Trapping in snow, rain, cold temps and mud, few thoughts from Dustin Drew
Trapping has been tough for the last couple weeks. We have had some really crappy trapping conditions! To say I was victorious would be a flat out lie. I got my butt handed to me. What I was dealing with was a half inch of rain, then a couple days later we got 8 inches of snow, then we got down to zero for a couple weeks and the wind would blow 40 mph! Sounds like fun right? The main critter I was after was coyotes!
Well the first problem I had was keeping the traps working. The soil would be wet so you wallow out a set then bed the trap in the muck blend it then BAM, that night it gets down to 10. The peat moss, new dirt and water ends up being a block of ice. So while I was trying to figure out how to keep traps working in these conditions mother nature comes back and slaps me in the face with 8 inches of snow. Not a big deal! Boy was I wrong. I would clear away the snow in a big area and put in a flat set with some bait thinking life is good, this is going to work. Then the wind blows again and the snow blows over the traps and what do you know the trap was out of commission after a day. A week of this and I was beating my head against the wall! I could not keep them working so I said the heck with foot holds I will run snares!
So we have snow on the ground I thought wow this is going to be easy I know where the coyotes are going to be because I can see the tracks in the snow I will just hang snares! What I thought was going to be easy was more frustrating then I ever thought it could be! For what ever reason I never (in 15 different sections I was trapping) found a place where the coyotes traveled twice on land? I do not know why. I wish I did! The only place I found consistent coyote sign is on the ice of the creeks but to hang snares on our creeks would be scary. Some of the ice is 8 inches but then another 20 foot down it could be only a half inch.
So to say I was productive in the last couple of weeks would be a lie! I failed. I have done nothing but beat my head against the truck and shake my fist at mother nature!
The weather started to break this week.The snow is leaving rapidly and boy am I glad. The last few weeks was a major slap in the face. I thought I was ready to tackle the elements but I was wrong! Having your fingers freeze to the traps while setting them, scooping snow, loosing stuff in the snow, trying to find traps that got drifted over by the snow, getting your truck stuck in the snow… I can go on and on and on. Now I can see why Clint goes to Texas in the winter. If I ever make the switch to full time trapper you can bet your butt I would be doing the same thing! I am not giving up, but I am definitely rethinking my dry land inclement weather system. It involves a thermal hand held scanner and a gen 3 night vision scope with a FoxPro electric E-caller. But that is still in the funding stage!
Until then I will keep on keepin on… You guys do the same!