How do you plan your trapping season?

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by Big Bird, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Big Bird

    Big Bird New Member

    How do you guys organize where and what you will trap? My first year I was running all over and not getting much quality time in the ground. This past year was a little better. This season I have sort of put together a game plan. I have drawn out some rough maps of the areas I have permission to trap and marked on each one set locations and ranked them according to what I think would be the best locations for each target animal. I have tried to plan a little smarter too, time wise. I have learned that setting locations that are a bit easier to get to means I have more time to set/check more traps. It is hard to resist that perfect location though, no matter how far off the beaten path it Any other tips or ideas?
  2. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    collins mo
    sounds like your getting your ducks in a row,
    I trap all year, (I have traps out only in season.)when season out, Iam usually fishing, or arrowhead hunting or looking around the next bend. I watch for sign all year, come oct. Ill even pay more attention. I usually start,
    Where I think I;ll do the best, or have the most competion. Ill hit it first.
    I usually dont stay in one area , over 5 days, unless I have otter, sets out,
    Then its a waiting game when will they come through. tonight or next week.
    It dosent bother me to go in after someone has pulled out, in some areas,
    They usually have the coons and beaver lower down, This is with otter and old or bigger beaver, usually the bigest and oldest beaver will travel the fartherest, from den, you can use this, to your advantage.The largest Ive tanken have been away fron house or den. 70 lb largest.
    keep doing what your doing and let the animals show you where to trap.

  3. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    i plan on getting ready early. i have all my supplies lined up with baits, lures, traps, dye, wax, stakes etc... i was told that its best to be ready early than ready late. so im ready for them critters!
  4. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    I trap 100% private property, and have little to no hunters on it as well. I trap everything in season (coyote, fox, coon, mink, rats, stinkers & grinners).

    I just run the properties in the same order everyday. It doesn't take long to get used to it & it saves alot of time to have a "rythym" going. It may take you a couple different tries to see what works best.

    I also keep a Trappers Log, it has places to write-in locations, trap size, type set, lure/bait used, date set, catches made, etc. memory ain't what it used to be & there's no way I could remember all my sets (though I can come close, I just don't trust myself).

    Pre-season prep (on your gear) & organization will save you alot of time come opening day & will carry you quite a ways as long as you can stay that way (organized).....I can....most of the time :tounge_out:

    The first few days are the worst, because you're putting in sets. After that, it's checks & remakes.....and an additional set here & there. Here (Indiana) we can't even drive a trapstake, or make sets....just leave the trap closed before season opens.

  5. cuttingout69

    cuttingout69 New Member

    I start at the end of the previous season by putting all my gear up ready to go back out. I will always recheck for minor things to fix on the equipment or like this up coming season, I am going to change the tie off system on my killers. I use to have set lines. I use to have a local line that I ran out of a boat over about 12 miles of creek. I did not have enough traps to cover but about 3 miles at the time so I would turn my line over every 7 days. I also had several road lines that I would run when I got off work on the grave yard shift. On the road lines, I would cover up to 45 miles. On these, I would most just trap right off the road, no more that 50 yards.

    After I got out of trapping for a few years due to work and no time off, they changed the trespass laws here where I live and it became difficult to trap my old spots. Lucky for me, my good friend and the only trapping partner I have ever had, Gooboy, hooked me up with him on public land. I have a since built one road line with permission on over 4,000 acres and I still run a river line with Eric on the public land. Eric and I talked the other night about our up coming season and how and when we are going to run. I told him as we talked that he is the only person I have ever taken on one of my lines and he is also the only person I have every partner trapped with. If you have never partner trapped, it is the funniest thing you will ever do, as long as you have a good partner that you can take the closeness with. You spend long hours together, just the two of you, or three as his wife Carmen helped us a lot. ( I do mean helped also) She would carry a beaver 100 yards to the 4 wheelers if needed. If you ever try partner trapping, you be make sure you can take being with your partner for up to 16 days with out getting tired of him. This is the key to a good line.

    Any way back to the preseason. I will start getting permission slips signed around Nov-Dec. One thing you need to do is make sure you tell any land owner you are trapping on, the exact dates you will be in and out. I found this to be the most important thing last season. I gave Eric and I a 3 week window to be in and out of the land. The land owners loved it, because as soon as we moved out hog dogs moved in. I was surprised as land owners held there land open for us to finish our work for them.

    One thing I learned years ago that I know will help you, for sure with gas as high as it is. Never backtrack a line. I always made a circle. If you have to go down the same road twice to get some where, you are wasting time and fuel. I am not talking about a dead end road, but rather a main hwy. Always try to lay your line out in a circle. You cover more area, catch way more game, and save time.
  6. gooboy

    gooboy New Member

    Dave, sounds like your sure on the right track.Jim, Smitty, and Tony all gave some great tips. I like setting close to the boat, 4-wheeler, or truck, but it sure is hard to pass up on them awesome set locations even if they are hard to get to. A great example of goin' the extra mile for a honey hole set... Last year on me and tony's 14 day road and 4-wheeler line in the river bottoms, we usually stayed really close to the road or 4-wheeler trails. We had so much prime land that was easily accessable that it was a waste of time to stray far from the beaten path. One piece of property had a very large creek running through it. The banks were high, real high. probably 50 or 60 feet just about straight down. we where trapping a crawfish pond on one side of the creek. there was a trail just wide enough to drive between the creek and the back side of the pond. I was making a set and Tony went on ahead to look for another set. When I finished and pulled up to his 4-wheeler he was nowhere to be found. I hollered at him and he answered from way down in the creek. When I looked that way I immediately saw why he was down there. The creek made a big curve that almost came back to itself and touched. There was a brushy sandbar about 20 feet wide that made one heck of a shortcut that had otter wrote all over it. Over the next 7 nights that 1-280 he placed on that little piece of ground took 2 big buck otters and a coon. After he made the set, he only had to go back down there to retrieve his catches. He had placed his trap so it was visable from the bluff above. He was sure blowing hard when he got back to the top, but he was grinnin' from ear to ear with them otters. Some placed are just too hard to pass up no matter what it takes to get there.

    I've got a regular line on a big river that we run out of a boat every year. I've got a lot of sets that i make year after year. That's one great advantage of trapping the same land year after year. You'll learn the habits of the animals. I've got several crossovers that over the last 8 years I've taken 50 or more beaver out of a single set. Year before last we made 2 different trips on the river line for a total of 18 nights. One crossover took 17 beaver and one otter with only one trap. 100% catch ratio is pretty sweet! Just wish they were all like that!:roll_eyes:

    I mainly trap coon, beaver, and otter. But won't pass up the cat sign I find either. I have a lot of incidental catches of nutria and grinners, but thats just part of it. I think that by just targeting a certain number of animals it lets me move a lot faster. Every time that I step out of the boat to set an otter or beaver trap, I'll punch in a couple coon sets. I love to gang set. Most of my areas that get a coon trap get 5. If its worth one its usually worth a lot more. I know that some of my traps are gona get plugged with grinners and I want to have enough out that will take the coons too.

    Just a few of my thoughts......................