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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Mink Thread


Ok. Got my third mink of the season today. BIG accomplishment for me. Would've been happy if I got 1 this season. But anyway, I watched a dvd, watched youtube, etc, and I still have a few questions that hopefully some of you more experienced mink trappers can answer. I'm just gonna list them and if anybody has any other mink questions maybe we can keep the thread going and get some wisdom out of the veterans..
Questions
1) I've been using muskrat for bait. How fresh should the bait be? I re-baited one pocket today because it hasn't done anything and the meat was getting pretty well blackened. In other words, how fresh does the bait NEED to be?

2) I've caught two females and one male. The male had a white chin and no white anywhere else on it. One female had a white chest, the other did not.. Is this a regional genetic thing? Any rhyme or reason to the coloring and the while patches on these critters? I know a guy who traps 5 miles away and all of his mink have alot of white on them...

3) I caught the male in a blind set and the two females in pockets.. The male was big. 2XL on my board marked with the fur harvesters sizes.. I have heard, from some older, retired mink men, "You can't make a buck duck"...
Any truth to this? Would a buck avoid the pocket set if I didn't have it cut out with enough height? Is this the same as "crowding" coyotes at a set? Interest, but no commitment? An I giving mink too much credit here?

4) I'm out of muskrat meat as of today... I tried some venison scraps early in the season and caught nothing. Once I got a few muskrats, and baited with that, I caught two mink. Will any meat do? Maybe venison with some mink lure?

5) As a rookie water trapper, why have I caught more mink than muskrat? lol.. Running out of mink bait shouldn't be the problem here.. I heard that a buck mink will kill a muskrat a day.. This sounds like a stretch to me but it would explain why I'm not catching the rats I saw and kept track of all summer... Opinions?

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'll probably chime back in with another question or two as the night goes on and I remember something.. Thanks in advance for any input. I really enjoy catching these guys and want to learn more about them...

It is time to manage avian predators!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 02:48 AM
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Re: Mink Thread

Bait should be fresh. To make it more simple, get some fish oil and squirt that up into the pocket. It does not go bad and smells nice and fishy. Mink eat fish as part of their diet. Also try blind sets. Make sure the traps are anchored well enough, as fish oil will attract coons.

I don't know about making a buck duck, but I would make pocket sets maybe 6" high that would be smaller in the back, with a shelf above the water for the bait/fish oil to set. Mink can and do go into tight holes though.

The white throat/chest markings- not sure if regional, but it's normal.

#5, you answered your own question! There are thought to be other factors on why muskrats are scarce- birds of prey eat them too. Hawks and owls are all over in large #'s these days, since they got federal protection in 1972.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Mink Thread

Thanks ftw.

Fish oil without a visual will take mink as well as a chunk of meat?? Maybe I'll try some sheep's wool squirted with fish oil in the pocket..

As I said, I'm out of muskrat meat. Have you guys had equal success using fish for bait??

Also, I guess my real question in number 5 is: Will a mink really eat a muskrat a day?? Anyone else heard this? Just sounds like alot to me...

If someone said a coyote will eat a rabbit a day. Or a fox will eat a mouse a day. No problem. But a rat seems like alot of meat for a mink. Maybe not though. What do I know....

Also, I don't think the hawks and owls are doing a number on the muskrats around here.. The raptors seem to be disappearing lately... Strange..

It is time to manage avian predators!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 07:29 AM
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Re: Mink Thread

Great job on the mink! Your lucky to use muskrat meat for bait, we don't have any muskrats around here.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 02:45 AM
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Re: Mink Thread

A mink passing by seeing a nice hole in the bank will smell the fish oil when it stops to check the hole out. You can also make rock cubbies. Mink will check out about every hole or cavity they see in their travels that is at least the size of a muskrat hole. They also run under root tangles, and of course hug the bridge edges in culverts.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 12:43 PM
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Re: Mink Thread

Some white on mink is normal. Some have quite a bit on the chest and throat, some have none.

Mink are voracious predators and will kill any prey they find. They will kill any muskrat they find, along with chipmunks, mice, fish, etc. I had a mink follow a muskrat line one time and tore the throats out of four 'rats in a row. When you get a muskrat partially eaten by a mink, that 'rat is now a prime set as the mink will return. A friend of mine had a small trout hatchery operation; he had a mink constantly killing trout and hiding them in an overflow pipe. The pipe was stuffed full, but nothing was ever eaten from the stockpile.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 07:03 PM
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Re: Mink Thread

Use the female mink carcass for bait.




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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 08:11 PM
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Re: Mink Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nittany Lion
Use the female mink carcass for bait.
Darn, I wish I would have known that since I caught 2 females this year. I'll know on the next one. Thanks Nittany!

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