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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 22:28 
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A couple of WAT members were asking what step down I use, so here it is. It is a Charlie Robbins step down. Most step downs are a straight step down with the trap laying flat. The Charlie Robbins is where the trap is on a slant when set. About 20 degrees or about that. I like to use it at erosion slips or at elevated spot the best, but does work just fine in flat ground also. There is no need to find backing for this set. They have to come from the front side to work it. This step down will work with any kind of a hole and different styles. I use the horizontal hole. I don't like a vertical hole. Rain, snow and ect. can fill it up and you are out of business. With a hole straight back it is in full operation at all times. I will try to explain this the best I can with the pics.
Where the hammer is I will make the set. Notice the elevation.
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I start out by digging a notch 3" wide and can be wider, but no wider than your trap jaws. Dig it back about 8" to 10". The bottom will be about 8" deep for the trap bed and bring it back about 12" tapering up to ground level.
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The hammer in the pic is for a guage so you can have an idea of how far back the notch is.
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In this pic you can see how the trap jaws are touching the walls of the trench. Very important. If you do get it to wide there is ways to fix it though. So no need to worry. I will explain that later.
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Another angle of trap in the bed. No wider than the trap jaws.
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Now for the hole in the back of the notch. A 6" to 8" holes is all that is necessary. Can be deeper though. With the notch being 8" to 10" deep and the hole is 6 to 8, that puts the bait 16 to 18" away from the yotes nose. He can in no way get a free meal with out going over the trap.
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The trap bed in the trench should be just on the outside of the notch. Drive in stake.
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Put enough dirt back into the trench for trap bed and so the trap is at proper angle. About 20 degrees. Does not have to be perfect. It's not rocket science.
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This is when I add my first layer of antifreeze.
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Put trap to bed.
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Another layer of antifreeze and pan cover.
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Dirt over trap.
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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 22:45 
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Very very similar to Leggetts inclined step down. Ive always used their deep step down, but they said they started with the deep one then went to the inclined step down. Said they never seen any changes in catch ratio between the two but the inclined was so much easier to make they went to it almost exclusively. It caught them thousands and thousands of fox and im being literal. Nice pictorial Rich well done.

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 22:49 
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More pics.
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When I cover the trap is use about 3\4" to 1" of dirt and leave a low spot on the pan and the dirt on the edges where the jaws meet the walls of the trench the dirt is high. This helps to guide the foot to the pan. Pan tension is 4 to 4 1\2lbs. This set does take a little time to make, but by digging them before season saves a lot of time. After doing a few it goes pretty quick. Not as difficult as it looks. Very effective though. If the trench is wider than the trap jaws, just make sure the dog side of the trap is tight against the wall. On the loose side jaw place a couple small sticks vertical up against the jaw sticking up about an 1" or 2". This will keep him from stepping out of the kill zone. Hope this helps and I think I covered it the best I could. Any questions, just ask away. :wink:

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 23:01 
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Very cool!!! When I first thought about saw it for some reason I thought the trap was on the deep side of the trench. Had to have one of "ah- ha" moments.

I wonder what the feds and state guys would think cutting these in on WPAs and GPAs say during dove season and having them ready for the winter?? We have thousands of public acres in my county that are mostly grassy "pastures" (grazed occasionally with lots of sloped opportunities), sloughs, and lakes that are open to trapping. Downside is that they get a lot use during the bird seasons. But after the first week of Jan., almost no one is one them. This may be my season next year :D :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 23:01 
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Amak wrote:
Very very similar to Leggetts inclined step down. Ive always used their deep step down, but they said they started with the deep one then went to the inclined step down. Said they never seen any changes in catch ratio between the two but the inclined was so much easier to make they went to it almost exclusively. It caught them thousands and thousands of fox and im being literal. Nice pictorial Rich well done.

Yes, I remember you and Russ used Leggetts deep step down and I'm sure is is very effective also. Step downs are dynamite, period.lol. The thing I like about the notch is that I believe it helps keep the critter lined up instead of working at angles like they usually do with other sets. Critters working at angles like they do is why I love walk throughs at my flat sets. I will set no other way brother. Also with them step downs and the right pan tension, it is a good hit every time. This step down is the one I caught the cat. That bridger engulfed that foot on that cat as you seen. 8) :--D

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 23:15 
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One more thing I forgot to mention that is the most important. With the trap being on a slant, the bedding has to be solid, solid, solid and so does the entry of the trench. If that trap moves being on a slant like that the show is over. THE ONLY SOFT SPOT IS INSIDE THE JAWS and that is it. :wink:

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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2014, 23:29 
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NonPCfed wrote:
Very cool!!! When I first thought about saw it for some reason I thought the trap was on the deep side of the trench. Had to have one of "ah- ha" moments.

I wonder what the feds and state guys would think cutting these in on WPAs and GPAs say during dove season and having them ready for the winter?? We have thousands of public acres in my county that are mostly grassy "pastures" (grazed occasionally with lots of sloped opportunities), sloughs, and lakes that are open to trapping. Downside is that they get a lot use during the bird seasons. But after the first week of Jan., almost no one is one them. This may be my season next year :D :mrgreen:

I would cut them in and have them ready. It will save you a ton of time R. For example, if a man has 50 traps it would be wise to dig 150 holes. 3 holes per trap. Reason I say this, in my area, yotes hate catch circles left from other yotes, but not so if left by other critters. So about 2 to 3 holes for every location is wise. This way after a catch I can pull and move it to the next hole. Now if there is not much a catch circle I will leave it put. I know that sounds wierd, but that is something I have noticed and I roll with it. I kinda enjoyed doing this tutorial. I think we need more of this just to see how every body works their line. :wink:

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014, 06:39 
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That is neat Richard! I like to use the Leggett version of the step down set. The set you have pics of looks like it would be effective as well but it has just a bit too much eye appeal to "Johnny Sneakum" as well.

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014, 17:41 
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Thanks for posting this. It is very well done.

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014, 19:07 
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trapperrick wrote:
but it has just a bit too much eye appeal to "Johnny Sneakum" as well.

Like all sets, we must use common sense of where we plant a set and how. That extra eye appeal may be what it takes to place a paw on a pan if the wind is wrong or if the animal is a bit far off or what ever mother nature throws at you. It only puts the odds in your favor and I sleep better at night. I like seeing fur on my boards. :wink:

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PostPosted: 23 Nov 2014, 21:04 
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Richard you have taught me a few things with your set up. Very impressive I must say. your ability to adapt and learn is outstanding. No doubt you will have many years on here to forward your much needed info onto so many others. You might have to come visit me next fall and give me some new ideas. Anyway just outstanding step by step pics. Of course we will be dealing with the white stuff a tad.


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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014, 08:58 
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Excellent post Richard! Learned a new set to try out. :--D

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014, 09:58 
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thats a awesome set man, thanks for doing this.. it showed me a few key things i have been doing wrong and why i have had some misses. i do have a few questions...

1, what bait and lure are you using and can you explain how you use it to me like i'm a dummy lol

2, i pulled traps from 1 of my places yesterday and i set off my #3 with a stick, i had the pan tension set at about 4.5# like you said but i had to push the pan hard, and i mean hard to fire the trap. i know that a coyote could have stud on the pan and it would have not gone off... i used poly fill under the pan, but i did not use anti freeze, could that have been my problem?

3, what do you use for anti freeze? could i just use sidewalk salt?

Again Richard you are the man, thanks again!!!

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2014, 10:00 
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never mind just read the other post, driveway heat, i will pick some up lol

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2014/15
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19 coon
2 coyote (1 give by bowhunter, 1 road kill)
7 skunk (7 to many)
4 opossum


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2014, 10:11 
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wolf1199 wrote:
Richard you have taught me a few things with your set up. Very impressive I must say. your ability to adapt and learn is outstanding. No doubt you will have many years on here to forward your much needed info onto so many others. You might have to come visit me next fall and give me some new ideas. Anyway just outstanding step by step pics. Of course we will be dealing with the white stuff a tad.

Thanks for the kind words Wolf! Like Amak has said in the past, if a man wants to learn something bad enough, all he has to do is dig. Sometimes that info is not in the most likely places. It pays to think outside the box at times. I must say, spending some time with you on your line, that would be a honor and way above cool. :shock: A trip like that for me would rank as one of the best for me. Spending time in the Canadian bush has bee a life long dream for me, litterally. Giving you ideas, I don't know about that, I have a long ways to go yet. It would be more like you teaching me.lol. Told the wife about going to your place and she said we will see how income tax money goes. It just may be possible. Will have to figure out the cost. I can't stop thinking about it now. It's like a virus running through me and has taken hold. I don't mind the white stuff either. If an old longhorn can do it I think this jayhawker can to.lol. Sorry Swamp could not resist. :lol: :P

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2014, 18:54 
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Good looking set Richard. Who is Charlie Robbins?


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2014, 00:43 
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Thanks for the pictorial on the step down set Richard. It makes much more sense now. Looks like it is a good set on your lines.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 10:17 
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Very interesting about the comment on circle shy coyotes. I have heard this many times from guys around the country. The coyotes where I live are not circle shy. For example I have caught three coyotes just this week in the same trap, same set in the circle.

I find this topic very interesting and could be a whole different thread.


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 11:22 
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I wish I could could figure out an answer for that myself Sac. It's wierd to me that some places it works and other it don't. Now like for other animals I catch they will enter a catch circle, but if its a yote they wont. Now on the other hand, in certain situations where there is not a catch cirle or the appearance of one I can catch several. Like last year I had a trail set just the way the terrain was laying there was not that circle and I caught 3 on it. That is the only location that has been like that. Now it just a habit for me to pull and move the set about 30 paces or so and then I am good to go. I know a few more yotes trappers that has the same problem. This pulling sets and moving them is a lot of extra work to.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 12:00 
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Whats funny is, I have experianced it both ways. I've had them bulk at catch circles from other yotes, and I have had them waltz right into a fresh catch circle. Definately a mystery with them. I always have thought some yotes were just more sensitive then others and attributed it to that....but that is just to appease my brain to be able to hook their actions onto some idea. I have no proofs of anykind to suppots that...just a whim.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 14:31 
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I have had an idea about these shy yotes, but it is just an idea. Give me a little time to figure how to word it without it being confusing. May have to consult with Amak over the phone and have him post it, since he is very good at wording and explaining, I am not. :(

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 18:07 
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What I see in my area on circle shyness is:

In the fall and early winter I catch a lot of pups that are still running together. I catch one pup in a set and I guarantee you if I go back with the same trap in the circle I will catch more of the same family group. If I catch the female (what I am thinking is Momma to the pups I still go back in with the same set. ONLY if I catch an old male will I suspicion I better throw in another set close by. I feel that even if this old dog coyote is the pups sire, they are still wary of him because here about the end of December he won't allow his pups to be around any longer and will run them off.

I have rarely seen a pup or young coyote that is circle shy. But I have seen a few time an older male or female that will be wary, can't say for sure they are completely circle shy but will take them 20-30 feet away in a subtle flat set. I sometimes will catch an old male or female and then notice that their mate won't commit to the set. Anymore when I take one and I am thinking the mate will be back I will move just off circle and use a tuft of hair plucked from around the caught coyotes anus. Most of the time the set is as simple as just a 6" deep stake hole with the tuft of hair in it and very well blended trap. Here again I am not convinced the coyote would be circle shy but one rule of thumb I always go by is never force a coyote.

Hope this makes sense. I'm like Richard and not too good with words.


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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 20:13 
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It makes good sense Jeff. I enjoyed that post and I can reflect back on some of the incidences that I can remember well. Some shy and some not shy,,,,,, and they match up to what you are saying. I cant remember all of the catches of both ways I know, and so dont know if they mostly match or not...but for the ones I do for sure remember.... what you are saying sure matches every one of them.

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PostPosted: 28 Nov 2014, 21:22 
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Jeff and Amak, I believe we are on the same line of thinking. I believe it starts with the Alpha's and or the breeding pairs. Many times I also get chewed up yotes and have had a femaled killed two years ago in the trap. A trapper I know believes this is from the Alpha wanting the traped yote to move on and he will bite and pull them to get them to do so and at times resulting in death. At times I find many bite holes in the pelt when fleshed and some have a great deal. If I remember right I sent Amak some pics last year of this. My wife did a lot of sewing on these pelts from this and some of this damage is great and it's always on the rear flanks. The ones I have done this year has had no damage, but I also started trapping them after the first week of December last year. This year I started making sets Nov. 12th. This is a good topic. :wink:

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PostPosted: 29 Nov 2014, 14:46 
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Sac Creek wrote:
Very interesting about the comment on circle shy coyotes. I have heard this many times from guys around the country. The coyotes where I live are not circle shy. For example I have caught three coyotes just this week in the same trap, same set in the circle.

I find this topic very interesting and could be a whole different thread.
I caught yote #4 in the same set this morning. I don't think I have ever done that before if memory serves. 6 checks and 4 coyotes in a single set.


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