bobcat trapping, Land trapping, raccoon trapping — December 4, 2013 at 2:03 am

Double on bobcats with blindsets! Slow Raccoon trapping and raccoon calling, thoughts from Dustin Drews

trapping bobcats double catchSo I just finished up on week 3. Man the frustration. I could not buy a coon this week to save my life! I was on fresh property with awesome coon sign, did the normal routine: find the denning areas, pound in blind sets going to water and food. All this in 3 days of this no action… Hmmm. Find trails along fields, put in dirt holes blind sets and still no action. What next? Go to water, put in blind sets, put in pockets… still no action! Now I am going nuts. I have over 230 sets on some new ground that looks prime and only picking up a couple coon a day? What Changed? I was catching 10-12 coon a day with half that many sets out??? Driving around I was asking myself what can I do, what can I do? So on day 4 I am getting low on traps and only have a dismal catch. I told my wife I am taking the caller out. I was thinking maybe distemper hit?
I get to the property with good sign and go to the biggest cotton wood tree on it. Same place that I had set up with traps for the last of couple days. Cranked the FoxPro to 40 with the sound boar fight and pushed send on the remote. I have never seen so many coons pore out of a tree in all my life! I ended up killing 4 in about 40 seconds! Walking around the tree looking for my coons in the brush it dawns on me. Man it is hot out here. I was sweating it is November! The first coon I picked up was so fat I am surprised she it made it out of the hole! I was relieved that the coons were still around. So I started doing some research on the web about coon movement. For starters I found coon do not like bright nights. Hmmm, we have had a full moon this last week. Next it was warm and the coons are FAT! I honestly think they just were content staying in the trees this week. If blind sets, dirt holes pockets and dps do not catch them what else could it be? My black lab is 83 pounds.  You can see how fat these coon are by this picture!
So not a great week on the coon line! I talked to another trapper that I really respect and he said the full moon in November really sucks for coon trapping. He even pulls his line and duck and goose hunts instead of going during this time of year. He did say if you have cloud cover it does not affect them as badly. We had no clouds at all so he could be on to something. I did catch some coon but man did they make me work for them!
On another note when you have 180 blind sets out you tend to catch a lot of crazy stuff! I caught the largest woodchuck I have ever seen. I got the first mange coyote of the season. I got another fox, lord knows how many squirrels. Rabbits, feral cats, skunks and grinners all fell  in my traps. I even caught a great horned owl? More on him later. Finally I completed my 2013 Nebraska grand slam with not one but a double on bobcats with blindsets! I have to say I am pretty proud of my grand slam. That was one of my main goals of the year.
So about this owl. I do not know what he was doing or why he was doing it. Maybe he just wanted to give up flying and try walking for a change? But anyhoooo, about this owl, I am really glad I modified my traps this year with the double jaw and the offset. I put the catch pole around his wings released him from the trap. I let him walk around to make sure he was ok. Then I took the catch pole off of him and he just stood there? Hmmm now what to do? I start walking toward him and he starts walking away. Well I follow him for about 15 feet about that time it dawns on him that he is not anchored to the ground any more and he flew off uninjured from the experience. This situation made me realize once again how important modifying traps is. You just never know what is going to land in them.
More on the traps that I modified. I do not know why you cannot buy larger traps double jawed? They are absolutely awesome! I look back and think of all the times I was standing there scratching my head thinking how and why am I getting all these pull outs and tripped traps? That problem has came to a screeching halt.
My go-to trap on my line is a number 2 bridger 4 coiled with a lugged offset and a square stock double jaw. I got all the critters on my grand slam with this trap. A coons paw swells in between the two jaws and you will pull his foot off before the trap lets go. I even tried them on beaver! The first beaver was a 67 pound beaver and he went nowhere. I would not recommend these for beaver but I had to try a few to see how they would perform! Also the mink and muskrats are held way up high and went nowhere too! I am going to play with some # 3 pans on the #2 traps some. I feel pan size is the only thing they are lacking.
So we had are ups and downs this week. The next time I hear a trapper say I can roll into an area and in two checks pull all the coon and move on I will take every other thing the guy says with a small grain of salt. I know confidence is important guys but until you start blind setting along with using baited sets you will realize that this statement is nothing more the smoke and mirrors. He may get a couple good checks from time to time but he is going to leave a lot of coon in the area at certain times of the year. Do not get discouraged if you are not having this magical massive catch happen on your line even with being on location on a smoking hot coon trail in the biggest den tree in 4 miles. I still had to call them out of the tree to kill them. I am finding sometimes traps have to soak no matter what kind of sign or location you are on. Let them guys pound there chest and blow there smoke. Just like anything if it sounds too good to be true it probably is! Trapping is not a math problem! A+B does not equal C. I do not care what the books, magazines, advertisements or what other trappers tell you. The best way I can describe trapping is this: 10% of the time the set works every time unless it don’t!
Great news deer rifle season ends sunday so I get all my ground back with out any worries of guys bothering me or worrying about getting hit by a stray bullet.
Be safe have fun and keep on keepin on!
God Bless,
Dustin Drews
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  1. I was wondering what type of stretchers do you used in your fur shed also great article.

    • I use a mix of wood and metal, Mostly wood. Most of my cat boards are a mix from Okie Cable and Trap supply. The other are picked up ay conventions when they look like quality.

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