The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m having a rash of snapped traps (550s) and near misses. In the last 5 days, I bet I’ve had at least 6 snapped traps and 3 times k9s have stepped in the dirt pattern but on a jaw instead of on the pan.

I suspect the snapped traps in haysets, and probably the dirt holes too are from deer as there are no catch circles and no human tracks. The only one that REALLY perplexes me is I had a 550, still sitting in the bed and covered in dirt, fired. Like it went off by itself. No way that happened but I don’t know any other explanation that makes sense.

Apparently I’m getting better at choosing locations because I’ve never had this much activity but, I’m still not connecting when animals are clearly visiting my sets. I’m putting a minimum of 2 scents at each set and that’s just at urine posts where I put urine and gland lure. Everything else has at least 3, and as many as 5 scents. Holes are deep so they can’t access the lure or bait, I use sheep wool on the bait holes but, I usually leave the lure holes clear. Not using a ton of lure, just take a little stick or blade of grass and get a little glob on it and put it in the hole. I’m using like a double tablespoon of bait I’d say. Just a fair squirt of urine on post sets, if I use urine at a dirt hole / post hole / trench set it’s usually just a few drops or small squirt. I reapply urine after a rain but otherwise I don’t re-lure /bait. Should be plenty of different smells there to get them to work the set. Somethings got to pique their interest.

Sets are solid. I make the trap bed as small as possible to lock in the trap, I line the bed with buckwheat hulls or peat moss, then bed the trap, apply anti-freeze to any dirt I use to pack it in, then cover the trap with buckwheat hulls or peat moss until only the pan is showing, smooth everything out and pack it and then top off with a thin layer of waxed dirt to act as a water shield.

Anything I’m blatantly doing wrong? How often are you guys seeing misses like this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
You may have answered your own question. For some reason some deer are attracted to fox and coyote scent. I have them step all over my sets, Ive found that useing a good size back stop will help keep them from stepping on the trap sometimes.
OR you may have a trap wise coyote or fox. I had a coyote last year that a nicknamed the surgeon,it would surgically remove the traps from the trap bed every time even when I doubled up the traps. I could read in the snow and dirt just how it would move in and attack the set. like to drove me nuts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The traps are almost all brand new MB550s. Some 2 coiled, some 4. Pan tension isn't an issue with them (I have checked to make sure there were no oddballs and rechecked when setting them.) and I've cleared the wax, I do that when setting the trap.

I almost always make 2 sets at each location. 1 big and stinky, one subtle, usually a blended in flat set or urine post. I only have 2 locations right now that have only 1 set and that's because I'm out of traps at the moment.

bearhunter jay, I might have to resort to that if it happens more often.

Its driving me nuts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
Adam I have had 8 sets out since the weekend before Christmas and the first 2 weeks all I caught was deer. Pretty much every set was hit by deer every nite. This not only frustrated me but I will say it sure is good practice doing all those remakes. I have never had a season with so much deer problems. Last year I may have had 2 sets tripped by deer. This year atleast 50 min. Now it seems as if the deer have learned to stay away cause in the last 10 days I caught 6 coon, 2 grinners and 2 reds. Untill this morning when I was doing a little scouting and watched a group of deer come across the powerline my 6 yr old daughter has a double dirthole on. I was on the west side of the hollow & deer on the east about 200 yds away. All 8 deer (doe & yearling)came to the set & jumped to avoid it. Well number 9 was a buck and he missed the set and got down wind of it & turned & followed the sent to the set & I watched as he snapped the trap. He jumped and took off. Funny to watch but once again I had another set to remake. Yhem deer hoofs slide right out of the trap with little effort. I'm pretty sure you have deer messing you up.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,799 Posts
Deer love hay....and salt...aka urine...also if using salt as antifreeze..


The.fired trap in its bed probably did fire all by itself....freeze and thaws or a heavy frost can do it...i had it happen once earlier this year...i was dumbfounded till i posted and someone said that and it made perfect sense...was one of the sets i didnt use.waxed dirt at..was the coldest nite the sets had seen and heavy.frost that.nite..went from muddy fields to rock hard..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
If the tracks in the pattern then adjust trap position accordingly. Watch the wind. Maybe use a bigger trap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Today I had a trap flipped out of the bed, still set. New location (nothing has messed with it before). Was bedded in sand as it's in a gravel pit and it was a pain to bed. Thinking of just making a hayset at that location instead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I think i have bad wax. I reboiled and rewaxed before setting these new properties. 6 new properties, all with freshly waxed sets. As of tonight ive missed 6 k9s. My traps are bedded so solidly that i had 2 today that were half uncovered and they still didnt wiggle but fired easily when i tested them.

So, if thats the case my only option is to pull and boil them yet again to remove this wax correct?

I have no clean wax and no extra cash for more so i guess if i do that i set unwaxed traps. Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
I don't think it's your wax Adam. I think you have coons messing with you. Are you bedding it peat moss? I have had many coon uncover traps, dig enough dirt & peat away to pull the pollyfill out from under the pan and had them just come in and flip traps to the side and not even set them off. When I run into these smart critters ,if I have one I plant another trap about 10"-12" in front of the main trap and conceal it very , very well and 9-10 times within 2 days I have a big old male coon waiting for me with a trap on his hind foot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
These traps are bedded SOLID. I usually dig the bed, line it with just a little bit of peat or buckwheat hulls to keep the trap from freezing down, then bed the trap and apply anti-freeze to any dirt I used to solidify the trap, then fill the void with more buckwheat hulls or peat and top it off with waxed dirt.

If it was just a trap or 2 I'd say that maybe they weren't as solid as I thought or something, but half a dozen different sets since Sunday, including completely blended in urine posts and flat sets?

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying it's odd that I'd have this rash of problems on 6 new pieces of property, no where near one another and have it all be coons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,601 Posts
I know it's hard to believe but I deal with it almost daily and sometimes it's 6 or 7 out of 10 traps. The coon population is high around here and when I have this happen the next critter I always catch is a big old coon and they are always males. I haven't caught a female yet this year and only caught 1 female last year. These old boys seem to really be good with thier hands! I even had 2 traps like that this morning. A basic stepdown dirthole baited with Hiawatha valley, Violator seven and some fox pee and a "blind" trap on the backside of the hole because I've had fox and coyote working the backside of the hole from the tell in the snow after Christmas. Now the trap in the trench was dug out and flipped unfired and the "blind" trap was dug out and moved to the side. Large coon tracks were all around the set. I've had traps bedded so tight I swore it wouldn't happen again. I go back the next day and the bugger gently dug around the pan, grabbed ahold of the pan and pulled the trap out of it's bed. even with a night latch he was still able to pull it out and not get caught. tricky buggers they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
I've had enough traps lifted out and set to the side of my good fox sets, a real pain. I set a DP about 15' away on the down wind side, within 3 days I usually have the culprit. I have a few locations I set the DP right away to keep them out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
try a simple flat punch hole set use some natural bait deer scarps rabbit skin or scraps remember simple slide the trap under the grassbed in down solid then comb the grasses over it no lure no scents try this in a new location were the yotes travel as for the other sets they no your there they are going to be very weary what i would do is pull the traps and feed them for a week then put the traps back in real simple no scent just what you been feeded them this has worked for me
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,364 Posts
Furdog said:
I've had enough traps lifted out and set to the side of my good fox sets, a real pain. I set a DP about 15' away on the down wind side, within 3 days I usually have the culprit. I have a few locations I set the DP right away to keep them out.
thats how i get rid of the "smart fox" that dig up my sets too. lol it dont matter how solid the trap is sometimes those coon feel the loose dirt and go to playing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Trap flipping Coons
. IMO coons flip/dig more traps than all other critter combined.

Stepdown and coyote gland lure will take those smart old coons this time of year. Actually that is my setup in the fall too if I come up against one of those trap flipping grease balls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Here is something for you guys that use peat moss or buckwheat hulls to concider.If you are having trouble with critters flipping or digging at your traps think about this. Pick up a hand full of the dirt from the location you are setting and smell it.Now pick up a handfull of the peat moss or buck wheat hulls.If you can't smell a difference between the dirt and the other things you are adding for bedding your nose doesn't work.That odor comes up through the trap bed and the critters can smell it. Most of them don't care and will work the set. Coons on the other hand are about the most curious thing I have ever run on to.Two things about peat and buckwheat hulls that will cause coon and some fox to dig is that it smells different from the surrounding soil and I don't care how you try to pack it down it still feels soft to a coon and they 'need' to dig in it to see why it is soft.
What I do is something simple.Just outside of the jaw nearest you I will put a handfull of what ever I'm using to bed with other than the dirt at the set.Two things happen here,they can see what the new smell is and when they step in it they feel how soft it is and their curiosoty is satisfied with out digging in the trap bed.Even if they dig in the peat outside of the trap bed there is no harm.After they have satisfied their curiosity with the smell of the bedding they will go about investigating the smell from the hole or where ever you have your lure.Some will say well the peat or buckwheat hulls will just blow away.Sure some will but what stays will still let the critters know what they are smelling so they don't have to dig to see what is there.Might help, might not.Something different to think about.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top