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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I discovered a dead fox lying in a neighboring field about 10 yards from my property. I ended up finding a trap chained to a small tree with the foxs front leg still in the trap. First question, will a fox chew off its leg to get lose. I didnt find any other markings on this guy to make me believe something may have went after him. The other question is how often does a trapper need to check his/her traps. The last snow storm we got was last saturday, I discovered this on wednesday and there wasnt a foot print anywhere to be found, that proves to me that knowone has checked this trap since last friday at the earliest.
 

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What was the condition of the dead fox??? Coyotes are known to rip fox from traps....

We have to check.every 36 hours...but tracks in the snow dont.mean anything....i check every 24 and most of my sets you will.never know i was there after i set them...

A fox will not chew its leg off...a trap is designed to hold the animal by its foot and typically causes no harm to the critter in the trap...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There was not a mark anywhere on the fox that i couls see. He looked perfectly normal other that his front leg was gone. I dont see any sign of a coyote taking him off, no other tracks of any kind that I could see anyway
 

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Sounds like coyotes could have pulled it from trap. this is common. If you are curious enough, talk with the nieghbor and find out who is trapping the area. Get ahold of them and return the fox if possible. You will make a friend, and maybe learn a thing or 2 about trapping. It's the right thing to do.

The fox did not fly there, any tracks may have blown over with the wind.
 

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The fox didn't do that to himself, no way. Fox generally don,t fight the trap very hard, I've walked up on a few that i had and they appeared to be sleeping. Any roaming dogs will tear a fox apart in a trap.
 

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P350 said:
There was not a mark anywhere on the fox that i couls see. He looked perfectly normal other that his front leg was gone. I dont see any sign of a coyote taking him off, no other tracks of any kind that I could see anyway
the only way to really be able to tell is to skin the fox...after you skin the fox then you can really see if there are any puncture marks in the leather...they are very hard to see and alota times not visable when looking at the fur side of a animal...PA has a 36 hr check law..if you mess with that trap you found you can be arrested for breaking the game laws...talk to the land owner first and find out whos trap it is...then talk to the trapper and be calm when you talk to the trapper...and as said before you will make a friend and learn alot..if you come off as a anti you will make a enemy very fast and probually see a side of him you may not want to deal with...
 

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A fox chewing out like that would be very unusual.Even more unusual would be a fox that was in good enough shape to fight out of the trap and still hang around with three legs.On your other question you seem prty sure the guy has not checked the trap in a week.If that is true don't call him a trapper call him dirtbag.Bobcat,there are no aliens in PA.I asked the Game Comission.
 

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Ironbelly, there is no.law saying we have to physically walk to every set daily...the trap needs checked....like i said, most of my sets you will never know i check...i dont get out of my truck...many times i dont leave the driveway...or i walk in and check from a vantage point from as far off as i can...just because there arent tracks in the snow doesnt mean it isnt being checked.....i walk to mine once a week or so unless they look disturbed..

The guy may be checking from a distance and snow covered up the catch circle so he doesnt even know he had a catch...

But he very well.may be a slob.....we dont know...we dont know much about this whole story....but i wouldnt be throwing a trapper under the bus as this post might be lured with a fishy bait..........ive seen similar tactics used
 

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I only walk to my sets every couple or few days, but check them every day as well. I agree with Mauser06. If something came through and ripped the fox out and killed it and it got buried in snow, it'd be hard to see.
 

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Lost In The Sproul said:
Most fox/coyote trappers use stakes or earth anchors to hold their traps in the ground.They don't "tie them to a tree". I smell something fishy here boys! Sproul
x2
 

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There was a discussion on a another forum about this set up so maybe someone tried it. My vote is that foxes don't magically lose legs. The fact that I can't find my tracks when I"m running my line in certain feilds doesn't surprise me no tracks. I also have been known to check with bino's and walk up once a week. Seems to me somthing happened what exaclty well till that fox is skinned no one might ever know. If you go back a few pages your see posts where yotes among other things have stole/destroyed catches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sproul, i can assure you that this trap was tied to a tree, why would I make that up. Im not a trapper and I dont pretend to be, which is why im asking these questions. I suppose that this trap could be checked at higher ground but I checked it again today and it still lays there just as it did the other day. My other questions is why would a coyote pull this from the trap and do nothing with it, im not saying i dont believe you guys im just asking why he wouldnt eat it or at least carry it off with him. Thanks for all the input.
 

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I do agree with you guys that the only way to tell if it was ripped out is to skin it. I don't always walk up to my sets ether, and it could be hard to see from a distance if it was covered in fresh snow. That being said, it could have been a kid who was messing around with a couple of traps and stopped checking it after a while. A young / inexperienced "trapper" could have tied it off to a tree, not knowing any better ways to stake it down. Just my .02
 

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P350 said:
Sproul, i can assure you that this trap was tied to a tree, why would I make that up. Im not a trapper and I dont pretend to be, which is why im asking these questions. I suppose that this trap could be checked at higher ground but I checked it again today and it still lays there just as it did the other day. My other questions is why would a coyote pull this from the trap and do nothing with it, im not saying i dont believe you guys im just asking why he wouldnt eat it or at least carry it off with him. Thanks for all the input.
why does a cat kill a mole,vole,mouse and play with it only to bring it up on the porch to lay there to rot????

there are lots of reasons why a coyote just left it lay....seems a coyote has a short attention span...same as a dog...could have been 2 coyotes there and when the one left the other followed suit and forgot about the fox...somrthing could have spooked the coyote etc...too many variables to try and decide...if it was even a coyote..i have seen domestic dogs kill fox and just let them lay after they are dead....as for the trap getting checked could be a old timer(guessing here)had it set and died or got ill and is in the hospital,could be like said above a kid "testing" it out...i would contact the land owner and talk with him and if he dosent know i would personally look for a name tag on the trap,then contact the owner and see what was up......if no name tag contact the PA game commission and get them involved....my guess is this isnt really that important to you or would have already contacted the land owner and got some information about this said "trap".
 
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