Bobcat, fox and raccoon trapping with cage…live traps… for fur
I was just at the NC trapping convention and gave a bobcat demo and after me Joey Vandyke gave a demo on grey fox trapping with cage traps. Joey uses footholds, bodygrips, snares and cage traps to rack up the impressive catch he makes every year. Why does he use cage traps when he does not have to. It’s simple, the cages allow him to catch some fur in some places that a foothold trap could cause some problems for himself. A well-rounded trapper will win in the fur game in the upcoming world we are entering.
By Clint Locklear, photo of a grey fox in one of Mercer’s cage traps
One reason that cage traps are so important is that a contained animal does not draw the non-trappers eyes like a staked animal does. We all know how easy it is to see a catch circle from a bobcat, fox or raccoon. You don’t even have to be a trapper to know something has happened in the area. Even if the trapped animal is not moving and is staying still, the circle is like an alien crop circle that screams to be investigated. Very few of us live in an area without hunters and people driving and walking around. So there is a good chance that your caught animal or catch circle will be seen by someone. This may or may not cause a problem, but why take the chance.
Cage traps give the trapper an advantage on some locations. I know I have driven by thousands of great trap locations and travel ways, because the animal would probably be seen. I could have tried to hide the animal, but animals do not always do what we think they will do. So, just like you. I see a great location, but don’t set it because of roaming eyes. I shutter to think how many hundreds to thousands of animals I could have caught and sold if I had a way to trap these questionable locations without getting robbed.
The cage trap may be the right piece of equipment to use in a lot of these locations. You can cover up the cage trap with brush, place behind a hay bale, tuck into a honeysuckle or blackberry bramble or just over a rise from the road. The trap can be blended into the surroundings. Plus the caught animal will not be jumping around in front of every one. You also would not have a burn circle to worry about. Animals that are caught in covered up cages just seem to hang out and catch up on some sleep. They feel hidden and are not jumping up and down in front of God and everyone. They are hidden from prying eyes.
So, instead of driving by a good location, have a plan to set up the location and catch the animals. I’m not saying cage traps are the only trap to use, but they can help every trapper take fur were they used to have to drive by.