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The #110 Conibear
By Buckshot, author of "Buckshot's Modern Trapper's Guide"- www.buckshotscamp.com

The #110 conibear is a wonderful little trap. I caught my first muskrat with one back in 1975. The trap is 4 1/2" by 4 1/2" with a single spring. To set the trap you squeeze the spring down and open the jaws bringing them together. The trigger is made out of two thin pieces of wire connected to a folded piece of metal on the top jaw. There is a slot in the middle of this piece of metal where the second piece of the trigger hooks on. There are three settings and I generally use the middle one. You flip the top trigger and hook on the middle setting, now before you release pressure from the spring make sure your hand is clear.

The easiest way is to set it down on the ground upright and hold your finger on the top trigger and release the pressure from your other hand. Now the trap is set. Just play around with it for a while until you get used to setting them. Take a stick about 18 inches long, hold one end and with the opposite end push on the trigger. The trap may fire or it might fall over. Try it both ways holding the trap spring to keep the trap from falling over and unsupported. The reason I wanted you to do this, is so you could see first hand why the trap HAS TO BE STABILIZED. This is very, very, important on conibear style traps. I don't care what size, you have to stabilize them. What this means is the trap is designed for the animal to stick his head in. Well, the trap has to be supported or it will fall over and spring off without catching the animal. Now, you just educated that animal to be scared and trap-shy of traps and he will be much harder to capture.

One way to make a great stabilizer for the #110 conibear is either buy lath boards, or if you know of someone remolding an old house and they’re ripping out the old lath board, so they can put up drywall, they will probably give you all the lath board for the asking. I cut mine 12”-18" long (it is not critical), sharpen one end to a point, let them weather if they are new; you now have an easy-to-use stabilizer. If you'd rather purchase #110 stabilizers see my online catalog.  Remember, this is for stabilizing the trap and not to be confused with a stake.

Take the lath board and at about a 45-degree angle, push the stake into the ground between the compressed spring and the open part of the two jaws. You want a downward pressure on the trap to keep it from being knocked over. Now, try pushing the 18" long stick on the trigger. The trap should fire, closing on the stick. Remember to keep your hands back- these little traps hurt if they whack you one.

Of course, there are several ways to stabilize these traps, you can use two sticks and form a X over the top of the trap, you can weld a 6" long piece of 1/4" stock to the rivet, or if setting in boxes you can notch the box, etc.


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