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a bad day on a mink line...
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Author:  NonPCfed [ 24 Jan 2013, 21:40 ]
Post subject:  a bad day on a mink line...

I've mentioned it but really haven't talked about it much yet because I hadn't caught a mink yet, but I've had about 2 dozen 110s and 120 boxes out since last Friday. But I have to vent today so here its goes.

One of my 110 in one of my "clusters" (3 are located there) had a mink (probably a female) dig out of a snow drift right through the trigger wires of a 110 (never have seen this happen before). I think some of the snow may have kept the trap from firing but it went off when I moved it, so perhaps the mink lead a charmed life and went right though the spread without hitting the trigger enough to fire. Arrgggh, but ok, that's the brakes.

The next stop was much more depressing and probably not surprising. I'm trapping a number of individual WPAs and GPAs in the western part of my county. Public land so there's potential for people being around. Anyway, there's a shalllow lake seperated by a pretty heavily used gravel round next to one of these GPAs. I had found some good mink sign around a couple of haldf buried culverts under the road (only about 3-4 inches of the culvert open above the ice. There was also a snow hole next to one of the culverts so I set a couple of 110s. They were drifted somewhat on Sunday when I checked but I could still see one of the wires so left them. On Tuesdays, I didn't see them but there was really hot mink sign a few feet away, a fresh snow hole with mink tracks going in and fresh sign on a snow hole going into one of the culverts. I set with 2 more 110s and tried to snow camo them a bit but I knew it was a gamble because a caught animal probably could be seen from the road or someone knowing the culverts were there could check things out easily.

Well, my long span of luck on trap theft ran out today. The newer traps were gone and there was some blood in both mink holes, as if either a mink got thumped or bleed a little as it fought the trap. There was a different set of boot prints next to mine around the area, so I'm pretty sure I had at least one mink and someone decided they needed it more than me. You hope people have integrity and leave other people equipment and catches alone but all it takes is one loser who just saw an easy Jackson laying out on the ice and knew there was almost no chance at getting caught and ripped me off. I've mellowed a bit in my middle age and just turned it over to the Lord and asked him to heap burning coals of guilt on this guy's head and make him feel bad. That's all about I can do and learn the lesson of having mostly exposed sets.

Tomorrow, I'll call the state agency as well and report it. An old high school friend of mine is now a regional supervisor of conservation officers and even though I know the chances of this guy getting caught are very low, perhaps he (they) will screw up doing something else, get stopped by a co, and still have my traps in their vehicle (my rigging with a 2x2 drag is perhaps a bit uncommon) and they'll get noticed. Anyway, chalk it up to school of hard knocks...

Author:  Mohawk [ 24 Jan 2013, 21:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

:evil: :evil: :evil: That sucks NPC, I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your catch and trap and I hope they do get caught and hung. :wink:

Author:  wolf1199 [ 24 Jan 2013, 21:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

That is to bad for sure NPC, i know that would bother me to no end. I hope you catch the crook.

Author:  fuzz269 [ 24 Jan 2013, 22:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

I hope you catchim, and put his hide on a thief streacher :twisted: :twisted:

Author:  trapperrick [ 25 Jan 2013, 08:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

What a bummer PC. Trap theft is the worst experience on the line. I hope justice will be served.

Have you tried the bottom edge set? I caught 2 mink this season using this set and what I liked about it was the trap was hidden fairly well from the public but is very effective on mink. One of the mink was caught during deer season when there are lots of hunters wandering along a stream.

Author:  Westside [ 25 Jan 2013, 09:15 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

I know how you feel NonPC........... I got some coilsprings take last winter. It is VERY frustrating!! :evil: You are right to just to chalk it up to bad luck and move on. Can't let it keep bothering you.
I hope things start going your way.

Author:  NonPCfed [ 25 Jan 2013, 13:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

I talked to the state agency guys this morning. The CO I talked to said just about every trapper he's checked in the field this year has reported theft. That's the down side of trapping within the shadow of a city/county of 200,000 people. Even if a very low percentage are scumbags, that's still a good number...

t Rick- Yeah, bottom edge I think would be a useful set early in the season and in creeks. I'm trapping on the edge of lakes so the set up isn't the same and drilling through a foot or more of ice isn't in my plan. This particular area where I got ripped off has a lot of rip rap rock to keep the road from eroding and mink boxes (still have one htere now) can be hidden better. Just have to have more time to get off into more secluded areas and set up but if a loser wants to rip someone off on public land, the chances of getting caught are still really low...

Author:  pipepusher [ 25 Jan 2013, 13:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

bad-bad deal. :evil:

Author:  NonPCfed [ 29 Jan 2013, 21:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Well, I finally brought home a mink from my efforts (one more check on Thurs. when I pull my line with the mink/weasel season ending). Got this smaller buck mink in a new Bridger 110 I bought last year. I don't know if he was in the hole for a week but that trap had seen no action until today. It wasn't the hottest mink sign I've seen but sometimes patientence wins :)

Image

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It had gotten warmer the past few days with freezing rain/ rain off and on from Sundat AM through last night. Today was in the low 30s and started off sunny this afternoon before a front started to move in. It had gotten warm enough for this sucker to go take a climbing stroll along the rip-rap shoreline of one of the small lakes. First time I've taken a stinker in a 120.

Image

Author:  wolf1199 [ 29 Jan 2013, 21:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Congrats on that fine mink, kind of takes away all those bad moments on the line. Yes patience does win out some times. Im still waiting for my last wolf set to produce one more for the season. I want to pull it and say game over but the other side is saying give it one more chance.

Author:  HappyTrapper [ 29 Jan 2013, 21:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Way to go!

Author:  TrapperAL [ 30 Jan 2013, 10:34 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

nice mink catch NPC and sorry to hear about the theft....jerks! i caught pepe in a 120 last year. he didnt move an inch.

Author:  NonPCfed [ 31 Jan 2013, 21:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

The SD mink/weasel season closed today so I pulled my sets. Probably should have done it on Tuesday and been gas ahead but I wanted to go play in the cold!! Its always amazes me how snow can drift on the leeside of a lake. We got a touch of snow Weds. through Thurs. am but it was enough to bury one mink box so I couldn't find it (and I looked twice). Still need to devise a way to flag a location better without making it stand out like a beacon to every Johnny sneakum.

I was out at my various location for about 2 1/2 hours this afternoon. My car outside temp. ranged between -5F and -8F. The radio kept harping on the windchill that ranged about -25F to -30 F. My town and the local larger city just down the road cancelled school for today yesterday afternoon based on the forecast "Arctic blast". I only really got cold walking straight into the wind and then it was only my face. Its winter in the Northern Plains, deal with it. Unless someone asks me to snare a beaver after the ice goes out, my trapping season is over. I mght try to nail a few more cottontails in the back yard with some 110s. Time to reasses and readjust for this fall. Probably time to go bigger or go home (will have to buld my vacation time up better than I have in the past).
'

Author:  HappyTrapper [ 31 Jan 2013, 22:18 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Sad man....just sad.

Author:  Sniper_7894 [ 31 Jan 2013, 22:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Oh come on now! There is still lots of critters out there to trap. I'm really not looking forward to April 30th, the end of the MN trapping season. I sure have enjoyed your thread!!! Thanks for sharing with us.

Author:  NonPCfed [ 01 Feb 2013, 00:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Nah, don't feel bad for me. I played around longer this season than in the past (saw 3 full moons come and go, off and on!). My plan is to reorganize and actually build and get more gear before the trapping season than trying to make do during the season (I plan to build enough recessed coon cubbie to run 15 160s/220s, another dozen 110s to build some of Westside's mink boxes, and about a dozen weasel boxes--bought a commercial one that I'm going to copy). I learned a lot more about my area by trying some new things and making some landowner contacts. Now I need to get out in July when the farners have nothing to do except cut alfalfa and nail down some more places for next Nov.

Here's the plan I thinking of now (of course its subject to change).

There's no rats to speak of around here (and even if we get good moisture this year, it will take at least a couple of years to build back the pops.) so I might make an October ne SD waterfowl recon to see if I can find some out of the way public land that has rats. Go back for a long weekend the opening of water trapping (first Sat. of Nov., first come, first serve on public land).

Vetterans Day lay out an upland line around here, running coon cubbies in the ditches (I know where I had coon activity) and legholds for whatever on some farm fields. Run that for a couple of weeks before work (may have to take an hour or so off in the mornings to get it done depending on the size of the line). Pull that around Thanksgiving when the coons start denning up more often than not.

Run a weasel line for a couple of weeks around Christmas on the way to work (easy checks). I would like to get some to do some taxidermy projects and if more than a few sell the others.

Then sometime in Jan. (having the long weekend of MLKJr. Day helps) run an expanded snow (or no snow with more mink boxes) mink/weasel line around the lakes I just did.

I'd like to prove it to the wife that I could actually make some money at it instead of just being a money drain hobby (still cheaper than buying a gym membership ;--) !!).

I'll let Happy and Sniper catch more stuff the rest of the winter and early spring!!

Author:  trapperrick [ 01 Feb 2013, 15:17 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Well PC, I got to admit, I never thought that in South Dakota you would have trap theft issues, that's just a shame. Congrats on the 2 species of mink including the black and white one! :lol:

Author:  HappyTrapper [ 01 Feb 2013, 18:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Sounds like a solid plan. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next season. I am already planning next season even though this season isn't over yet!

Author:  Swamp Rat [ 05 Feb 2013, 07:31 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

:x I just hate thief stories!!! :evil: Sorry about your loss Man. I went down to my camp and set 8 traps the first evening. One was one of the Trips-My-Paws modified #3 long springs that Jase had given me in April. I had an extension chain on it and it secured to a tree with a quicklink (tightened well), next morning I see the trap bed disturbed, no sign of a "fight" and the trap G-O-N-E! If it had been on a drag, I'd have wasted a great deal of time combing the area for a trap that either, 1) was slung thru the air and into the woods or 2) was riding in some "sportsman's" vehicle!

Glad you picked up the beautiful mink before the season ended.

Author:  NonPCfed [ 23 Feb 2013, 21:19 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

My bro found out the hard way about a mink's blood lust on his laying hens today. He didn't have his outdoor pen for the chickens "armored up" with hardware cloth or chicken wire. The outdoor pen just had chain link fence around it. The mink came in early this afternoon, got a couple of birds in the outdoor pen and then came into the inside pen through the chicken door that closes at night. The little nasty ended up killing 8 out of 32 laying hens, including 5 pullets that were just starting to lay. Things could have been worse if it would have happened during a work day when he wasn't around. The mink probably would have gotten them all. Bro had the sucker pinned against a corner for a second or so with a rake but the mink snaked free and out the door he split. Bro spent the rest of the afternoon armoring up the entire chicken enclosure. We also have a few "surprises" if minker comes back ;--) !

While I was out there, I checked the 160 cubbie that I have in the corner of his property. Bro had seen something down there a few days back. Its been cold this week but last weekend it had gotten above freezing for a couple of days in a row. Mr. LePew must have decided to check out the "warm" evening air and thought the dozen or so cracked eggs in the cubbie were worth checking out. Bad move for him. 2 grinners and 1 stinker out of this cubbie this winter...

Image

Author:  pipepusher [ 25 Feb 2013, 12:54 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Really glad you got your mink.

Author:  deanchapel [ 25 Feb 2013, 18:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

It's obvious to me when looking at your proposed schedule for next fall that you need to quit your job. It is clearly cutting in on your trapping time!

Author:  Mohawk [ 25 Feb 2013, 20:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

deanchapel wrote:
It's obvious to me when looking at your proposed schedule for next fall that you need to quit your job. It is clearly cutting in on your trapping time!

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Welcome Dean, and I think you hit the nail on the head for all of us on here.

Author:  Richard Murray [ 25 Feb 2013, 20:49 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

NonPCfed wrote:
The SD mink/weasel season closed today so I pulled my sets. Probably should have done it on Tuesday and been gas ahead but I wanted to go play in the cold!! Its always amazes me how snow can drift on the leeside of a lake. We got a touch of snow Weds. through Thurs. am but it was enough to bury one mink box so I couldn't find it (and I looked twice). Still need to devise a way to flag a location better without making it stand out like a beacon to every Johnny sneakum.

I was out at my various location for about 2 1/2 hours this afternoon. My car outside temp. ranged between -5F and -8F. The radio kept harping on the windchill that ranged about -25F to -30 F. My town and the local larger city just down the road cancelled school for today yesterday afternoon based on the forecast "Arctic blast". I only really got cold walking straight into the wind and then it was only my face. Its winter in the Northern Plains, deal with it. Unless someone asks me to snare a beaver after the ice goes out, my trapping season is over. I mght try to nail a few more cottontails in the back yard with some 110s. Time to reasses and readjust for this fall. Probably time to go bigger or go home (will have to buld my vacation time up better than I have in the past).
'

I use a 220 garmin astro. I use it for coonhuntin, but works great for markin sets without anybody knowing. Can walk right to the set in the dark. :wink: :mrgreen:

Author:  NonPCfed [ 26 Feb 2013, 09:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: a bad day on a mink line...

Dean- My work schedule is pretty flexible as long as I get my time in. The biggest issue is running out of vacation hours, so the more I can do in the dark before work, the better. Between time involved in youth activities and outdoor adventures, I bounce along the bottom when it comes to vacation hours. I'll never have the problem of "use or lose" vacation hours when a person builds up the maximum hours and then has to either use it or start losing it (can't build additional hours).

Richard- Good idea about using a GPS. We don't have large areas of cover here so most sets are along break lines between fields, such as fence lines or grassy drainage areas or in the road ditches. There's enough roll in most of the farmland that for sets along fence lines. a guy can usually get out of sight from the road. The largest hurdle is getting permission for private land. Road ditch trapping is tougher to escape trap and catch thefts. Setting up on work days, hiding sets well, and checking in the dark is the best way to keep things from happening. We'll see what happens this fall...

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