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This information is for the new trapper just getting started.
Here are some of the things I have picked up over the past 50 years of trapping. They are plain and easy and the pictures will help to explain.
I hope some of my tips and ideas will work for you. Also remember if you thought of it, someone else could have also.
Best of Trapping,
After you dispatch an animal, you'll find that many of them are full of urine which tends to leak out. This is especially true for cats and coon.
To keep the fur from getting soiled, I use these small clamps, plus it helps you save the fresh urine.
Notice the good, clean bladder urine in the photo to the right.
To make adding inline springs much easier, make a couple of holders to stretch out your chain rig.
This allows the swivels to pivot and makes it easier for welding.
When welding, I do not clench the j-hooks tight.
I leave a small gap and then weld.
The final product -- shows the welded j-hook on the inline spring.
By welding your j-hooks you really help to keep the trash from gathering in the j-hook and locking up your swivel.
I weld both sides of the j-hook.
In the West, the washes drastically vary in size, and the wider ones can be difficult to pick out a key set location. I visually pick out my spots in the wash and set them up. Usually one on each side of the wash.
Then, I drive up the wash, past the sets a good distance, turn around and come down in the same tracks keeping the tire close to the sets.
Almost always, animals will use these tire tracks and it will lead them right into your sets. Same as breaking and setting on snow trails.
Medium size wash finished!
One on the right and one on the left
I always double stake my sets, and if the ground is a little soft, I drive the 2 stakes at a 45-degree angle and use trappers wire or zip ties to lock the stake heads together as I finish driving them down.
This really helps hold and anchor them solid.
I cut out oversized wood blocks for the size of the trap I'm using.
I use it as a forming mold. I do this early in the season before the ground is frozen.
Empty Bed - I try to pick a day that the ground is good and wet to dig the beds using my wood block as a guide. The wet dirt holds the shape and that's what I want.
Trap Fits Good - You can see there is plenty of room for the trap and the dry bedding you will be using.
Dry dirt, waxed dirt, peat moss, shredded leaves, grass clippings and etc. -- I've used about everything.
Bedding Block in Leaves - Place shredded leaves under and around the block to keep it from freezing solid.
When you are ready to make your winter sets, pop the wood block out and make your set. It's that easy. No chopping frozen ground.
Here is another thing I do before season. Dig your trap bed the size that you want and pack it full of shredded leaves. I like the shredded leaves as they do not blow away as bad. Put a couple pieces of bark or small limbs or what ever over the bed to keep the leaves from blowing out helps also.
I use both the blocks and the leaf filled pockets. I hate working frozen ground.
Adjustable Wood Stretchers
I use a lot of adjustable wood stretchers. The wing nut and adjusting bar sometimes does not want to hold tight and as the fur dries it wants to pull the sides of the stretcher in.
I drill several holes and use a nail to lock it in place.
Works Good !!
Staple Gun - I use thin card board and angle the staple so 1 end sticks up a little. This helps to see the staple and pop them out when the fur is dry.
Notice the nail is locked in the adjusting bar.
This is fast, neat and holds the shape and length.
I also use the staple gun and spring clamps on my coyotes.
After multiple catches you usually end up with dirty traps.
Water and a brush does a good job cleaning off all the blood, dirt, crap and etc.
Then I let them air dry good. I always carry a block of wax and run it over the spring levers and outside of the jaws and set back in dry dirt and I can keep going.
Speed Up Your Body Traps - I camouflage paint my Body Grips. Then when I get ready to set them, I use a block of wax and run up and down the jaws. This really speeds them up. - No drag.
Some trap chain is oiled or has a rust inhibitor on it. A fast easy way to clean it is to tie it on to the back of a 4-wheeler, a side-by-side or whatever and drag it down a gravel road,or a dirt 2-track - flip ends and repeat. It doesn't take much distance. Then, I run it through a grassy field and that really cleans it.
To help eliminate coon refusal on a bucket set, I use a couple shovels of dirt in front of the trap and the bottom of the bucket.
The long handled shovel is always in the back of my truck.
Finished Set - I like to smooth out the dirt ramp. Animals tend to work the bucket better if there is a dirt path all the way to the back of the bucket.
In wet weather make sure the dirt does not freeze down your jaws.
More Tips on the NEXT PAGE!