Today, we are checking in with our resident trapper, Roy. Roy shares with us some great insight into keeping your trapping consistent. Just like anything else, consistency results in improved results. In this article, Roy talks about the importance of keeping a trapping log and the tendencies to look out for.
Checking the first set of the morning is always a great time. The victories and failures of the previous day are either hanging in the fur shed or still roaming the fencerows and wood lots. No matter now, today is a new day. I'm like a kid on Christmas morning every day on the trapline . No day is the same and you never know what failure will become a victory today.
Such was the first location on one particular day this year. As The Chevy crested the hill above the house, I could see a nice coyote bouncing in the trap. The normal procedure of dispatch takes place. Then, thanking the Creator for the wisdom and skill it takes to harvest such a wily animal. Of course, I admire the fur which I worked hard to obtain. After that, it's time to remake the set. A quick glance at my trapping log told me some of my homemade bait and lure had done the trick on this old dog.
As trappers, we run lines day after day and, while doing so, we can gain so much info on critter location, habits, lure, bait preferences, etc. Remembering everything can be tough. So much so that writing it down proves valuable. Trying to keep so much in your head most times just doesn't work.
I like to keep a log of sorts especially on my k-9 lines. I record things like lure/baits used as well as set types used at each location I come to. This helps me see if certain lures, baits, sets or locations are working over others. Year to year or week to week this can vary. I can then utilize this on the rest of the line.
If you're trapping a property, and you have a couple locations only a few hundred yards apart, it is often a good idea to vary your baits and lures. Most likely, you'll have the same dogs from the area checking out each location and, while one bait or lure may not tickle his fancy at location A, another may be his downfall at location B. Keeping a log will help you to avoid redundant sets. Also, like humans, no two dogs are exactly alike. Different tastes may be the ticket to increasing your catch as well.
Habits of each critter are also important . One coyote may dive right into a set while another may hang back a foot or so to check things out. Watch for tracks of these hesitant dogs and write it in your log (you could also blend in another trap out where he's hanging). If you start to notice dogs being hesitant with a certain lure or bait at numerous sets you can then incorporate any changes on the rest of the line..
If you make a catch at a certain location, write it down. While you may be able to keep it in your memory today, looking over logs from a number of years in a row may help you see locations that are always hot, or mostly not. Setting traps at locations that never or rarely produce results is work you may not need.
If you're like me, too much info in your head gets jumbled. Try keeping a log to sort through the clutter. If it does help you trap smarter and not harder, you've achieved much!
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