How would I set a trap for Muskrats?

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by channelcat_tracker, May 17, 2006.

  1. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    hey in a woods i hunt, i just discovered a small pond that i never knew was there. i also found ALOT of muskrats. theres at least 10 to 20 rats there strong. i wondered i have about 5 to 10 110s and 2 220s and i know how to set them but how and where do you set the traps? (theres a lot of lush vegetation and a large 1 foot deep pond, thiers also alot of snails and food they eat)
     
  2. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Your 'rat season went out January 31 is in. Be sure to read your State Trapping regulations, http://www.iowadnr.com/wildlife/files/seasondates.html .

    A 220 would be alittle large for 'rats, so stick to the 110's. I use the "H"-style stabilizers for bodygrip traps, makes them quick & easy to set. Set them either infront of the dens openings (again, only if the laws allow it, some states don't), or in the trails going through the areas surrounding their feedbeds. Some trappers "bait" bodygrips by pushing a piece of potato, apple, etc. onto the trigger wires, I've tried it and can't say it helped.

    Another good & cheap 'rat traps are colony traps.
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/Traps%20for%20sale/col.jpg

    They're easy to make & easy to set, plus you can catch more than 1 'rat at a time in them. They also set infront of dens, and in the trails the 'rats make when they swim through the vegetation.

    If you want to try footholds, get some #1-1.5 or #11 longsprings, or some 1.5 coilsprings. #2 Victor squarejaws are dirt cheap (aren't good for much), but make good rat & mink traps because their weight aids in a qiuck drowning.

    If using footholds, you need to set them up on drowners (slidewires) so the animal will drown. They will twist-off in a trap if you don't.

    Hope this helped!
    Smitty
     

  3. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    forgot to comment. THIS IS FOR NEXT YEAR FOR UNDER THE ICE not to be rude but i knew the regulations ended the season at the end of january
     
  4. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Just wanted to be sure :big_smile: Why wait until ice-over? I think your season comes in November, get 'em before you have to chop a hole in the ice.

    Keep in mind too, leave some for "seed", so you'll have some to trap the following season.

    Talk to your parents, and if you're serious about trapping, PM me your address (be sure & clear-it with your parents though) & I'll send a few foothold traps if you don't have any, to help get you started.

    Smitty
     
  5. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    yea those traps for free? ill make em let me PM you then:lol: i only got 4 total traps a big variety too. i have 2 220s and 1 1 3/4 foothold and 1 racoon cage trap. im expecting about 5 to 10 110s next year so i do need to get some traps but budget wont let me
     
  6. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Yep.....won't cost you a dime, but I will ask this:

    You won't sell them

    If you decide you no-longer want/need them, give them to another young trapper who can use them, and make this same "deal" with him/her.

    If you agree to this, I'll send you some traps...........

    Smitty
     
  7. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    they are too expensive i think to sell em off. plus i have too much of an obsession to my "trapping" fever. i like the traps too much anyways. when i grow out of it i plan to hand them down to my younger brother who will use them for the same thing. hey just one thing, what do you need for you to send them? ill check out your profile and send a private message. thank you.
     
  8. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Returned your PM. All I need is your address, and like I said, I'll send them to you for nothing.......just carry-on trapping.

    Smitty
     
  9. beeheck

    beeheck New Member

    Messages:
    631
    State:
    Iowa / Missouri
    I used to trap muskrats over 20 years ago on the Missouri River here in Iowa and before freeze up I used floaters of my own design that I will try to describe here, they worked great and I even caught a couple mink in them. I used to set them right up close behind a wing-dam and I once found a rat in one trap with a hole in the top of his head and a mink in the other trap. I can only imagine that the rat got caught, didn't go in the water and a mink jumped it from the wing-dam and in the scramble the mink got caught in the other trap. Go figure. Here's how to build them. Take a 2X4 about 18" long and drill a 1/4" hole in the middle of it all the way through. Take a piece of 1/4" thread-all and using two washers and two nuts bolt it to the 2x4 through the hole you drilled and sharpen the end sticking up. It should be about 12" tall. Get a couple 1X4's about 10" long and nail them to the bottom of the 2x4 centered in the opposite direction so when the thing is in the water with the spike up the 1X4's are just under the water. It would kind of resemble a capital I, kind of. Take a #1 coil spring and nail the ring on the end of the chain to the bottom of the 2X4 so when the rat is caught and dives in he is pulling down on the bottom of the 2X4 and it won't upset the rig. Put a couple small nails in the right places to hold the trap onto the top of the 2X4 semi-solid but will still allow the rat to take the trap into the water with a little effort, I would grind off the heads. Put a trap on each side of the spike with the CLOSED jaws running parallel to the 2X4. To explain it better the trap, when closed setting on the 2X4 shouldn't be any wider than the 2X4, if you put it the wrong way when the jaws snap closed it stands a chance of throwing the rat off the rig unharmed and free. When it is right the rat will be walking down the 2X4 in line with the closing jaws and will be snagged when the jaws close. Oh, don't forget to put an ear of corn on the spike leaving it up high enough they have to sit up to reach it. The idea behind this trap setup is they have the 1X4's just under the water to help them get up on to the 2x4 and then they walk the plank (2X4) to the corn. The 1X4's are also stabilizers so the unit doesn't tip. I always put the trap about 2" from the spike so as they eat if they do get over the pan some how, they will step on it to get a higher bite. Doubles are very common with this setup and when both traps are done doing their business other rats will continue to eat the corn only making it easier then next time to catch them as they are used to the setup for an easy meal. Be sure to anchor the rig so it is in water deep enough to drown the rat to be as humane as possible. If this isn't clear PM me and I can draw it up in CAD, print it out and mail it to you.
     
  10. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Bill's right, float sets are another good alternative. I don't use them because we have a high population of waterfowl, so if you'd try them (and have the same situation as me) you may need to put a canopy of hardware cloth or something similar over the top to keep-out the waterfowl. Cherry oil is a good lure to use also.

    There is a floating colony trap also. It works like the regular colony traps, other than it has a cage underneath of the platform it floats on. On top of the platform is pretty much same as a colony trap, with a 1-way door in each end. There's a divehole in the center of the platform with a 4-5" hole in it. Once trapped (in the upper cage portion) the rat dives thru the hole, only to be drown in the lower (submerged) portion.

    Here's pics of one I built, but haven't tried yet:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/traps/IM001235.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/traps/IM001234.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/traps/IM001233.jpg

    The bottom pic shows the removal door in the bottom section in the open position. It would be wired closed when in use. Also, there needs to be enough flotation (styrofoam) added to the platform to make the rig float at the proper height in the water. These traps (like regular floats) are anchored by cable or wire to keep from drifting away, and enough slack allows them to follow the rise & fall of waterlevels (unlike say a pocket set at the waters edge which can possible flood after 1 good rain).

    If you have a local farm store (like Tractor Supply, Farm & Fleet) you can buy 1"X2" cage wire & rabbit cage clips & pliers pretty cheap, alittle time you can have several colony traps for a couple bucks apiece, and you can get about 10 (5"X5") out of 1 (25') roll.

    Smitty
     
  11. gargoil77

    gargoil77 New Member

    Messages:
    859
    State:
    Clarksville, Indiana
    What do ya'll do with the musk rats once you trap them? What is there fur good for. Do you eat them? I have tried it once in foods class in high school. If I remember right it was a little gritty and didn't smell to well when it was cooking. But didn't taste too bad.
     
  12. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    I skin 'em & put 'em up (flesh, stretch, and dry them) & sell them for the fur. 'Rat fur is very soft & had alot of uses. Alot of fur gets dyed, and depending on the species, alot of it is used for garment trim.

    I've heard alot of folks eat 'em, same with coon, but I've yet to try either.

    Smitty

    (PS-channelcat_tracker- your package is on it's way)
     
  13. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    hey smitty do you know where i can get myself some muskrat stretchers? my local Gander Mountain doesnt have them. they have coon stretchers but not 'rat stretchers. plus there isnt any fur buying/selling shops around here. id have to go to wisconsin or illinois. i dont see any in fur fish and game and i need to find out where to get some. thanks guys for the ideas for that homemade trap im building one at the moment.:lol:
     
  14. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Most (myself included) put-up rats on wire stretchers. New are roughly $20 a dozen, but ocassionally you can find them a bit cheaper. Matter of fact, I just found 12 for $14. Here's the link (look in the top left-hand corner when you get there).

    http://www.wissmiss.com/ Nancy (wissmiss) is a very nice person & good to deal with. You might ask around & see if your State Trapping Association has a yearly convention, as most states do. That'd be a great time for you if you could make it to one.....all sorts of vendors & dealers, demos, usually give-aways for younger trappers, food, & some great people.

    Let us see a pic when you're done with your trap, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

    Smitty
     
  15. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    thanks for the site smit ill check it out. i think the traps should arrive at my house i think monday or tuesday at the most. still thanks for the traps. im tryin to convince my parents to call trapsforkids so i can get a package for muskrats and coyotes. thanks again smit
     
  16. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    I'm sure you'll get them the 1st of the week, I sent them priority USPS......and again, you're welcome. Let me know when you get 'em & if you have any questions.....lol, I honestly don't even remember what I sent :crazy: ... but I know I'd modified some of them.

    So you got on the T4K site? Dan (Tanner) is a good guy & is dedicated to getting younger trappers involved in trapping. Just don't buy-into what some people there claim about Duke traps, they're the cheapest traps you can buy, and they're junk. Duke donates traps to them so they don't like anyone talking bad about them (Dukes)....which is the reason I left the site (I was asked to keep my negetive comments to myself). Remember one thing in life, you get what you pay for.........

    I understand younger trappers, with little cash, are limited on what they can buy, but I tried to make the point that I'd rather have 4 good traps....than 12 junk ones. If you ever have any questions about traps, gimme a shout, I'll tell it to ya straight.

    Smitty
     
  17. channelcat_tracker

    channelcat_tracker New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Iowa
    problem is is my 1 3/4 spring trap and my 220s are duke traps and are the only traps i have access to. thanks for the sites!
     
  18. trapperboy

    trapperboy New Member

    Messages:
    12
    State:
    illinois
    build your own float set its real easy and its worth it or make a pocket set i try to catch a coon in it but the muscrats wont stay out of it use shad for bait it works!

    justice
     
  19. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    223 I am going to have to disaree but also agree with you on the duke trap issue. Duke traps is about all I have. I have been using those traps for eight years or so and never had a problem. However they are cheap traps and I would like to buy better ones but it was all I had the money for at the time. I think they are a good starting trap to see if you are going to stay with trapping or even like it. However if you are going to be trapping for good or for some serious game I would go with a better trap. Just my 2 cents
    Stephen