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Live trap lines vs footholds/conibears

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Live trap lines vs footholds/conibears

Old 01-24-2011, 11:14 AM
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Default Live trap lines vs footholds/conibears

I grew up as a coon hunter (walker hounds) and never did much trapping other than coyote snares and I ran foothold lines for a few seasons in college.

I've been thinking about running a few lines next winter on a hunting lease I have now, but I've been thinking about using live-traps instead of footholds/conibears. I built live traps back in college that we used to trap live coons for training pups, and I still have several laying around (a few dozen). I was frustrated when I was trapping that I'd always have a lot of blown traps/escaped animals (empty but sprung) or I'd have a lot of non-target species and small game (rabbits, squirrels, rats, etc). I played with a mix of trap sizes, seems like my 1's and 11's would always be blown with whisps of hair left in the jaws, and my 2's and 3's would always have broken legged rabbits, the small ones were slipping off coons, and my big ones were always clamping down on non-target game.

At any rate, I have a lease that's pretty far off the grid, so a line of live traps would be "safe" from theft. And if I caught non-target game, I can release them without harm.

Anyone have a "pro's and con's list" for why or why not to use live traps instead of footholds?
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:15 AM
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I am not much of a trapper but I keep a box trap busy getting rid of problem coons. I have tried to catch foxes, but have only had one of them that was foolish enough to get caught. Box traps work very well for coons and feral cats. I tried leg hold traps which work better for foxes, but found that neighbors' dogs like to step in them too.
My biggest worry about box traps other than theft is what to do if a skunk gets caught. How do you get them out without a problem?
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:52 AM
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SKunks are easy, toss a blanket over the trap and wait about ten minutes, then slowly roll the trap over...open door... and step back. skunk will slowly come out and run away.

As for using live traps.... good luck catching fox or 'yotes. Coons, oppossum, occasional skunk, lots of wild cats, but the good stuff doesn't seem to fall for a live trap set-up. It's worth a try, you might get a few.. but it'll be tough.
-JAke
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:53 AM
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^^^ I said a blanket, but i've used my coat too. Just anything to cover it so the skunk calms down. for some reason when an animal can't see it's natural reaction is to just lay there.
-Jake
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:11 AM
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I trapped all through grade school and high school. In my opinion its hard to beat conibears set in buckets. You can catch just about anything in them and they are dead when you get there. No bullet holes and much faster to set. If you are "off the grid" you shouldnt have to worry about catching peoples pets either. I did use box traps if I had to. Usually only when I was on the edge of town. They work fine as well, but are more time consuming.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:01 PM
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In my experience, skunk's rarely spray in a live trap/box trap. My dad used to say it's because the box is too short, so they can't lift their tail high enough to spray, but we caught 100's of skunks over the years, and I can't remember any of them spraying. We'd just open the box and let them out (like boca said, roll it over and the gate fell open-he must have had some of the same designed cages we had!).
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:57 PM
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Yes sir, mine all have a latch you have to release, then just roll it over. Take a few steps back, and skunky goes on his way.
I left a trap with my grandpa a few years back so he could catch a ground hog. Well, he got a skunk. And was able to get it out just fine. He was 73 then, so skunks should be no worry!
-Jake
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