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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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need muskrat advice

I work for a pond and lake management company, and lately we've decided to do our nuisance muskrat removal work in-house. Since I'm the only guy in the company, that responsibility has fallen to me, and I am now licensed in the state of DE for nuisance wildlife control.

Now, I know how to trap muskrats in the winter. Find a den hole, stick a 110 in front of it, good-bye mr. muskrat. Turns out, though, I stink at it in the warmer weather. I don't know if they don't use bank dens this time of year or what, but I had 110s in front of every hole in the bank I could find, all I killed was an unfortunate frog.

Colony traps in a good run are obviously the best thing I can use, but there isn't always an obvious place for them. I'm thinking about baited floats for this time of year, but that's not always preferable as a lot of these ponds are in suburban developments and the fewer residents I have to explain things to the better. Anybody else have any ideas that might work in non-traditional muskrat trapping seasons?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2012, 11:49 PM
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Re: need muskrat advice

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: need muskrat advice

If you are working in settled areas such as housing developments and apartment complexes and find muskrats occupying ponds that must be removed, try using floats rather than placing traps along the banks where passers by or wandering pets may find them. I am not going to tell you floats are the most effective sets under these conditions but sometimes when doing nuisance work you have to go to secondary methods to avoid possible comebacks.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: need muskrat advice

Thanks for the advice guys. I agree that floats are good from a safety perspective, as it is when we trap near shore we alert residents that trapping is going on, mark the locations with pink flags, and tell everyone that's where the traps are and to stay away. We've avoided floats because the trap and potentially the dead muskrat are visible, but I suppose effectiveness may be more important than discretion at some point.

The other concern I have about a float is ducks. These ponds have a lot of them, and I know when a fountain isn't running birds climb up on it. Anybody ever have a duck climb onto a muskrat float? It seems like a real possibility.

Saw plans once for a floating colony trap. Basically, it was a normal colony trap on top of a float, with inward swinging doors and a bait chamber inside, with a hole in the bottom and a tunnel leading down into a cage underwater. Obviously this is illegal in PA for regular furtaking, but does anybody have experience using anything like that under conditions where it is legal?

Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat!
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