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How to Trap Wild/ Nuisance Animals
Tips and Tricks for trapping Nuisance animals with a cage style trap Live Catch Trap.
Welcome to Younger Bros. Tips and Tricks for Trapping Nuisance Animals with a Live Catch Trap. The need for trapping with Live Catch Traps is greater than ever as more and more habitat is being taken away from native animals. As communities expand and take in more and more undeveloped land, native animals such as the Raccoon, Armadillo, Opossum, Skunk, Coyote and Fox just to name a few are being being crowded into smaller natural habitat areas. These areas can only sustain a limited amount wildlife before its inhabitants have to look outside the animal community for food, water homes which often times end up being in someone backyard or attic. Before you start trapping be sure to check with your State Parks and Wildlife agency to make sure you comply with State Trapping Regulations. If trapping inside a City or Development be sure to check for any regulations that may get you into trouble.
Why Use a Live Catch Trap over Snares or Leg Hold Traps?
Domestic Pets! Snares should only be used in unincorporated/ rural areas where the possibility of domesticated animals getting into them is greatly reduced. As more housing developments go up in our communities also comes more domestic pets that accidently get out of the backyard or sneak through an open door. As most of these animals are not a threat to anyone or anything Snares and Leg hold Traps are about as inhumane as it gets. Snares are usually placed in a small area along a pathway where an animal will walk directly into it head first. As the animals head goes through the looped Snare it cinches tight around the animals neck choking the animal to death. The more the animal struggles to free itself the tighter the snare gets.
Tips for Trapping:
Wear Latex Gloves: Wear Latex gloves anytime you handle or touch your trap. Leaving Human scent on your trap is the absolute worst thing you can do. Most animals have a very keen sense of smell and can detect your scent many days after you have touched your trap. Never handle your bait with your bare hands, again wear latex gloves to prevent leaving you scent on the bait.
Spend as little time around the trap as possible: When baiting or checking your trap spend as little time as possible around the trap. Do not spit, Dip, Smoke or Touch anything on or around the trap with bare hands. Do not allow pets to urinate on the trap and make sure pets stay away from the trap.
Disturb as little as possible: Always remember animals have a keen sense of smell and everything you do in their environment they can detect by smell.
Location: The placement of trap is extremely important and will determine whether your trapping is successful or a failure. Always remember you want to place the trap in a secluded place.
Urban Trap Locations:
This is even true when trapping in an suburban environment. Keeping the trap in a secluded place will greatly increase your chances of trapping any animal as they are more likely to spend more time investigating and trying to get to the bait contained within. Remember most animals even though they are co-existing with humans still have a great fear of humans and instinct tells them to avoid humans at all cost. DO NOT PLACE THE TRAP IN AN LOCATION SOLELY BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE IT FROM YOUR WINDOW! Do not place the trap next to trash cans just because the animal is getting into your trash. Most animals will go for the easiest, least chance of endangering themselves and why would they go into your trap when all they have to is knock the trash over for an easy meal multi-coarse meal. Most animals are creatures of habit and will travel the same paths and trails when leaving and returning to their den. Placing your trap just off one of these paths as close to the animals bedding area is highly recommended.
Rural Trap Locations:
Trapping in the wild is really no different than trapping in a City or Neighborhood. Place your trap just off a well traveled path or walkway. Looking for animal tracks in loose sand or dirt will help in choosing an ideal location. Placing the trap as close to or in thicker brush is always a plus.
Best Type of Live Catch Trap:
When shopping for a Live Catch Trap always consider what the size of your target animal is and then consider what the size of future target animals may be in the future. Your Geographic location and animal habitat are going to play an important role in what size trap you end up purchasing. For starters look for a trap that has a large, unobstructed door opening as possible. Your trap needs to be inviting and not make the animal feel as though it is entering a situation it may not be able to back out of. Many sites on the Internet will tell you that you need to cover the trap on all sides and top to make the trap look more like a debris pile or pilled up straw or hay. This is not always true, wild animals are always at a heightened state of alert and will hesitate to enter anything that does not look natural in their surroundings. Traps that allow the animal to see through it are less threatening and the animal is more likely to enter. Make sure the trap has a positive locking door that cannot be lifted or pushed or pulled open. The wire mesh should be sturdy enough for an adult to be able to stand on without collapsing or bending. Many traps are formed out of thin wire mesh and may not be able to handle larger stronger animals.
Door Trip Systems: How the Traps door is tripped is extremely important when trapping Medium to Smaller size animals. Traps that require the animal to instinctively interact with the trap are preferred over trap doors that are tripped by the animal stepping on a rocker plate or tripping the door with a "Stick". Many animals are skittish when comes to stepping on traps with rocker plates and any movement under their feet sends them scampering off without ever tripping the traps door. Whatever you do make sure the trap you decide upon is large enough that the target animal is fully inside the trap and the door can close without coming into contact with any part of the animals body.
Seasoning The Trap:
Anytime I start trapping whether its with a new trap or a trap that's been sitting in my backyard, I always like to let the trap sit in its new location/ environment for several days before baiting or even setting the door in the open position. By letting the trap sit it becomes part of its new surroundings and takes on the scent of the area. If we were to start baiting/ trapping the very first day we set the trap out and a weary animal comes along to check things out, any human scent as well as any other scents that may have been absorbed while the trap was in transit or sitting in storage may be picked up by the animal and may decrease any chance of trapping the animal in the future.
Trap when set out / Trap after trapping several animals
The pictures above show how the floor of trap looked when it was first set in place. The wire mesh floor can easily be seen in the first picture while in the second picture the floor is covered with debris which was raked in by previous short term tenants. Always leave the trap as its inhabitant left with the exception of feces or wet and/or urine covered debris. Leaving the trap as it is when resetting leaves the last animals scent which is a natural scent cover and makes the floor a little more natural. Be sure to keep the floor where the door closes clean so the door will fully close and lock in place.
What Types of Bait to Use:
There are many types of baits and attractants available that claim to be the absolute best. Some of these work but many do not and some can even work against you. The choice of baits is extremely important and should be tailored to the animal you intend to trap. Most animals are both meat eaters as well as vegetarians. Given a choice most will go for meat over fruits and natural occurring greens.
Raccoon, Opossum , Skunk
The three animals you see above were all trapped using the same Bait. In fact the Trap was only baited once and the bait I used remained inside the trap and was never touched in-between trapping animals. The bait used to trap these three animals was a discarded Ham Bone. A hole was drilled through the length of the bone and a galvanized wire was then passed through bone and attached to the traps door trigger. Bones are ideal as the scent last an extremely long time and when the ends of the bone are drilled out slightly larger, fresh meat can be packed into the ends of the bone to freshen the scent.
Ham Bone with hole drilled through the center and wired to traps door trip mechanism.
There are many other baits that can be used besides the one listed above. When using meats for bait try and use meat that has no preservatives as these can emit odors that will raise a caution flag to many wild animals.
Baits that can be used for trapping:
Bones W/Meat: (see above) Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Coyote, Large Cats, Feral Hog, Feral Cats, Wild Dog
Sardines: Armadillo, Raccoon, Opossum, Skunk, Coyote, Large Cats, Feral Cats
Soured Corn: Feral Hog, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum
Corn: Feral Hog, Raccoon, Skunk, Opossum, Deer (it illegal in many states to trap Whitetail Deer)
Live Bait (Small Birds, Chicken, Rabbit): Coyote, Skunk, Raccoon, Large Cats, Feral Hogs, Feral Cats, Wild Dog
Scents and Lures: Many trappers swear
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