animal, that will help prevent the disease from spreading, and hopefully it won’t be as rampant the next season!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this blog, and please like, follow, and comment if you would like!  Look me up on look me up on YouTube under “Asher Bros. Outdoors”, Trapperman or American Trap Talk forums under the name “AuthorTrapper”.  You can contact me on Facebook, by email (asheranthony45@gmail.com); don’t forget to join your state trapping organization, and National Trappers Association, Fur Takers of America, or subscribe to a trappers magazine.  Trapping is under attack these days and we all need to get out and stop all the anti-trapping movements!

Best wishes,

Anthony Asher.

Here is a BAD case of mange↓↓ IMG_1997.JPG

Are Steel Traps Inhumane?

Hello,

I’m sure all of you have heard all the anti-trapping bull like:  “traps are so inhumane”  or “bone-crushing” or “designed to slowly crush through the animal’s leg” or “steel trap smash the animal’s paw” or something along those lines.  And guess what, the people who say that have zero idea about what they are talking about!  They’ve been brain washed to believe all this false nonsense and are dead set against trapping, no matter what you say.  Just look around!  You see it in movies like an animal’s leg in a trap, or know-nothings talking about it on YouTube or the news.

Just stop an think.  We trappers are out for the general good of the animals and also for the fur.  Why would we design traps to “smash the animals leg off” or “crush the animal’s bones”?  If this happens the animal escapes and guess what?  We trappers don’t get an fur!  Plus this would educate the animals so that it would be MUCH harder to catch them again.  So you see, that anti-trapper argument doesn’t make sense.

Traps now days are designed to hold not to hurt.  Just do some research on traps and trapping supplies; you’ll see that we trappers do everything we can not to injure the animal during the period it is in the trap.  Shock springs for example, these help prevent the animal from injuring it’s paw or leg while it is struggling, plus it minimizes the chance of them pulling up your stakes.  Swivels are another example; with these the animal and move and twist in any was he wants without injuring or breaking his leg.  There are so many examples in the ways trap jaws are designed to prevent the animal from injuring itself that I could write a whole lengthy post on them.

Another argument anti-trappers use is that we trappers leave the animals in the trap for days on end.  Totally and 100% WRONG!  First of all a lot of state trapping laws require a 24 hour trap check.  And why would we NOT check our traps, and risk another animal killing and eating the trapped animal, or the trapped animal getting out of the trap, or risking fur damage?  That argument still does not make sense, because there is ZERO reason for us not to check traps everyday.  Most good trappers will check their traps every single day or every other day if it is not possible to check everyday.

Another thing they will complain about is dispatch.  They seem to think that we torture the animals to get, or beat them until they are dead, or “stomp on their chest until the life leaves their eyes”.  Anyone who has any idea what they’re talking about will know that this is 100% WRONG!  There are many methods of dispatch, designed to be quick, lethal, and humane, with little, if any, suffering to the animal.  Many, including myself, dispatch trapped animals with one quick shot to the head which kills them instantaneously with no suffering.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask them.  A big thank-you to everybody who has liked, followed, and commented!  Look me up on Facebook, YouTube, or on Trapperman or American Trap Talk under “AuthorTrapper!

Good luck, & tight chains,

Anthony Asher.