How to trap raccoons in blind sets with foothold traps and Trapping with deer hunters !
The woods are a busy place in Nebraska on 2nd weekend through the 3rd weekend of November of deer season. It seems that every Tom Dick and Harry that owns a rifle is driving all the country roads trying to find the thirty pointer. It is funny I am a deer hunter myself, I do a lot of bow hunting but lately deer hunters seem to make me angry. It is like they have some higher status in the woods because they are pursuing critters with hooves instead of paws? I am sure I am preaching to the choir on this one.
So to say I trapped as much as I would of liked this week would be a lie. Most of the farmers hunt deer and the last thing I wanted to do is drive up checking traps while they are deer hunting. That is never a good thing!
I did have a couple of traps that seemed to be tampered with by the deer hunters but nothing was stolen.
Well enough on that. I did catch some fur and I believe I got my pull out issues solved! I switched traps on land and stayed away from the water. Instead of running the Bridger #2s I went with the sleepy creek number 3 long springs with the BIG pans. I had ordered 6 doz of them. I noticed some light chewing on the coons so I put some offset in them by welding a lug on each jaw. I think sleepy creek changed the springs on there number 3s. The Bridger #3 I got to check out a while back had much weaker and different colored springs then these do? I also think I am going to laminate them next year. One thing I like about them is they flat out hold critters… even 250 pound ones named Dustin.
One train wreck I did have this week with the double long springs was putting them on drags for raccoon! It was not a big deal in the grass but in wooded areas I had some pull outs from the raccoon wrapping my 10 feet of chain over, under, around and through any thing it could! I would never recommend putting coons on drags with footholds to anyone! I would say you want the coon staked down so he could not go anywhere or wrap around anything.
The last post I did I was finding raccoon walking right passed every bait I could throw at them. So I started putting the number 3s long spring traps in the trails! Guys the stories you hear about the effectiveness is true. The raccoon are dryer and all he has to do is walk down the trail! On one trail going to a toilet into a tree hanging over a creek I put 3 dog proof trapas with 3 different baits and a dirt hole. Then the final trap I put in was a blind set as close to the tree as I could so he had to walk by the other 4 sets. Well the coon was caught in the blind set? This is happening over and over again on my line! I have 3 times the amount of baited sets as blind sets but the blind sets are putting up the same numbers as the baited sets. Plus my first bobcat came off a blind set in a trail this week! So I am going to start using more and more of these sets. They are fast and they work! The coon does not need to be hungry just needs to be walking down the trail. This blind set stuff has really got me thinking, I used to cringe at the thought of using snares but seeing all the different game trails in the woods I want to put blind sets on I would need a peterbuilt to haul all the traps it would take to lock down a piece of property. Not to mention the time it would take to bed all them traps!
I start my hand on raccoon very soon and I have been scouring the internet for all I can for info on raccoon snaring. It seems this is the black magic of snaring. There are more opinions on snaring coon then you can shake a stick at! I hear lots of stuff ranging from fur damage, to impossible neck catches to the theory that the lock that the person is using is the key to success. Some say big cable some say small, some say 1/19 many say 7×7…it goes on and on! I will let you know what I decided on once I finally figure it out.
I took the camera on the line yesterday to take some pictures on how I was taught to make a blind set. Low and behold this morning I had a catch in the one I took pictures at. I hope it sheds some light to the guys that think you need bait and holes to catch fur.
This morning the Eastern Wolfer book
popped into my head. The one where Clint talks about using a ton of blind sets. I took a non trapping guy along with me and showed him my sets. I could tell he did not think they were that sexy. Blind sets and even snaring seem to the 99% of most trappers as boring. There is no pizzazz, no magic, no special baits, and no secrets in these type of sets. I can say this because I was one of them. At the two conventions I went to not one person talked about blind sets in the demos. Heck I paid money to go to Texas to learn how to trap from Clint and still over looked the set. Talking to all the trappers about different sets the blind sets were never really brought up. It was always dirt holes, pockets and baits and dp’s with coon! My eyes were opened this week with blind sets. I almost want to type all this in UPPER CASE so new guys like me think I am screaming to them.
This set is this simple:
Step- One: Find a trail. The one I found was in the edge of a corn field that was wide open. A snare or a conibear would have been tough to blend and it would have been very difficult to force the critter through in as you can tell in the picture.
Step- Two: Bed the traps in the center of the trail.
Step- Three: Put 2 sticks to form an “x” over the center of the pan a few inches from the levers then blend in the trap.
Step- Four: Collect your fur. I have caught raccoon, skunks, grinners, feral cats, rabbits, squirrels and my first Nebraska bobcat in them this week! The traps do not care what they catch and I do not have to care about what each critter wants to eat!
Hope you enjoy learning from my hard trapping lesson and I hope your eyes were as OPENED to blind sets as mine were!