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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't trapped them since I was a kid back in the early seventies. Last year a farmer/owner where I trap fox told me he had some in his pond that he wanted gone.

The pond has a rip-rap bank so finding active holes was almost impossible. I tried everything, even set up bait stations like pictured below.



The rats made me look like the rookie I was and I didn't catch any.

This year I set it up again, made the usual feed-bed and toilet sets. I took the shotgun approach to den sets, setting a coni at any opening in the rocks that went back the length of my stick.



This morning I looked down through the ice and saw a pair of front feet and a long body, "Its a mink," I thought.

Broke the ice, pulled it up and saw that it was my first muskrat in 40 years!



 

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Nice looking catch.I wouldn`t lay that wet muskrat on that cold metal bed.Depending on the temp it will freeze fast to the metal.
 

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Awesome!! Would you believe I was just asked the other day to trap some muskrats out of someones pond, I might take them up on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Forestman3 said:
Nice looking catch.I wouldn`t lay that wet muskrat on that cold metal bed.Depending on the temp it will freeze fast to the metal.
Now you tell me...
 

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Lugnut said:
This year I set it up again, made the usual feed-bed and toilet sets. I took the shotgun approach to den sets, setting a coni at any opening in the rocks that went back the length of my stick.
If you wait until you have some skim ice and set only the bubble trails, it sure takes the guess work out of it. Congrats on the rat. Where I'm at there are more rats but less reds.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's a good tip and I use the few bubble trails I find to narrow down set locations. The problem with this pond is the large rocks that line the circumference. They were placed for erosion control and go from two feet above normal water level to three foot below. There are literally hundreds of muskrat sized openings in those rocks.

So there might be 5-6 possible den entrances at the end of that bubble trail. Also, there's only a handful of rats in this pond. It's the only pond in this area that has any as far as I know.

I don't remember it being this difficult when we were kids. My brother and I caught dozens without even trying very hard. Seemed like every trickle of water had a colony of rats in it.

Very few in this area anymore...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dietsch said:
nice tiny fox you have there ,
They are both female pups/yearlings, the dispersal has begun!

The rat was pretty healthy, weighed 3 1/2 lbs.
 
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