Otter Trapping, water trapping — December 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Want to trap, catch and hold the otter while trapping, some thoughts on Otter traps

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 Otter are tough the otter trapper better use good quality traps

otter trapping how to trapHow many times have you heard ,”you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his tools”. I have heard this statement over and over by trappers. Until I have spent the last three years targeting otter I took the tool statement with a big grain of salt. I have seen what some crude trappers used for gear and what they caught. There have been a lot of big number catches made with sub standard equipment. Coon, cats, rats, fox, mink and beaver can be taken in good numbers with crappie traps if the trapper is hardworking and has the numbers to work with. Now with otter this is NOT the case. I know of no big otter takers that skimp on good gear. The otter is not like any other animal that I have trapped, they NEVER give up or quite fighting the trap. If does not matter is the trappers tool is a snare, foothold of conibear. If the otter is breathing he is fighting and testing your gear. The otter is nothing but a muscle that seems to be made of spring steel. He is way harder on traps than any coyote, the coyote will at lest take breaks. The average coyote is about 25-30 pounds and so is most big buck otter. It never makes sense to me how a trapper will base plate, offset, laminate, four coil, bubble tip and shock spring a coyote trap and then go out a use a stock trap on otter and wonder why he has live otter in conibears, broken cable and pull outs from foot holds. The otter may look cute and lovable at the zoo, but he can turn into one pissed off pit bull in a trap. So the lesson that has to be understood is there is NO place on an otter line for cheap junky half ass equipment. That is if you want or need to hold EVERY otter that comes into contact with your equipment. If you have stock foot holds then spend the money or time to modify them. If you have old weak none closing conibears, sell them or fix’em right. If you have slow, weak non swiveled snares, build or buy some otter quality snares. Don’t bring crap on your otter line or the otter will chew then up and spit them back at you in pieces. If you’re new to otter trapping never underestimate the power and determination of an otter.

Keep in mind that what ever your equipment is, it can be better. No matter what you pay for a trap it is only a tool. Don’t fall in love with your traps or worry about what they look like or if wielding on them makes the resale price lower. It’s a tool and a tool has only one purpose in life and that is to do its job. If the trap needs to modified, then fix it. I don’t care what the tool looks like. I only care if it works at tip top shape and stays together. They are making traps everyday so yours is not special. So as you’re on your line keep an open mind about what is really happening with your gear? If you see a problem that can be fixed or made not to happen again on your line, then start modifying. Every one has a trap not working at its peak, but don’t let it happen more than once. Some modifications means having a stronger faster trap, some help on speed and some mean a higher trap trip rate when the otter makes contact with firing mechanism. You have to always be looking for any edge you can get on otter and competition for that matter.

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