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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2007, 22:18 
hi everyone, i introduced myself in the campfire thread, and i have a bunch of question, i am eager to learn to be a good trapper, and i have quesion as i know no one who is a trapper and where im from its a dieing art.

my first question is on my location, i am trapping a fairly small area, i live in a small town by the mississippi river, and i am trapping behind the levee that encloses the river, there is a small patch of woods about 100 to 200 yards deep, and about 400 yards across, i was trapping a deer lease, long story why i am no longer, my first part in the series of questions is this land even worth trapping? it has rabbit holes and what i believe to be a fox hole (big enough to stick my head in) but most of the holes do not seem to be inhabited *ie- leaves in entry to holes that are never removed by the occupants.

i however did catch the tip of a rabbits foot in a #2 duke coil trap in a dirt set in front of a fox hole. at the previous place i was trapping i would catch a rabbit and a coyote would get to it before i could, so i am assuming this happened aswell at my current location

my second question is what type of set to use? the woods are mainly decidouds (sp) and cover the ground with thick leaves so it is difficult to find animal trails, i was setting dirt sets in front of holes that i would find, but with little success

i am mainly trapping for fun/food/personal fur usage, im tryin to trap rabbit for food, and the rest for fur, but at the rate im going, if i had to depend on my traps to feed me, id be very hungry

any help would be GREATLY appreciated
THANKS ALL!


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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2007, 11:11 
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hi gonefishin.

Trapping overland is pretty tough going, especially for a beginner. Your best bet is to get permission somewhere near water. Lots of farmers are happy to have you trap on their land because coons eat corn and chicken eggs and coyote and fox eat chickens. Coons are about a million times easier to nab than predators. I wouldnt recommend trapping rabbits with foothold traps, I'd hunt them or use live traps. They screech and draw in coyotes like nobody's business. Its not impossible that the hole you found is a foxhole, but there are lots of big holes around that are just rabbit warrens or abandoned by some random creature like a groundhog. Red foxes dont den as much as gray fox do either, so if it is a foxhole, its probably a gray fox. A good test is to check to see if anything is using it. Are the leaves that fell into it trod on? Are there spider webs covering it? Put a little stick over it and see if its still there after a few days. It may still be rabbits or groundhog but at least you know its being used, lots of those holes are abandoned.

Another important question is, does this small patch connect to a larger body of woods or is it just a lonely patch? If its a lonely patch you can pretty much count out bobcats, and its less likely to hold fox. Dirthole, flat, and scentpost sets are good for overland predator trapping but you have to be really careful about your smell and the overall appearance of the set, trapping predators is not easy especially overland. You may want to try predator calling if it is legal in your state, we already know the coyotes like a rabbit squeal there.

Predators are creatures of habit, when I do overland trap I like to spend the off season making the sets but with no trap at least once a week, that'll give you a really good opening day. A trail cam or two is really helpful for that type of thing also.


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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2007, 17:45 
thanks ryebear, deafinetly given me some insight

the woods in question run pretty much the entire length of the mississippi river for miles around here, actually last night coming from rabbit hunting we jumped a deer while riding on top of the river levee, and the large hog that is tearing up our deer lease, i caught the tip of a rabbits foot in a #2 duke coil, oddly enough, outside of that large "fox" hole i was referring to

i do notice that some of the holes look like that have not been disturbed, as you said, the leaves have not been moved at the entrance to the holes, but then again, with the breeze that constantly blows off the river, the leaves fall faster than you can imagine, especially this time of year. altho one of my sets by a hole was disturbed and covered with dirt in a big hump, which told me something had been excavating

i will keep vigilant, my momma didnt raise a quiter


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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2007, 19:37 
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hmmm. If you had a set at a dirthole and it had been dug up but not sprung, either you trap is too far from the hole, you're not guiding it over the pan just right, or its a fairly small creature doing the digging like a groundhog or rabbit or something. Are you putting bait or lure in or around the hole and a trap in front of it or just a trap in front of the hole w/no bait or lure? Also, does it look like whatever it was was digging at the hole or at your trap? Can you tell from the claw marks in the ground what sort of animal it was?

Fox are very sly and some bold ones will mess with your trap sets just for fun, they love to play. If your trap has any scent to it, a clever prankster fox will sometimes dig it up and turn it over just to mess with you even if they dont want the bait/lure. If that's the case you're in for some fun. Matching wits for a game of gotcha with a clever old fox is a blast (unless you're trying to make money lol).


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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2007, 21:32 
from what i remember bieng this was about 3 weeks ago, the trap just had more dirt on top of it, i had put a some lettuce on top of the trap and i noticed the lettuce was gone, and upon further inspection i noticed the lettuce was just burried

the trap itself was in the entry way to the hole, im sure it was a rabbit that was digging in the hole because to my knowledge we do not have ground hogs in south louisiana, or atleast around here

biengs a newbie here, im liking this site already, lots of friendly and helpful people


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PostPosted: 26 Dec 2007, 22:06 
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hmmm. it couldve been that the rabbit wasnt hungry or didnt like lettuce, I've never trapped for rabbits, but I had a few pet ones and they seemed to like the leafy tops of carrots and mustard or collard greens better than iceberg. Of course it goes without saying a fox or coyote or cat isnt going to go for lettuce.

It may not have been a rabbit but a coyote or fox or stray dog that smelled something of interest in the hole and pawed at it some.

I would suggest putting the bait past the trap instead of on the pan, an animal would just poke down and grab the bait without setting off the trap. Put the bait just past it so it has to walk over the trap and stand on it to work the bait. Use sticks, rocks or whatever to make sure the easiest route to the bait is over your trap.

Another issue you may have is that a rabbit's foot doesnt really get very wide compared to its leg. Footholds work on the idea that it will lock on an animal's leg and it wont be able to pull out because the trap has closed to the width of its leg, and its foot is much wider than that gap. If you're lucky a #2 may break its neck since rabbits are pretty short, if you're unlucky it will squeeze its foot out or its leg may break and it will panic and jerk it off, lucky rabbit's foot lol. A #2 is a lot of trap for such little bones.

If you dont mind spending a little cash, I'd suggest going with 110 conibears or live rabbit traps if you want rabbits and save those #2's for bigger game. The 110s are good for catching mink and I'm sure they'd work great for rabbit, and the live traps would be more expensive, but would prevent predators and scavengers from checking your traps for you ; )


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PostPosted: 27 Dec 2007, 00:49 
yeah i believe im going to do that tomorrow, at my local feed store they sell 110s for i think 4 or 5 dollars, so ill pick me up some, been thinkin about it for a while now, i think what ill do is get a few 110s and some 220s, believe im going to set the 110s in the entrance way to a well used burrow and use the 220s for bucket sets for coon

wish me luck ryebear


(btw: canned cat food anygood for catching coon? we got too much of it and i want it out of my house)


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PostPosted: 27 Dec 2007, 08:43 
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That sounds like a plan. I'd be careful with those 220s if your cats are outdoors, those conibears dont care what set them off ; ) Coons will eat canned cat food. Coons will eat pretty much anything that wont eat them. If they are hungry they will eat anything you leave around, if they are fairly well fed they may get a little pickier and harder to pull into your sets depending on where you are and the temperature and stuff. Other things that people have used with success that you dont have to buy from trapping supply are: Canned fish, rotten meat, pancake syrup, fruit esp. apples, marshmallows, peanut butter, any kind of pet food dry or not, spaghetti sauce, you get the idea. Coons are really fond of things that are sweet like syrup and marshmallows and most other animals arent, so that can prevent non-target catches for you if you want to go that route (possums and skunks would like canned cat food as well). Coons are also not particularly wary of trapping and they're curious and will check out things that stand out at night, like puffy white mallows or anything shiny, especially younger ones. Coons also often travel in little groups, so its usually a good idea to put a few sets close to each other and you will get several in one spot. Best of luck! Let me know how you do.

P.S. if you get trouble with your rabbits being eaten still, you might try putting the traps in little cubbies, like little above ground tunnels open on both ends made out of sticks and leaves, lots of birds like to eat rabbits and making them less visible from above may help if its birds and not coyotes eating your rabbits.


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PostPosted: 28 Dec 2007, 02:15 
awesome ryebear, your a plethera of knowledge!


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PostPosted: 28 Dec 2007, 23:49 
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Joined: 21 Dec 2007, 15:43
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lol well dont rely on me too much, I make mistakes all the time and learn new stuff all the time , especially from talking to old timers. Another benefit is that the old timers can tell you places they used to have permission to trap, so when you go talk to the same people, "I'm a friend of so-and-so" is a good way to break the ice. Another thing is, I'd always look at the 'location' tag by a poster's name or if you're reading books or internet sources, find out where the author traps. Most of the basic stuff is the same, but at the same time, specific tips that are gold in Montana may not be as productive in different climates. I'm from Tennessee and thats mostly where I've trapped, so things I say may not hold as true for someone in Florida or Pennsylvania. My approach is to always keep your ears open for advice of any type, but weigh advice from locals more heavily, and overall, just try different things and see what works for you.

Check the post "robbed by coon theives, AGAIN!", bigmoo3 describes a coon set in there that I have never heard of, but I love the idea, most definitely going to give it a try next time I'm in a good overland coon location (thanks for posting that by the way bigmoo). Overland coons tend to be bigger than water coons in my experience, they are trapped and hunted less heavily. If it works, great, another one in the arsenal, if not, what have I lost? See what I mean-learn something new everyday.


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PostPosted: 29 Dec 2007, 00:36 
Hey gonefishin' glad to have you here.If you want to go after rabbits and squirrels to eat with 110's this is how my kids do it.They use carrots or apples cut in wedges for bait,they impale it right on the trap trigger.For rabbits they just set them on the woods floor and wire them to a sapling,for squirrels they set them on a downed log and wire them off.Hope this helps some.

Greg


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2008, 03:04 
hey everbody, sorry ive been so long to respond, i have been out of state, thanks for all the tips everybody, especially you mr. conrad, i do believe im going to try that, who know might catch a coon with that setup too!


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