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 Post subject: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 19:13 
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Joined: 15 Aug 2013, 07:42
Posts: 120
Well guys I finally got permission to trap a big muskrat pond next to my house. This is my first time ever trapping rats and it's absolutly overwhelming. There are hundreds of little trails leading out of the water and through the cattails. I also saw a lot of what I think are called feed beds(matted clumps of weeds covered in scat and snail shells). About 90% of the bank is just thick cattails but their is about a 100 yard stretch where it's open and I've found several den holes in the bank. I set those with some OLD 110's and a 155. What few 110's I had left I set on some of the higher traffic trails I found. I also found a dead duck that was clearly killed by something. Is it possible there are some mink also around? How should I trap this place? Should I only trap den holes or are those trails worth setting? I appreciate any help guys.

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2015/2016
Coons 23
Grinners 6
Muskrats 4 (first)
Mink 1 (first)
Beavers 2 (first)
Coyotes 1 (first)
Red fox 2
Otter 1 (first)
Skunk 1 (first)


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 19:26 
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THE LAST WORD
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Joined: 14 Mar 2008, 20:20
Posts: 11645
Location: west virginia
My only experience trapping rats is in ponds so I am no pro at it. I always set the den holes and the trails. If rats are there then chances are you have mink too. They will follow the same trails as the rats , and they love to poke their noses in holes.

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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 19:33 
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Trapper
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Joined: 15 Aug 2013, 07:42
Posts: 120
Thanks doc9013. Is there any way to set on those little feedbeds? They are scattered all along the bank. If I had some drowning rods I would set 1 1/2's but I don't and I'm not interested in any chewouts.

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2015/2016
Coons 23
Grinners 6
Muskrats 4 (first)
Mink 1 (first)
Beavers 2 (first)
Coyotes 1 (first)
Red fox 2
Otter 1 (first)
Skunk 1 (first)


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 20:47 
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Professional Trapper
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Joined: 24 Dec 2009, 15:09
Posts: 3735
Location: Eastern S. Dakota
Yes, set the feed beds with the 1 1/2s if you have a little bit of water (12 inches or more). I know there are guys who swear by stop-loss legholds and cringe at even a single ring off (and back when rats were a Hamilton a piece that was painful). But I've drowned many a mrat by just the weight of the trap. I use 2 x 2 pieces at my stakes (and drags when ice trapping huts in the winter). Put a couple feet of doubled up general trapping wire through a staple on your wooden stake. The rat using the feed bed will generally swim off with the trap and even a #1 LS will (can) drown a rat. And if they wrap up on your stake, even faster. A 1 1/2, either LS or coil, is certainly heavy enough to sink a rat fairly quick unless its some massive jumbo. My philosophy its better to set with standard legholds and maybe have a few ring-offs than leave the traps in the garage awaiting a better solution. I've never caught a mrat in my garage :wink: .

P.S. I wish I had your situation!!

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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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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 22:11 
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Trapper
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Joined: 15 Aug 2013, 07:42
Posts: 120
I'm used to Hardwoods trapping catchin coons and canines but now I'm knee deep in cold water and mud trying to catch some swimming rats. :D :cry: Way out of my element but it's another adventure i guess. This lady wants the rats eradicated and I guess I'm the lucky guy thats gets a chance. Will a 110 effectively dispatch a mink if one happens to stumble through? I have mostly old 110's that aren't factory strong anymore but I think they'll still work.

_________________
2015/2016
Coons 23
Grinners 6
Muskrats 4 (first)
Mink 1 (first)
Beavers 2 (first)
Coyotes 1 (first)
Red fox 2
Otter 1 (first)
Skunk 1 (first)


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 17 Nov 2015, 22:21 
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Trapper
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Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 13:25
Posts: 244
Location: West Central Minnesota
Sounds like you have a great spot to trap some muskrats. Trap all the different things you said you had....bank dens with 110's or colony traps (if your state allows it), use more 110's in the trails you talked about and use some #1 long springs(other traps will work well also) set in the center of the feed beds is a sure thing every time. Make sure you have enough water to drown them or use stop loss traps to minimize ring offs. If there are any muskrat houses in the cattails set them also with #1 long springs and let them drown. Simply place the traps where you can where they climb onto the house dragging material onto the house. Set it all heavily. Sounds like you should do really well. Good luck.

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Mink -
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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 01:43 
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Experienced Forum User
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Joined: 06 Jan 2011, 23:10
Posts: 737
Location: NW Oregon
With you are using any lure or bait, be sure to anchor those traps for the largest thing that might get into them. I am referring to coons. Had one make off with a 1 1/2 long spring and stake, once. Never did find that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 12:25 
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Trapper
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Joined: 15 Aug 2013, 07:42
Posts: 120
Would a 1 1/2 dj be alright for mink? I check all my traps early in the morning so i hope to avoid chewouts. I was thinking about making some pocket sets for mink with deer scraps and fish oil. With the amount of trails and the abundance of fish and bullfrogs I feel there is atleast 1 or 2 mink working the area. I'm gonna hit the coons with dp's. Any suggestions on bait for mink? I'm just using what I have available.

_________________
2015/2016
Coons 23
Grinners 6
Muskrats 4 (first)
Mink 1 (first)
Beavers 2 (first)
Coyotes 1 (first)
Red fox 2
Otter 1 (first)
Skunk 1 (first)


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 20:04 
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Professional Trapper
Professional Trapper

Joined: 28 Jan 2011, 16:07
Posts: 3077
Location: northwestern Ontario
jermbonoutdoors wrote:
Would a 1 1/2 dj be alright for mink? I check all my traps early in the morning so i hope to avoid chewouts. I was thinking about making some pocket sets for mink with deer scraps and fish oil. With the amount of trails and the abundance of fish and bullfrogs I feel there is atleast 1 or 2 mink working the area. I'm gonna hit the coons with dp's. Any suggestions on bait for mink? I'm just using what I have available.


Not that I do a lot of mink trapping but in past beaver and muskrat has ben good and fish is good when fresh. Stale fish does not work well in my adventure with the mink.


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 20:07 
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Trapper
Trapper

Joined: 15 Aug 2013, 07:42
Posts: 120
If I set feedbeds with footholds do I have to bed and cover the trap or do I just plop it right in the middle? The water is very shallow for the first 10-15 yards so I don't think I'll be able to set up and drowner rigs. Will that be a problem?

_________________
2015/2016
Coons 23
Grinners 6
Muskrats 4 (first)
Mink 1 (first)
Beavers 2 (first)
Coyotes 1 (first)
Red fox 2
Otter 1 (first)
Skunk 1 (first)


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 21:24 
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Trapper
Trapper

Joined: 11 Jan 2011, 13:25
Posts: 244
Location: West Central Minnesota
jermbonoutdoors wrote:
If I set feedbeds with footholds do I have to bed and cover the trap or do I just plop it right in the middle? The water is very shallow for the first 10-15 yards so I don't think I'll be able to set up and drowner rigs. Will that be a problem?


Place the trap in the middle of the feed bed so it is slightly under water. I like to fluff up the weeds around the trap to make it more of an inviting spot for the muskrat to climb up onto. Again, if the water isn't deep enough to drown them then use stop loss trap. If a muskrat can't drown it will ring off. At least that is what my experiences have shown me.

_________________
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Fox -
Raccoons -
Muskrats -
Mink -
Otter -
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Beaver -


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 01:55 
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Joined: 19 Oct 2015, 02:40
Posts: 3
Location: PA
You have a bunch of good advice here. I don't worry about feed beds myself as long as I have den holes and trails a plenty. Mink love muskrat meat. If you start catching muskrats, use the hind quater for mink bait. A stump hole set or something similar works well for that. Take the advice about staking for some thing big like a coon if using a leghold along the shore line. Got my first coon in a longspring set for muskrat. Pulled the stake and found him tangled in a blowdown 100 yards away. As for your 110's not being factory strong, no worry, rats are wimpy. Best of luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 07:21 
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Professional Trapper
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Joined: 24 Dec 2009, 15:09
Posts: 3735
Location: Eastern S. Dakota
jerm....- You don't have to overthink mrats much. They're a fairly easy critter to catch that you don't have to cover the trap up. Better to have it set an inch or more below the surface so the veg crap they tend to bring onto the house or up onto a feedbed doesn't fire off your trap.

As for drowners, I'm a contrarian to most and don't worry much about it. I started mrat trapping during the winter on the ice through their huts and rarely does a guy get a classic drowning situation in a hut although they will and can drown if your trap (#1s work great in this situation) is down their holes a bit so they get caught coming up into the hut and then can't go forward or really backwards and drown in an inch or two of water. This year I lucked out and drowned a rat in a #1 in 3 inches of open water because it wrapped itself pretty good around my stake. It was a risky move but I really had little option in that situation. It almost wrung off but didn't and now its s&d on my wire.

I'd rather have a dozen mrats in hand ready to skin out and lost 2, maybe 3 more to wring-offs than to have no mrats awaiting new stop-loss traps to arrive in the mail. But then again, that's my opinion and how I roll. Everyone has to make their own decisions for their own situations...

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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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 Post subject: Re: Muskrat troubles
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2015, 07:32 
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Professional Trapper
Professional Trapper
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Joined: 24 Dec 2009, 15:09
Posts: 3735
Location: Eastern S. Dakota
P.S. Sometimes but not always, a 1.5 CS will act like a semi-bodygripper because of its wider jaw spread. I've caught rats across the shoulder and high on the back leg. In those situations there is no way a wring-off is going to happen. Sometimes they even will commit hari-kari head first if a 1.5 is laying at the bottom of a slide/run on the side of a hut like this guy. Lights out quick.

Image

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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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