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Wax and winter methods

3303 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Snapper
I know this has been discussed before... what is your is your winter bedding material and what is the deciding factor in choosing a bedding material? Cost, access, durability?
Why don't more people use buckwheat hulls?
I'm kicking around the idea of making waxed dirt, could I use soy based wax for this?
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I had two major problems with Buckwheat hulls. 1 the wind blew them off of the trap. 2 The frost stood high in the hulls. Lastly after a good soaking rain the hulls drew damp and froze a cap over the trap.

In the lab I have made a lot of the soy wax. To me it has an acid smell. I have not tried it with dirt. Give it a try and let us know what you find out.
all the soy wax i have messed with and been around (girlfriend has a candle business) that acid smell dosent leave after it was melted...i wouldnt want to chance it on my line....just my .02
When I used to trap fox I never attempted to use dirt sets in freezing and thawing conditions. I would look for sets that would remain protected in some way.

The sod step/spring set; the hollow log set; trail sets under pine trees or other protected areas. I used a great deal of trail sets and hollow log sets for fox after the snow/freezing weather would set in.

Waxed #2 victor traps placed in sandwich bags and set out just before a fresh snow fall is how I did it but my line was short and close to home. I would go out hunting in fresh snow and see where the fox crossed roads, went through fences, used logs over streams and trails beside them. You get the idea. Let fresh snow fall to cover your traps because in most cases the snow you place over it will freeze and stop your trap from closing fast enough or tripping at all.

If you look around your area after a fresh snow you will find stumps or other raised areas where fox will climb up on after dark. Make note of it and when it starts snowing good during the day make the set; timing is everything. Same thing with fences; they will cross though that same square of the fence time after time. The trick is to set it in there during the day when it's snowing. If the fox sees or smells the trap they will use another place to cross in the future. They like to jump up on fallen trees alot too so look for those areas in you scouting too.
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Try Urea 46-0-0 fertilizer. All nitrogen no smell works like salt but no taste or smell. Also good for the vegitation.
Will there be any harm (signifigant rust) to the trap?
Asa e-mailed this to me some time ago here some info that might help. Everyone has there own ways of doing things.


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 Lenon鈥檚 Fox or Coyote Nature鈥檚 Call #3 lure for best results, on the bundle of grass. Place on side of grass where you anticipate the animal鈥檚 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 shifted 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 one鈥檚 catch but is not an easy task for the novice trapper, so will not explain it in depth at this time.


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.
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