Trapping & Hunting Tips
This section will be updated regularly with information and tips about trapping, hunting, and other outdoor activities that we feel will be of value to our customers and visitors. We welcome your tips or suggestions, e-mail us and we'll include them when we can.
Trapping and Hunting Tips (Will we will be filling in the other selections soon)
- Equipment Selection For Beginning Trappers
- Lure and Bait Selection and Usage
- Canine Trapping Methods
- Mink, Muskrat and Raccoon Trapping Methods
- Beaver and Otter Trapping Methods
- Deer Hunting Tips
- Deer Lures and Scents
- Tanning Methods
This page will be updated regularly with info. and tips about trapping, hunting, and other outdoor activities that we feel will be of value to our customers and visitors. We welcome your tips or suggestions, e-mail us and we'll include them when we can.
The best advice I can give to beginning trappers is to learn all you can about trapping methods, equipment and the animals you wish to pursue. There are many, many good books and videos available that contain information worth many times their cost. Also join your State and National trappers associations and attend their annual conventions. You can learn a vast amount of valuable knowledge from the experts at the demonstrations given at these gatherings.
Trapping, like anything else, is something that can be learned and mastered if you work hard and keep learning. You won't become an expert overnight, but your early experiences in the woods and fields will likely be your most important and most memorable.
Equipment: For the beginner this can be an area of confusion. There is lots of trapping gear and gadgets available, however it is best for the beginner to stick with the basics so as not to get too preoccupied with equipment instead of learning about proper trapping techniques.
Traps: For water trapping (Coon, Mink, Muskrats) the #1 1/2 coilspring trap is hard to beat as an all around trap. It can be used for all three animals with good results. Adding a swivel to the end of the trap chain is highly recommended. For just Muskrat trapping the #1 longspring or #1 coilspring and #110 Body Trap are good choices. For Mink trapping the #1 1/2 and # 1 coilsprings, and #110 Body Traps are recommended. Many Coon trappers like the #11 double jaw longspring. It is a powerful trap that holds a coon well.
Beaver require a large powerful trap. Most beginners will find the #330 Body Traps to be easiest to learn to trap Beaver with. The #280 is also a good trap and can be used to trap most all beaver. It is also an excellent size for Otter. Recommended foot traps for beaver are the #4 and #5 Longsprings, the MB 750 Beaver trap, the #5 Bridger Coilspring. A Beavers hind foot will span and be thrown off smaller traps. For front foot catches a smaller trap can be used such as the #3 coilspring.
Other Equipment: The water trapper also needs a few other items and tools to operate properly, safely and comfortably. A good pair of hip boots is essential. Some trappers prefer chest waders, but hip boots will suffice for most situations. A pair of waterproof gauntlets, either elbow or shoulder length will keep your hands warm and dry. Trappers wire, cutting pliers, setting tongs and a safety gripper for bodygripper traps, a trowel and a packbasket or bucket to carry it all in will round out your basic hardware. Traps need to be treated (dye and wax or trap dip) to protect them from rust and operate properly. Baits and lures will be discussed elsewhere.
Traps: For Fox trapping the #1 1/2 coilspring has been the favorite for years. Coyotes require a stronger, beefier trap. The #1 3/4 is a good trap to use where both Fox and Coyote are encountered, however the #2 is better for all around Coyote trapping. The #3 can be used, but is too big for Fox, and not necessary if you have the proper #1 3/4 or #2. Coyote traps must stand a lot of abuse. The #1 3/4 Sleepy Creek and #2 Bridger are both good stock Coyote traps. The Victor traps will not hold up to much Coyote abuse unless modified. All traps for Fox and Coyote should have a bottom center chain attachment and a mid-chain and end swivel.
Other Equipment: For land trapping canines a few items are needed besides traps. A good fastening or staking system is essential. Re-rod stakes in 1/2" x 18" are a good size for most land trappping. For Coyotes it is strongly recommended that all traps be double staked (cross staked). Also the various new cable stakes such as the Iowa, Super and, Berkshire cable stakes are pretty much impossible for Coyotes to pull. A good heavy hammer for driving stakes and digging in hard soil, a trowel, sifter, pan covers if desired, 2 pair of gloves, and a container to carry everything in round out the basic outfit. A good selection of lure and bait should be carried in a separate container to keep the rest of your equipment free of odors.
Animals pelts must be properly cared for and a few items are available to make the job easier and bring more value to your pelts. A good skinning knife with a narrow blade, a sharpener, fleshing beam and pelt scraper or flesher, fur comb, and an assortment of stretchers or fur boards in the proper sizes are necessary. Disposable latex gloves keep your hands clean and protect you from any possible infectious diseases which may be encountered. A rounded beaver knife is recommended for skinning beaver.