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 Post subject: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 09:14 
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Joined: 01 Feb 2011, 16:45
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I saw on the F&T show & a man said something on this on a post, what is waxed dirt and how do you make this???


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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 11:03 
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We made waxed dirt this year. We made it from bags that contained beaded wax with instructions. We made ours during the summer when it was 100 degrees and could melt the wax and dirt in the sun. But the instructions also say that you can put it in an oven and cook it that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 13:03 
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I made mine by building a 4'x4' tray. On a hot sunny day, I sift the dirt and spread it evenly in the tray about 2 inches or so deep. Then I cover the dirt with poly, same stuff used for a vapor barrier in home construction. I try to keep the poly off the dirt and let the dirt dry in the sun. And I mean bone dry. I stir it often and it dries fast on a hot day. After it is dry, I sprinkle flaked odorless wax over the entire works and recover with the poly. Again, I stir often as the sun melts the wax fast, and again I want the poly off the dirt. After you make a couple trays you can tell at a glance when you have applied the right amount of wax. I forget the ratio but it is something like a pound of wax to two gallons of dirt. What really effects the amount of wax, is how much sand you have in your dirt. Waxed dirt has a wet look to it when complete. Great stuff, and an important material to have available when the freeze sets in. Murphy always seems to come into play when I trap (I know that no one else has this problem...)...The last couple years I have started to get the feeling that I had a feel for the pulse of this on off freeze thing with traps. So, season before last, I used waxed dirt right off from the beginning of the season in every set, and the weather was nice for weeks. I ran out of waxed dirt :evil: This year I decided to wait a couple weeks before I started remaking my locations with waxed dirt, and it seemed like it rained froze thawed over and over from the beginning of the season until the snow flew :evil: :evil: You can give a chimp a typewriter....

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 14:32 
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We made alot of dry dirt years ago by sifting dirt onto scrap plywood etc and letting it sundry to powder. Then sift again and store in plastic lined 30 gallon barrels. Only wax dirt we used was from anthills. We would dig anthills up and treat the dirt pretty much the same as dry dirt. Ants excrete/ cover their anthill diet in a wax. Alot of work to collect but well worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 15:43 
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Joined: 20 May 2010, 16:21
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Location: Kansas
Wax dirt works, but is too much work for my blood. I will stick with peat moss.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 19:33 
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I really didnt think it was that much work. Just one of those chores you do something, then go off and mow the lawn or something and check back every couple hours. It does take some days to build up a decent quantity to last through an entire season.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2014, 21:30 
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TrapperAL wrote:
I really didnt think it was that much work. Just one of those chores you do something, then go off and mow the lawn or something and check back every couple hours. It does take some days to build up a decent quantity to last through an entire season.


That's what I don't like. For us, the amount of dirt we'd have to gather would be lots of work, plus storing all of that dirt. Just much easier to go buy a bale of peat moss. I don't know how the long liners that use waxed dirt do it. The amount of dirt they go through in a season would be rediculous.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014, 11:47 
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Store in clean garbage cans with tight lids out of the weather. You can do that with clean sifted dry dirt as well. I only take about a quart of dirt per set max. It is a pain to first put out, but it isn't any more trouble than hauling anything else on the line. I have yet to use peat moss in any quantity. I just don't like the way a trap beds in peat.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014, 13:17 
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We don't like bedding in peat either. It is squishy and stays that way so it never packs and you can't get the trap solid. To bed the trap we just use the dirt from the bed. Once you get it dug, just rough the bottom of it up to make freed dirt. Put some calcium chloride down and bed the trap. For us, peat is strictly a trap covering.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014, 17:23 
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I have used the calcium chloride several times and had mixed results. It just does not work much below 20 degrees. I also used table salt this season and thought it worked well. Same limitations though. Again, this upcoming season, I will be trying to make sets that are freeze proof first time around, with attention to the weather forecast and I think I will try to incorporate the Farmers Almanac to get a feel for the trend. But when it comes down to it, we can drop to single digits on any given night up here, especially at the beginning of Nov. Any moisture in my sets and I'll assume that set is no good and I'm usually right. I enjoy using the dirt from on sight and feel those are my best looking sets. But when I wake up and see frost, I'm cursing under my breath. Ok, its outloud! I have been burned so many times by this, it really makes me wanna scream. The kicker is those first really cold nights get the best critter movement. I havent been running a line for long, but that really is one of the things that drives me nuts when I'm trapping....critters moved like there's no tomorrow and 90% of my traps are frozen in place. Every year, though, it gets better and I feel more comfortable with what I'm doing and accomplishing. I am still a fan of waxed dirt.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014, 17:45 
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What calcium were you using? As it does make a difference on which you use. The stuff from trapping supplies places is petty much crap. This past winter we got more days under 20-25 degrees than I fan remember in a while and many days in the single digits and below zero temps. I can't really think of when we had traps frozen in this past season. It's been a couple of seasons like this since we switched which calcium we worked with.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014, 18:59 
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Yeah....I remember reading a couple posts, after the fact, that you guys were using driveway salt?

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 05 Mar 2014, 19:21 
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Yeah. It's called driveway heat, its made by prestone I think. Has kept our traps working even in the worst of freezing for us. Use to use the flake crap from the supplies stores, that stuff couldn't keep a set unfroze if it was in the desert during summer.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 17:20 
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I'll give that a try. I also want to try the glycol/water spray and see how that works.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 18:56 
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We tried the glycol and it didn't do crap for us. We tried a 50/50 mix if I remember right. Idk, maybe it takes more glycol, but idk how well it will spray then. Thinking about it now though, any time you mix water, even with a sugar derivative it isn't going to change the freezing point of water much. At least it didn't seem to for us.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 21:18 
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Joined: 25 Dec 2012, 16:59
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Location: NW PA
cat-man-jr wrote:
Yeah. It's called driveway heat, its made by prestone I think. Has kept our traps working even in the worst of freezing for us. Use to use the flake crap from the supplies stores, that stuff couldn't keep a set unfroze if it was in the desert during summer.


How much problem do you have with your traps rusting after you make a catch? Do you boil and wax or dip? I boil and wax myself, I have always worried about excessive corrosion from the salt after the wax wears off. How do you combat that, or am I worrying over nothing?


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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 21:33 
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We dye and wax also. After the first catch most of the wax comes off so it doesn't protect after that. We don't worry about it. At the end of season our traps are normally a little rusty but not bad by any means. On the traps that are several years old they seem to get mainly surface rust. We have some 650's that are going on two seasons now of calcium use and they still are not fully rusted to where they will take a good dyeing. Now rock salt, that will eat a trap up. Calcium isnt very hard on a trap. It will normally cause enough rust to take a good dye the next season, or at least that has been what has happened for us.

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2014, 22:21 
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cat-man-jr wrote:
We tried the glycol and it didn't do crap for us. We tried a 50/50 mix if I remember right. Idk, maybe it takes more glycol, but idk how well it will spray then. Thinking about it now though, any time you mix water, even with a sugar derivative it isn't going to change the freezing point of water much. At least it didn't seem to for us.



Figured if nothing else I could use it for bait/urine anti freeze. I'll try that drive way stuff next year also. Gotta try it all!

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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2014, 17:25 
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Joined: 25 Dec 2012, 16:59
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Location: NW PA
TrapperAL wrote:
cat-man-jr wrote:
We tried the glycol and it didn't do crap for us. We tried a 50/50 mix if I remember right. Idk, maybe it takes more glycol, but idk how well it will spray then. Thinking about it now though, any time you mix water, even with a sugar derivative it isn't going to change the freezing point of water much. At least it didn't seem to for us.



Figured if nothing else I could use it for bait/urine anti freeze. I'll try that drive way stuff next year also. Gotta try it all!



Al -- I have had great luck with propylene glycol when temps ranged from single digits for lows and low 20's for highs. I mix it about 50-60% or more, I have had no problems with spraying it. However, you do need to saturate the dirt to get its full effect, if you don't you are just diluting the glycol and lessening its anti-freezing properties, just like using driveway heat vs. the flake calcium chloride you just can't dilute it too much and expect it to work. Propylene glycol is in non-toxic anti-freezes and I believe it is usually mixed in about a 60% solution.

The last time I bought RV antifreeze to winterize my sprayer, I believe the label stated it would protect to something like -20F. I have no idea if it would be that effective in dirt.

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Question on dirt
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2014, 18:51 
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It does help. Thank you Browning!

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