Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets?? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

I am toying with the idea of using ONLY body grips for muskrats this year, no leg holds. Last year I lost a few to wring-outs in leg holds.

So I am wondering if any of you have a method for setting a conibear at the bottom of a slide (legally in the watercourse). I am wondering if the coni was placed at the bottom of a slide, would the rat go up and down the slide and just go through the trap? Or perhaps put sticks or rocks on either side of the slide to guide the rat through the trap.

And for baited sets. There are a couple of spots where I see the rats up under tree roots chewing on the roots. Last year I got a few in those spots with a 1.5 coilspring under the chewed areas and smeared the chewed areas with some fruity rat lure. Again, I am wondering if there is a way to put a baited conibear up under there. Maybe a slice of apple on the trigger, or a cotton ball with some fruity lure on it on the trigger.

Any thoughts appreciated.


My son and I:
Coon: Opossum:
Gray Fox:
Rat: Mink:
Red Fox: Skunk:
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 01:12 PM
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

Don't throw away the tools in the toolbox. Yes, bodygrips have their place on the trapline, just like footholds... but neither is a 'one-size-fits-all' solution.

On the slides; if the slide is already 'tight', as in there is guiding in place, such as weeds and twigs, set 'em up with those bodygrips. However, if the slide is wide open, there is no incentive for the 'rat to go through the trap when it can go around it. When you go into Megamart, do you use the wide-open automatic door or do you go clear over to the side and use the small push-open mandoor? If it's naturally fenced-in, no problem... but trying to force the muskrat to go through a trap by drastically altering the slide with guiding will just make the muskrat move to another approach. In this case, a foothold in the slide is a lot less unobtrusive and a much better choice.

Baited sets with bodygrips; in my experience you'll be quite disappointed. On bodygrip sets, you want the target animal moving so you get a suitcase catch. With bait on the triggers, Mr. Muskrat comes up and stalls out. He reaches for the bait with his front legs... SNAP!!! right in his face, maybe hitting him in the nose. You'll have a lot of snapped, empty traps. Again, on bait sets, a foothold is the way to go.

Wringoffs; muskrats are easy to drown. If you can get them into more than a foot of water, they will be there the next morning. Are you using slider drowners? For the first 20 years I trapped, I had no idea there was such a thing. The trap was simply wired to a stake or rock in deep water. 99% of the time, Mr. Muskrat was tail-up. Any wringoffs I had (which were very, very few) were due to the trap/chain/fastening system getting entangled in something in shallow water. Now my early trapping was on the Allegheny River, where we didn't have a lot of vegetation in or around the water, like you would have in a marsh. When I started trapping marshes, I had a LOT more wringoffs. Using a slider definitely helped, as long as there was a clear path down the wire. Stoploss traps were also a great help, as they definitely prevent wringoffs. Having that spring way up on the muskrat's shoulder prevented them from twisting. But remember, a muskrat's first instinct when something happens is to go for the deep water. Help him along by using a good drowning system free of entanglement and you'll have a 'rat to skin in the morning.

To this day, given my choice, I will still set a foothold over a bodygripper. Save those bodygrippers for dens and runs, where Mr. Muskrat is moving, and use those footholds for when he's putting his feet down. Give him a path to deeper water, with a good drowning system, and you'll greatly increase your catch.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 01:57 PM
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

Hard to add to that Bob..Good info
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 03:24 PM
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

he learned most of that from trapping possums,ALL HAIL THE POSSUM KING!

a cubbie with the bait in back with a coni covering the hole will work,just hope a coon don't find it first!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 04:14 PM
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

Great post, Bob.

I trap mink because I don't know any better
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

Thank You everyone.

I did make a set with a foothold and a drowning slide last year and I had a wring off because I did not sink the shallow stake deep enough and the rat got tangles and twisted out.

I fixed that and the next day there was a rat out in the deep water floating tail-up waiting for me.

The thing I did't like was having to drive two rebar stakes, one in deep water and one in the shallow end near the trap.

Not to sound lazy, but it seemed like a lot of work and I thought if I could catch the same rat with a coni and a wooden stake I would rather go the easy route.


My son and I:
Coon: Opossum:
Gray Fox:
Rat: Mink:
Red Fox: Skunk:
Cooney is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 06:11 PM
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

I'm new to water trapping so I have to ask. What is a wringoff?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 06:12 PM
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

Rather than use two rebars, use a long wooden stake at the deep-water end. Wire off the deep end of the wire towards the bottom of the stake, then use your body weight to sink it into the bottom. Dry dead (NOT rotten) beaver chews are great for this! You can also use a wooden stake at the top. Remember, as long as your drowning lock is pointed to slide towards the deep water stake, there really won't be much (if any) pull on the shoreline stake. Even beaver trapping, I use 1-foot wooden stakes at the top end. I like using dry wooden stakes because as soon as you drive them into the ground or bottom, they start to absorb water and swell. Oftentimes I push in a wooden top stake with my boot; the next day it's next to impossible to get out. Actually, I use less and less rebar; mainly I use them where it's very rocky as the smaller diameter is easier to route around rocks. Make sure your deepwater stake is well-driven though, muskrats and mink aren't a problem but coons will test the system. ALWAYS start the lock down the wire as much as possible; this gives the animal a jumpstart towards deep water.

As I grow older and older (and have more and more back problems from hauling all those possums!), I look for easier/smarter ways to trap too... but some shortcuts just don't work. Use the right tool for the job at hand. Remember, bodygrips when the animal is moving, footholds for when they aren't. Also, by using only 110's, you're going to miss those coons too.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

@ syndig...
That's when the caught critter twists around and wrings off its leg and escapes.


My son and I:
Coon: Opossum:
Gray Fox:
Rat: Mink:
Red Fox: Skunk:
Cooney is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2011, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Conibears for muskrats on slides and baited sets??

@ Bob J...Thank You for your detailed and knowledgeable response.


My son and I:
Coon: Opossum:
Gray Fox:
Rat: Mink:
Red Fox: Skunk:
Cooney is offline  
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