Dog Proof Raccoon Traps have become very popular in the last couple of years. There are any number of them on the market, but if you have purchased any of them you know they are quite costly and have varying degrees of complexity when trying to set some of them. Some of them even require a special tool to set them. What most of us dont need is another tool to carry or keep track of.
I saw a great and inexpensive way to dog proof your traps on another sight and asked permission from the originator to post it here. It does require one item other than a trap and that is a piece of wood. The common thing used is a piece of plywood approximately 12 x 14. I recommend not going out and buying a new sheet of plywood, but using scaps that you find laying around the house or the barn.
When I decided to try and make a couple of the boards ... I of course didn't have any plywood to use. On the trash pile of wood to burn, I found several old cupboard doors. They look pretty rough, but that is good. If I use them in places around public areas they will just blend in with some of the other trash that is there ... and maybe attract less curiosity.
Now my cupboard doors were a little bit larger than the specified 12 x 14, they were 12½ x 18. I dont blieve the difference in size will amount to anything other than transporting them to and from set sight.
1 5/8 Drill bit 1 Hole drill bit either 1½ or 1 ¾ 1 Drill
With your Hole cutter bit drill a hole as near to the center of the board as you can.
Next, come in from two opposing corners and drill a hole with the 5/8 drill bit these should be a couple of inches in. That is all there is to making your board.
I will explain how to use it and the purpose of the different holes.
The recommended traps would be anything you are comfortable catching a coon with. My preference would be either a No. 1½ coil or long spring or a No. 2 coil spring. In my illustrations I chose the No.2 coil. I would suggest that you make a practice set to be sure that all is well.
Dig a hole that will accomadate your selection of trap when it is set. The unset trap will be smaller than a set one. Also make sure that your hole is deep enough that when the trap is in the closed position it will not hit the board which will be covering it.
Now you will want to stake your trap and set it and firmly place it in your hole. Seat it like you would any other set trap, so it doesnt wobble or tip.
Before you place the board over the the trap you need to know what you are going to use for bait. My preference is something sweet, like marshmellows. What I plan on doing is taking a large mashmellow and wiring it to the pan. This way the coon will have to work to get it free and in doing so trigger the trap. I will also lay 1 or 2 small ones on the top of the board near the hole. My other baiting method will to be taking a small square of sheepskin and gluing or wiring it to the pan and putting a few drops of anise or other sweet oil on the sheepskin. This way when they reach through the hole they will have something to feel and try and remove it.
Now place your board over the trap centering the large center hole directly over the pan.
Now we are almost done . Locate 2 sticks, either green or dry, about 6 to 8 long and stick one in each of the 2 opposing 5/8 holes. The reason for these two sticks are not to permenantly pen the board, but to keep the raccoon from flipping the board over when he first discovers the bait. So it should be pretty stable to start with.
Some people now cover the board with a light covering of dirt, but I dont think this is required. I kick a little debree on it to give it a natural appearance and you are finished.
I would also suggest that if you use a newer piece of plywood or of like wood, you might get some mud and muddy it up good. Dont think this would hurt. Good luck this season and if I missed something feel free to send me a PM with questions. . Garry-