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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2015, 14:45 
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No, this one was made in the SD State Pen. They sell to other gov agencies and wildlife NGOs mostly. I got this through a secondary market. Big sucker. I couldn't fit 2 in the back seat of my 4-door Regal.

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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2015, 21:57 
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That's cool! Maybe our governer should put the inmates to work building coon traps! He's trying to scrounge a few bucks to offset a heck of a shortfall. :lol: I was just thinking today, there is no reason them suckers can't work for a livin and earn some of that $40,000/yr/inmate cost! Here is the answer! Sorry R., I'll descend from my soap box.

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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2015, 22:51 
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No soap box Mohawk. Work 'em good everyday. The more tired they are the less trouble they'll probably get into inside the walls. And 2, maybe they'll actually learn some work ethic (most criminals struggle with that) and something they can do on the outside.

My friend Ry has a smaller live trap and had it at one of their farm places where he caught a nice one on Christmas Eve. He moved it to the place where the folks actually live and caught another one probably the same night I caught the last one at the hay farm. So today he handed me this frozen mostly square loaf of the plastic bag that held a 10 pounder or so. That should thaw out nicely :mrgreen:

We'll take 'em by any legal means...

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PostPosted: 18 Feb 2015, 23:10 
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Nice catches PC. Are most of'em still in good shape there?

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 08:58 
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-9 F on the deck this morning so probably about zero in the garage as I worked on fleshing the boar coon that I shot under the little building at Thor's a while back. Lots of bullet holes (solid .22) :(. I recovered 2 slugs including one that appears that went sideways up the back under the skin (maybe nicked the building first) without deforming. T will like that for his collection. I had my little space heater at my feet behind me and I could also bend down and warm the hands up (I use vinyl exam gloves and that's all) every once an while. Interesting to watch the hide start to refreeze on the pvc beam as I work it, got to be more careful when it starts to pucker up so not to cut it. Got through it without adding any more holes. Maybe next year I'll have a better portable heater in the garage :mrgreen: !! Now I've probably warmed my toes and fingers up enough to go jump in the shower and get ready for work. So it goes...

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Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 13:15 
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Another coon (probably 13-14 lb. size) in the cage trap in the hay barn but I forgot my camera today. Funny how that cage sat baited & ready for nearly 2 weeks through several thaws without any action but then 2 coon in about 4 nights with no days above freezing. Go figure...

P.S. Backwoodsman asked how the quality of the critters was still doing. I thought this one day might be showing some rubs but when I brushed the fur back into place, it seemed about normal. But I'm not a auction house grader so we'll see how it goes. I do think that latitude and how weather patterns cross the CONUS does make a difference. I'm about 44 degrees north, Back's old home area is at about 40 degrees north but probably has even a bit more moderate winter than mine due to central-southern IL is more in the way of southern loops in the jet stream that bring up Gulf air than I do. Amak is at about 39 degrees north and also a bit closer to southwestern or Gulf air masses than me. So, I don't think our coon move around as much as coon in more moderate winter areas. Boars on the move more and meeting up with others may hasten the demise of better quality fur. At least that's my hypothesis. We'll see how it holds up when these current critters get graded for the June NAFA sale...

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Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 17:56 
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You are doing awesome on those old big farm coons NonPC!

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 18:05 
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Id say your probably right on PC. We're quite a bit further south plus we do have much milder winters, generally. I know from spending time in michigan etc and friends and family up that way that once their coon den up they rarely come out and move very far. Ours rarely move once the day time highs hold about 30 or lower. Only trappin frozen waterways for beaver and otter now but havent seen a coon track anywhere in 2+ weeks. Badger season still open there? Id like to have added a few more to our catch. With 3 licenses our limit is 9. Market must be up a little on them as our country buyer really jumped on a few of ours.

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 19:07 
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Back- Badgers in SD, along with most other land furbearers, don't have a season in South Dakota. Interesting to hear about the eyes lighting up by the buyers about your diggers. Last year was the first I sent one to auction and the lots seemed to go from hot to cold in a hurry. I think mine was in about lot #11 or so, started at $15 and closed at $21. I probably wouldn't want to get less than a Jackson for the work of putting them up.

I never planted a leg hold this season but if diggers were worth it, I put some out in the road ditches or fields if I had permission when I saw fresh digs as they tend to prime up late. They often return to their digs but it may take a while. Badgers are a prairie critter that seems to have adapted to heavy cropland use, at least around here (maybe we had a lot more to start with). I think they're satisfied with denning in grassy road ditches and of course a pasture or a hay field. I think every section around here probably has one or two. Whole different ballgame when it comes to jackrabbits. Used to see a good number when I was young but for the past 25-30 years, they are few and far between. Because they don't generate a lot of revenue for the game department or are cute like some tweety birds that the tree huggers like, no one has spent any research $$ on why the decline. Now, if the white-tailed jack ever started heading towards the T&E list, you would see a flurry of research money heading its way. Sort of what is happening with the Sage grouse right now. The BLM is deathly scared of it ending up on the list and are frantically trying to head the situation off at the pass...

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Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 20:22 
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Our rabbits are in decline too. The bigger swamp rabbit was protected(like a cottontail on steroids) but DNR says theyre extinct now. Except for the size and wider feet they were hard to distinguish from common cottontails. Zach had 5 badgers S&D the buyer offered $37 for the smallest( it was very pretty and i debated on buying it from Zach in the round and having it mounted), $21 for another but the offers went bad fast on the last 3,$9, $6 and $4. Zach sold the top 3. Other 2 are going to auction. We had a lot of badgers at one time. The season was closed for decades but now there seems to be a lot of'em in the prairie/row crop areas in the north zone. We're allowed 2 in the north zone and one in the south zone per license/trapper. Last few years majority of ours were caught in conibears trail sets meant for coon etc. we have a heckno a time holding them in footholds. With the other critters we have to set compromise footholds, 1,5's, 1.75s/1 3/4s...not uber digger traps.

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 21:27 
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I've never had much of a problem holding a badger. They certainly make it look like a mortar shell went off but with a deep stake and a #3 CS, they're still sitting there. My standard flat set has been (although I plan to mix it up more next year maybe to cover more k-9 ground) 2 traps, with a #3 CS on the right side and a 1.75 CS slightly off-set on the left. Can't remember why I started that it like that, goes back a long way. I think most of my diggers have been in the #3 or in both. No toe catches that I can remember. Its a good all purpose land based set and will take fox, coon, skunk, possums, pheasants ( :--o ), but surprisingly the yotes don't seem to like it. Probably doing several things wrong. Next year things will be different...

P.S. I think I'm going to pay Professor Fish a visit sometime when he's not busy with the farm and he's going to show me a few of his yote getting tricks :wink:

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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2015, 23:13 
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Couple years ago we lost 4 or 5 diggers in a row out of 1.5s and 1.75s where they drug the drag into brush and wrapped the whole mess up and just popped out of the trap. They do make a mess of things.

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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2015, 22:11 
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I love catching badgers... They always make me laugh bc they really make a mess and get in the craziest predicaments.....iv never had a problem holding them either they seem to be very heavy footed and get very deep into the trap most times....I don't know if a guy can ever get into real big numbers of um bc they seem to be very random I'm not saying they are hard to catch but they seem to wander dig a hole stay a night and move they are harder to predict then other animals we trap. Pasture and hay feilds and dugouts are great, my favorite spots are corners of corn feilds dec-feb I donno why but they work well for me...


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2015, 14:12 
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I'm doing one more week of my coon sets at the 2 farmsteads. I was too busy this weekend to pull them. I have at least one dp wise coon at Thor's that can take the corn cob out of the trap and then pick it clean of fish food keeble & mini marshmallows without setting off the trap, usually without over tipping the trap. I need a bait that won't overly freeze up because we're dealing with mostly below-freezing temps but may not be easy to grab with a toe or two. I've tried fruit flavored jello powder but that doesn't seem like a winner all by itself. I'm thinking about mixing a very small amount of molasses w/ the jello powder to make smaller "balls" that might take more committing the their toes enough to trigger the lever. Monday is supposed to be a nice day and then the rest of the week cold again.

At the hay farm, mice (I'm presuming) have taken all the mini-marshmallows out of the cage through the holes in the wire. I'm going to mix up a bag full of fish keeble w/added fish oil and leave it in the partially open ziploc sandwich bag. That seems to slow down the vermin poaching of the bait. Or maybe I'll make some peanut butter "dough" balls and roll them around in the fish keeble. The squekers can't pull those balls through the wire and probably can't eat them as fast as the mellows

Anyway other suggestions are welcome!!

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Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2015, 22:52 
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Decent day on Monday (mid-to-high 20s) and really nice yesterday (upper 30s). The battle of wits between a cooner at Thor's continues. It has cleaned out the dp under the hay wagon outside in the yard several times. I thought I might trip it up by using little molasses & flavored jello powder "balls" that crumble more easily than the fish food keeble and smaller than the mini mellows. Pushed the corn cob down harder yesterday and today rewarded with the trap fired off but not pulled out from the ground. I left it snapped off because I was running late and knew tonight it was going to get cold and probably no action. I plan to bring over the live trap from the hay barn tomorrow when I have more time and bait it up. I would hate to leave a wised up coon to mess with my sets next year. Besides, now its personal...

Ever had a coon put a golf ball back on a dp after cleaning it out?? This seems to have been done in the granary over at the hay farm. A bit un-nerving if they're really that smart. They're teaching me some lessons :shock:

It snowed this morning and a cold front has moved through. Down below zero F tonight and a forecast high of 3 tomorrow, about 30+ degrees below normal for this time of year here. Not supposed to be above freezing to maybe next week. Might run the live trap into the first week of March. The dps I plan to pull this weekend.

Picked up another road kill on Sunday. Probably was out running on Friday evening when it was warmer. Frozen rock solid by Sunday.

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Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2015, 11:18 
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I snapped off my 3 dps at the hay farm today and called that one for the season. I couldn't get the stakes out of the ground so I'll have to wait a bit for some ground thaw and get a big bumper jack after them. My total from the place was 5 coon between Jan. 17 and Feb. 19, 1 gift of a dead coon from the owner, and 1 very wised up coon (last present it left me was to clean out the dp in the granary and take my golf ball!). I got at least 1 coon in each of the 3 sets that I had operating at any one time there (3 in dps, 2 in the live trap). The moral of the story is to get at least one more live trap so as soon as a coon gets wised up in checking out dps, I can introduce another enticement option. I still have the live cage and 2 dps in action at Thor's...

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"And God said, Let us make man in our image …and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, …the fowl of the air…and all the creatures that move along the ground.
Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2015, 16:19 
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Final payback at Thor's this morning, a coon double; one in the machine shed and one in the live trap. Both are probably marginal for sending to the auction so now I'm done unless I catch one out at the bro's in the one coon cubbie he checking more me (more of an ac thing to keep as many coon way from his chickens and eggs).

The coon in the machine shed was a 15-17 lb. boar that didn't want to stay still for the camera. He has no tail although it wasn't bleeding so I don't think he chewed it off last night. I don't see any rubs but the blackness of the guard hairs on his back has a different pattern and not overly strong. Because he has no tail, he's really not a candidate for a tanned wall hanger so it hink I'll finish him and send me away anyway. If I get a class III so be it, haven't had one for 4 auctions so maybe this is the year. He'll probably stretch between 2-3 XL.

The other is a dink so that precludes it going to auction. It is also pretty "blonde". Don't know if that was its natural color or if its lost most of its darker hairs already. It will probably end up as
"peek-a-boo" coon in a taxidermy project (I have several of these to do this year--see the last pix of one from years back). Can't afford to buy commercial forms for all the dinks I have in the freezers so probably get one or two and use those as models to carve my own from a block of urethane. We'll see what happens later...

Besides, the mud season is here.

Image

Image

Image

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Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2015, 20:55 
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Bro called last night that there was a grinner in the coon cubbie along his tree strip so I had other things to do on that side of the metro this afternoon so went out there to drop my live cage off and empty egg cartons. The possum was a boar, decent size and appears to have good color so maybe it will pay for a 20 oz. pop or so (then again maybe not).

I've had another cubbie down in his corner of the property where we've caught stuff every season but this year all its produced is "other". Its a wet spot on there so some of the time the cubbie has been frozen down and the bottom of the trap has been in ice. Might as well walk down there and see if we can reach it and put that box away as well.

Noticed something dark at the end a ways away and lo and behold a decent sized boar coon decided probably Sat. night to walk through the water and see what was inside the box (the bait bag was fairly dry). The old Duke 160 that I "acquired" a couple of seasons back ( ;--) ) that had been sitting there patiently for a couple of months fired off and had a perfect neck catch. The coon's fur looked to be in good shape, still long and even with black guard hairs on the back, no rubs that I can see, and a tail!!

So now I'm done. One coon more than last year, more fur handled with partners and decent road kills. The only thing I have out is another cubbie and a couple of 110s that were on a hot looking mink hole in mid-Jan. before they got covered in snow drift from a blizzard then. Things should be melted enough by Thurs. for me to recover them.

Image

P.S. I wishe we had water in our sloughs for spring mrats but no such luck and its not looking good for this year. Someone at work told us that an El Nino is going on in the eastern Pacific and they're projecting below normal precip around here for the spring. Might have to truly go north the first weekend of Nov. this fall to get my mrat fix scratched...

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"And God said, Let us make man in our image …and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, …the fowl of the air…and all the creatures that move along the ground.
Genesis 1:26


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2015, 21:37 
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Cant beat that NPC..... a good lookin grinner and a nice coon for topping on a great season. You have done very well and should feel very accomplished. Enjoyed watching your season!

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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2015, 16:48 
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Bro called me Fri am on the way to work less than a quarter mile from his place there was a nice cooner in the road. He picked it up, took it back home, and bagged it up for me in one of his spare freezes. I picked it up yesterday while I was out there, a nice 13ish lb. sow still with heavy fur and decent color (at least I think). Almost no sign of the trauma that killed it except ruruptured blood vessels in its neck.

Skinned it out last night and refrigged until this afternoon. I don't know about working fur in Lox type of Miami winter temps (75 today). Coon fat sort of just goes flying at that temp when I pushing with my blade. More globs hit the paper below the beam from this one than from the last 4-5 combined :--o

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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2015, 16:59 
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Nice looking fur on that sow. Good find.

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PostPosted: 15 Mar 2015, 21:38 
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Looks like shes still in good shape PC.. Better then feedin possums n crows

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PostPosted: 17 Mar 2015, 21:41 
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[quote="NonPCfed"]Bro called me Fri am on the way to work less than a quarter mile from his place there was a nice cooner in the road. He picked it up, took it back home, and bagged it up for me in one of his spare freezes. I picked it up yesterday while I was out there, a nice 13ish lb. sow still with heavy fur and decent color (at least I think). Almost no sign of the trauma that killed it except ruruptured blood vessels in its neck.

Skinned it out last night and refrigged until this afternoon. I don't know about working fur in Lox type of Miami winter temps (75 today). Coon fat sort of just goes flying at that temp when I pushing with my blade. More globs hit the paper below the beam from this one than from the last 4-5 combined :--o /quote]

Shoot, Miami must be having cooler weather than my area. Past few days been in the upper 80s :? We pretty much go from "cold" (60s usually) winter temps to hot summer temps. Still dont know what this "spring" and "fall" everybody talks about is...

PC I thought coon fat getting slung everywhere was normal, even during winter. Everytime I've fleshed a coon the fat and grease runs all over the place. Guess its a good thing I do it outside :roll:

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PostPosted: 18 Mar 2015, 00:10 
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Lox- Most of my coon fleshing is done at below freezing temps or at least below 50 F so the fat isn't quite as "mobile" while getting worked. Not a big fan of runny critter fat. Not a big fan of hides freezing on me as I work on them either :wink:

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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2015, 14:23 
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I rarely ever do my coons straight off the carcass, I usually freeze it and flesh it some other time. I've usually got a good rotation going, I just skin one coon out, drop it in the freezer, and pull a hide out to flesh the next day

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