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 Post subject: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 12:11 
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After seeing some of you guys catching 5 or 10 yotes a day, it got me wondering. What are some your guy's catch to trap ratio on predators? (That's number of catches divided by traps set) I think it will be a neat way to gauge our success and commitment. Right now I'm 33% with two yotes in 6 traps. Please share.

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 14:36 
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Interesting question ILG22. I htink there are several different ways a guy can look at it (and don't use me as an example for any of it). There is the "best day check" and then there is a sustained mean (average) across time. And I suspect there can (and rightly so) be a big difference between the two.

Otutside of muskrats, which for short runs can yeild very high success (up to 50% or more depending on how the size of the line), I suspect that for the main target animals: coon, the k-9s, the mustelides, cats, that if a person averaged 10-20% per check for the season, that would be very good. I may be totally wrong but as you go up the critter food chain (and most of the top animals are predators) that are just fewer of them across the landscape. Your 33% catch on the yotes is great but how long can it be sustained?? What's your mean for a month of having 6 yote sets in the ground?? Not trying to slam ya in any way but I think it needs to be compared to a sports season of some sort (did ya bat .333 for a month or for the whole 162-game season??). It will be neat to hear what other people think :)

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 15:15 
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Nonpc has hit on some very key issues there and I agree 100%. Not only the things he stated must be considered, but regional animal density, as well as how accessable the targets are, also plays a huge part of the percentage make up. For example, take the State of Penn and compare it to the State of Tx for Bobcats. Because Penn has so much more area that is not prime habitat the cat must travel long distances for food which means very large home ranges. That being the case, naturally the States overall cat pops are going to be lower. However, with scrub oak and heavy bushy cover over great expanses of Tx, make it one of the highest cat population densities in the US, shared with California. Penn may only have .2 bobcat per sq mile as compared to Tx may well be 2.0 per sq mile. So a trapper in Penn will naturally have a harder time putting cats in the steel and will cover alot more ground with a lot more traps to catch one, statistically speaking, then a Tx trapper would. So its not only animal type but also densities we must consider. I normally land between 30-40% over a 2 week period for coons and catch 100 +\- in that 2 weeks.... which should not be compared to North Dakota, or Idaho, where winter lays the coons up so quickly, on top of say in Idaho, a trapper may be doing quite well to catch one or two coons all season when you consider both the very low density and short term accessability.

Considering all that, even local pops can make a huge difference in the same way. 2 miles away may be all but void of coon, but if that is all a person has then you make due.

I do understand your desire to help gauge your own personal success. Percentages help to do that only in a minor way because of variables. What is more valuable to remember and to consider is the question to ones self...."can/should I be catching more then I am". There is a lot a person can do to finely hone the system to become more efficient. That question has taken many trappers to new levels. Only you can know that answer in you own heart.

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 15:32 
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I understand what you both are saying. I guess I should have been more specific in my post. I was talking about overall in a season. And although density plays a part. You have to consider that someone living in an area with a low bobcat population isn't going to throw a dozen traps out to try to catch one unless there is substantial sign. So rather than measuring a trappers success, a catch to trap ratio is a better measurement of a trappers efficiency. Does that make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 18:46 
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Well.....i guess thats kind of what im addressing. See, in theory, in the lower density situation, a trapper will need to either put out a handful of traps on sign and wait an unbearable amount of time, or to put out a crap load of sets in an extensive path of the very animal he is targeting. In both instances the efficiency percent goes down the drain compared to the high density situation. One is because of time, one is because of the large number of traps it takes to get one animal. In low density, its not likely a different animal will wonder acrossed the trap so concentrating on a specific animal is often the only thing to do. In theory, it takes much less time and trap numbers to score in a high density spot where for instance the cats home range is only 1/2 mile. You can only put so many traps in good locations in a half mile square. Now think about how long it would take a cat that has a 25 mile home range. Now you are waiting much longer, and/or using many more traps to cover that 25 mile range in hopes of picking the cat up before the end of season. Its likely the 1/2 mile cat will cover its whole range a dozen times before the low density cat makes it just once around....so there are many more chances at the high density cat. So if we use but one single trap in both instances, the low density trapper gets one cat for one trap for the whole season. On the other hand, the high density trapper takes that one trap and in the same amount of time catches 7 cats all season because they visit the trap much much quicker.. The high density trapper looks like the more effecient trapper, but in essense both caught every bobcat that came across that pan. While the percentage figure doesnt lie, consideration must be given that the low density trapper only had one cat to even trap as a possibility. If i was in low densities, id put out a ton of traps to catch a single animal...where as in high density id take that same amount of traps and spread them out to 10 different cats....making my chances sky rocket when compared and all are trapped in less amount of time then the low density situation. My time would decrease on waiting for a catch because of small home range, and im likely to catch multiple cats in the same time frame. Yes it is more efficient, but some trappers just dont have the same kind of situation of densities and will likely never be as efficient no matter how good they are unless they move on.

This is all provided all else is equal. So the low density trapper is likely to never be able to appear as efficient as the high density trapper at the end of season even with the same amount of traps, even though both may know their game equally.

Maybe I still dont understand what you are getting at, but i dont know how a person could seperate figuring efficiency % and circumstances of individuals.

I have always thought a 30-35% success rate is doing very well under average circumstances, if that helps any.

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Last edited by Amak on 23 Dec 2014, 19:24, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 19:06 
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If I didn't catch anything it wouldn't be fun except being outside and away from the office.

If I caught something in every set every time, it wouldn't probably be fun after a while (probably fairly quickly in my slownest of skiining and finishing).

Its the unknown of when the clinking of chain against other metal will be heard or the first sight of fur rounding a corner that keeps it interesting :)

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 20:01 
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If I could maintain a 30% ratio on coyotes I would quit my job. :D :D :D
I did have a first this year. I caught 4 coyotes out of the same trap in 6 checks. I had never done that before.


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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 22:02 
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Sac Creek wrote:
If I could maintain a 30% ratio on coyotes I would quit my job. :D :D :D
I did have a first this year. I caught 4 coyotes out of the same trap in 6 checks. I had never done that before.


That's as good as Wolf catching 2 otter in the same trap in one day! :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 22:19 
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Just think J, if a guy was retired and could trap yotes across multiple states all fall and winter long. I bought a book by Grawe 3 decades ago and I think he had done that because he had pixs of yotes from different geographical regions. Probably can’t do that as easily as he did back in the late 1970s.

For a guy in my position, supposedly it’s advantageous to retire just into the first week or so of the new year. That first most of January “off” I’ll probably have to take the wifey (if we’re still both around and in good shape) on an extended trip to someplace warm. But that second January “off” I plan to work out some sort of deal with a couple of small town West River motels for weekly rates and go after bcats and yotes up in the forested buttes of Harding County or down in the Badlands and/or the southern Black Hills for a month or six weeks. I might not make any money but it sure would be a blast!!!

Here’s yote story that I’ve told before but probably it’s been a while and some of the new guys might appreciate it. I basically have a “hex” (don’t really believe in such crap but it’s actually seem to fit here) when it comes to coyotes. For all the time I’ve spent in the outdoors of SD I’ve actually shot or trapped very few, always have the wrong gun or situation or whatever. Someday I hope the dam will break but one of the first times I shot at one I scored.

I think it was the winter of 80/81 and I was a senior in high school. We had gone down to my uncle’s and cousin’s place where their pastures work down into a fairly hilly drainages of the lower James River. We were trying to call yotes and I don’t know if this one was responding (I wasn’t calling) or just happened to be around but I lucked out and hit it on the first shot (about 100 yards) right in front of the ear with the first .308 I owned, shooting a 110-grain hp (I don’t think I was actually aiming for the head but that’s where it hit). Nothing spectacular female about 20-25 lbs. but had this dream shot for no damage.

At the time Sioux Falls still had a fur buyer so my buddy (who would later double cross me on a gun deal a year or so later) and I took it in. Old man Tucker (?) looks the yote over, shakes his head, and says, “The best I can do is $40”. Well, to a naïve high school yote hunter that was pretty sweet (better than it would bring today on the round) so I was pretty tickled. Too bad it went to help bail out “buddy” for the traffic ticket that had gone nearly to warrant :( but a person lives and learns through experiences, the good and the bad…

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 22:28 
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I have no traps out. Just 5 snares. So far, I have caught 3 foxes , a coyote, a grinner, and a skunk. That means I'm over 100 % !!! Man am I good !
Until you consider my snares have been set for almost 2 months. :shock: :--o

Now it doesn't seem so good. My monthly average sucks. Guess I better not quit my day job. :cry: :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 23 Dec 2014, 22:29 
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It would be interesting to see a stinker in a snare!

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2014, 06:38 
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doc9013 wrote:
I have no traps out. Just 5 snares. So far, I have caught 3 foxes , a coyote, a grinner, and a skunk. That means I'm over 100 % !!! Man am I good !
Until you consider my snares have been set for almost 2 months. :shock: :--o

Now it doesn't seem so good. My monthly average sucks. Guess I better not quit my day job. :cry: :oops:



Doc, its a perfect example of what im posting about above. You are very skilled at setting obviously....but numbers of sets and numbers of animals are limited for you for whatever reason. Right now im the same way...on a very limited line for my own reasons. I used certain examples to bring the point, but it can be said for all animals and instance circumstances. Thanks for posting doc

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2014, 09:37 
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Amak wrote:
doc9013 wrote:
I have no traps out. Just 5 snares. So far, I have caught 3 foxes , a coyote, a grinner, and a skunk. That means I'm over 100 % !!! Man am I good !
Until you consider my snares have been set for almost 2 months. :shock: :--o

Now it doesn't seem so good. My monthly average sucks. Guess I better not quit my day job. :cry: :oops:



Doc, its a perfect example of what im posting about above. You are very skilled at setting obviously....but numbers of sets and numbers of animals are limited for you for whatever reason. Right now im the same way...on a very limited line for my own reasons. I used certain examples to bring the point, but it can be said for all animals and instance circumstances. Thanks for posting doc


Thanks Amak. Not sure how skilled I am, I just set on sign and let the snares do the work. You are right , my 2 major limiting factors are time and energy ( yes, I'm lazy ) . I used to drive 1/2 hour one way to a friend's farm to trap. Don't have the time or energy to do that now. I could put out lots more snares and traps and probably catch more, but I'm not sure even then my monthly averages per trap would go up that much. My snares are within spitting distance of my house. They are in a good travel corridor. I know I will not put up big numbers trapping such a small area , but I know I will always catch something. Did I mention I'm having fun ?
Nonpc , the skunk was a hip catch in a snare I set for fox. Didn't take a pic, but if it happens again I will.

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 Post subject: Re: Trap/Catch Ratio
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2014, 17:49 
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I've had about 15 cat snares out almost 2 weeks, nothing. Yesterday I set 6 snares out and had a nice Tom in 1 of them. I'm not setting sign, just funnels and pinch points. I took this tom out of a spot I took 1 last year, and all along I kept feeling like I was missing something. Yesterday I saw what it was, set it and connected. I never expect a 1 nite turn around, ever. When I set for cats, I'm looking at waiting a min. of 2 weeks, BUT, when I make a set I am looking to catch 100% of the cats that come through them. :lol: I got 2 dp's out too, on sign, hoping to get a few more out in the coming days along with more cat sets in different areas.

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