Re: First year trapping... traps dug up
while i'm no expert, i AM a peat moss/screen pan cover guy. while you have animals working your sets- which is good- the thing that stuck out at me was "putting a pan cover over my pan and then covering with Peat Moss until it was level with the ground."
you just laid it flat across your pan and covered? if so, that's your main issue. peat moss does give a different feel, so you need the positives of it while neutralizing the negatives. first, you used existing dirt to pack around the jaws to help with a solid bed that peat wont give you- nice work there. but with my screen pan covers, i bend the screen all the way around the pan-> think of putting a piece of plywood on a card table versus throwing a big tablecloth over it- you want tablecloth not plywood. you can have TOO much dead space which makes it obvious something aint right. all you need is dead space UNDER the pan, thats it. anything more than that, and it creates excess unstability that will cause them to dig and see whats up. by bending the screen around the pan you allow the entire trap- minus just under the pan- to be back filled and packed some.
plus always sift existing dirt back over. ideally my peat level is just beneath flush, and then sifted a touch of existing dirt level with ground for blending. not only does it look more natural, but regular dirt will keep peat from blowing away. only need about 1/8", just enough to cover/blend.
other than that though, you seem to have good processes so you're right there, just gotta firm thing up a touch- figuratively and literally.