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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can you use straw to make "hay" sets? I want to get some out but am afraid putting any hay or orchard grass out would be like ringing a dinner bell to the overpopulated deer herds around here and lead to nothing but deer tripped traps. Have some straw bales from work projects laying around, and have had a few in the chicken enclosure getting nice and scented.
 

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Straw is what I am using this year. Only had them out a few days but so far the straw is well drained and has not frozen solid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have caught a red and a skunk in the same hay set made with straw this year. Not scientific but I think hay has a better smell.
I figured that as well but as I said I fear that hay would be a be a magnet for the deer. I have enough issues already with them stepping on my traps. Saw one herd of at least 30-40 when I entered the field this morning to check my sets so they would probably make the hay disappear quickly too!
 

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Straw is as good a visual as anything, beats a tire even...
 
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I figure the lure and urine provides the smell, same as most other sets. I'm using "hay" sets not because of how the grass itself smells but mainly because of ice and snow, and because fox will see it and come looking for mice.
 
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I used straw last year with no problems at all. Just make sure it's chopped up pretty well. When the stalks are left really long, they can clog your swivels up and then you have problems. I caught a red last year on straw and before I made the set a fellow trapper told me to chop it up into small pieces. I did not listen and even though I caught the red, I will just say I felt pretty bad for it till I got there. Lesson learned.
 

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I like Timothy, grass clippings or haylage/chopped haylage. All finer diameter than Straw.
Use large traps, largest legal in Pa. Set on sign, set at likely location.

Tip of the week-
Go in barn where hay is stored. Sweep up the fine stuff off floor.
This fine duff makes great set covering to blend any time of season. Helps blend trail sets, dirt holes, flat, urine post or hay sets.

How many hay sets do you guys put out each season?
 

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I wonder how the hay does with freezing compared to straw. As of this morning, none of my straw sets were frozen and all were still functioning, and we've had some pretty cold days and nights this week. My guess is that the straw might drain better and dry out faster, not retain as much moisture as finer hay. I don't have any hay on hand, but if I did it would be interesting to do a comparison.


Water Plant Branch Sky Natural landscape
 
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Flint Lock is this the farm where the farmer is shooting them or another?
No, that's another farm. The one pictured here is where I caught a mink and another fox last week. It's the best location on my line.

I had a miss at the "shooting farm" today. One of the traps at my straw set fired but no catch. I have to say I am loving the straw sets as I have had no problems with freezing so far.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Flintlock are you shooting the trapped fox? Looks like a good bit of blood left there if Im seeing it correctly. Heard that currently some buyers are refusing fur from anything that was shot unless is already been cleaned up sewed and put up. With the low prices its not worth their time to be washing blood, sewing pelts etc. I know one of the first questions the guy I sell to asked me when contacted about buying was how are they dispatched.
 

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Flintlock are you shooting the trapped fox? Looks like a good bit of blood left there if Im seeing it correctly. Heard that currently some buyers are refusing fur from anything that was shot unless is already been cleaned up sewed and put up. With the low prices its not worth their time to be washing blood, sewing pelts etc. I know one of the first questions the guy I sell to asked me when contacted about buying was how are they dispatched.
Huntinlandscaper, never heard of this? I wouldn't think most buyers would do this even if the price was really good?
 

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Good observation. I shoot them between the eyes with a subsonic 22 short. Sometimes they bleed a lot but the hole is so small I don't even notice it when I am skinning. I don't think I am going to sell my fur this year. I don't have much so probably just get tanned and make some hats and stuff. I'm surprised a tiny hole in the head would make much difference to the quality of the fur since the eye holes are already in that area. If a buyer tells me that I'll be looking for another buyer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Huntinlandscaper, never heard of this? I wouldn't think most buyers would do this even if the price was really good?
A good friend of mine said his buyer(dont know who) told him not to bring him fox carcasses with bullet holes in them or with blood on the fur. Said hes only buying "good" foxes this year because hes going to have issues selling even that for a profit this year. According to that buyer many others are doing the same
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good observation. I shoot them between the eyes with a subsonic 22 short. Sometimes they bleed a lot but the hole is so small I don't even notice it when I am skinning. I don't think I am going to sell my fur this year. I don't have much so probably just get tanned and make some hats and stuff. I'm surprised a tiny hole in the head would make much difference to the quality of the fur since the eye holes are already in that area. If a buyer tells me that I'll be looking for another buyer.
Yeah I wouldnt worry one bit about head shots with a low power 22. I dont shoot my foxes, but coons and yotes get a either a 22 CB or Quiet 22 in the lungs and I like you never have had noticeable holes. Just repeating what was told to me by a friend
 
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