Re: trapping in snow
Asa Lenon e-mailed this to me years ago I hope it helps.
WINTER & DEEP SNOW TRAPPING
Trapping where snowfall is light, one may dig the trap beds and holes before the ground becomes frozen. Bed traps in dry leaves or needles. Sand that has been collected and well dried throughout the summer or in an oven is used to cover the set. Commercial trap line anti-freeze may be mixed into the sand to prevent freezing if the sand should get wet from rain or thaw. Walnut hulls may also be used as a freeze-proof trap covering and are available from trapping supply dealers.
Deep snow trapping is much more difficult for the novice trapper. Here is a simple snow set that has proven most successful. Locate a scent post already established by the animal or find a suitable location for establishing one. A bundle of natural grass four to six inches in diameter and two feet long tied together with other grass or a clean brown cord is recommended for establishing a winter scent post. Pick a location for the set using the preceding preparation instructions. Approach as near as possible to the set location from behind a tree, stump, or whatever may hide your tracks when possible, and proceed directly to the spot chosen. Be sure to have everything you will need to construct the set along with you so tracking back and forth will not be necessary. Plant the bundle of grass firmly into the snow so the wind will not blow it over. Sprinkle plain urine or Lenonís Fox or Coyote Natureís Call #3 lure for best results, on the bundle of grass. Place on side of grass where you anticipate the animalís approach and a few more drops directly on top of the grass bundle so the breeze can carry the odor more effectively. Pack the snow down thoroughly to give the trap a solid foundation. If in an evergreen area, place a layer of small evergreen boughs on the packed snow to bed the trap on. Cover the trap with waxed paper that has been crushed to prevent it being so noisy if the animal should step on the jaw first. Crushing the paper also reduces the chance of the wind drifting the snow from the set. If evergreen is not available for bedding, wrap the entire trap loosely in crushed waxed paper. A size larger jump trap is recommended for winter sets as a catch can still be made through several inches of additional snow. Traps must be equipped with grapple hooks and additional chain for snow trapping. When the trap is placed the right distance from the post in the position where you anticipate the animal approach and two inches lower than the surrounding snow, you are ready to cover the set. Simply throw the chain and grapple hook out into the snow where it can sink out of sight. Reach in back of you and scoop up snow with a snow spoon (will describe). Hold the snow at least three feet above the trap and carefully sift snow over the trap until all is level and natural. Snow must be sifted from three or more feet to allow it to gather air as it falls; otherwise it will freeze hard over the trap. Back away slowly while smoothing out all tracks with the snow spoon. Stop every few feet to throw snow up and over all signs. Tracks and sign must be covered for at least fifty feet or until hidden by some object.
No lure or urine is ever added to an already established natural scent post when one is selected to construct a set. This may spook a fox or coyote that comes there on a regular basis. A few professional trappers have learned to make sets at established scent posts by using a long ten or twelve foot pole. A paddle is at the end of the pole to hold and position the trap and use to pack the trap bed. The trap is placed at the post without having to come in any closer, avoiding tracks and human odor. This does increase oneís catch but is not an easy task for the novice trapper, so will not explain it in depth at this time.
MAKING A SNOW SPOON
A snow spoon is a very handy and successful tool that is well worthwhile making. One can brush out tracks fairly well using a four foot tree limb that is curved at the end like a hockey stick; but the spoon has many advantages. To make the snow spoon, select a piece of soft wood such as cedar, cottonwood, or basswood two feet long and one foot wide. Cut an eight inch long spoon handle on the block of wood and checker it so it will not be slippery to handle. Cut out the balance exactly the shape of a spoon, rounded and smooth on the bottom and hollowed on the top. When completed, the spoon length should be about sixteen inches, width twelve inches, and an eight inch handle. Heat the finished spoon in an oven until very hot and then paint with smoking hot trap wax. Waxing prevents it from becoming wet and from snow sticking to it. When you smooth out your tracks and throw snow up and over the smoothed area with this handy tool, there will not be a sign of your having been there.