Muskrat help

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by sds888, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    I just got a call from a woman that is having a muskrat problem. I have trapped muskrats before in creeks and rivers but never this situation and wondered if yall had any ideas. The woman states that she lives on a point in a big lake. Muskrats are comming on to her and her nieghbors dock and chewing on things like boat parts. Now I have not been out there yet so I have not seen anything yet but she says that they are not comming onto land anywhere near her house. How exactly would I trap these things. This is legal this time of year in this state as long as the furbearer is doing damage within 100 yards of the house I do this work as a side job. I just need any help I can get. Thanks
    Stephen
    P.S. The nieghbor saw the rats swimming and supposely identified them as muskrats.
     
  2. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Stephen- 1st, be sure about those laws. Here (IN) only a landowner, tennant, or lessee of the property can deal with nuisence animals. Outside of that, they must call a licensed animal damage control (ADC) trapper (here it's called a nuisence permit) which will charge a fee for the removal of the animals.

    Here's a pic of a floating colony trap I made.

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

    And here's a regular colony trap, which just sets on the botton of the waterway. Colony traps are set usually infront of a den entrance (which is legal here), or in a run (the trail in the water they swin through).:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v438/223smitty/Traps%20for%20sale/col.jpg

    The way they work is similar; a rat enters, the door (which is hinged at the top, and set on an angle) closes behind them, and they cannot escape, and drown. These traps are not baited, because they are placed in the normal pathway of the rats travel route. I've heard as many as 5 rats in a 5"X5"X24" trap.

    The floating model is the same, but they will go through the dive-hole, into the lower chamber hoping to escape, with the same final result. I made a couple of small baskets to fit on the inside walls in the upper level, which contain bait (apple, potato slices). This trap will hold many more rats, but you'll need to keep an eye on the bait & replenish it as needed.

    You can also make floats (out of just about any scrap lumber) which hold anywhere from 1 to 4 footholds, and usually have styrofoam added for bouayncy. You must use caution because of waterfoul landing on them. IMHO the colony trap would be your best bet.

    Hope this helps,
    Smitty
     

  3. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    I agree with Smitty on the colony traps if you can locate the runs but if not then I would go with the floating platform close to the docks with about 4 #1 coil spring traps and bait it with a piece of apple or a drop of anis oil on a spike in the middle.
     
  4. mapper

    mapper New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    overland park, kansas
    I've made and used the regular colony traps and if you can find the holes these traps work great.

    I could see where a muskrat could do a huge amount of damage given the teeth they have.

    Do muskrats just chew for chewing sake...or are they searching for food. Is it possible that these rats are really just plain old rats.
     
  5. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    I've never seen muskrats chew on anything that wasn't food so they could be just normal rats and they do swim.
     
  6. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    Thanks for the help I will let you know after I go out there and see whats going on. 223 I am a Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialist in the state of SC. You do not have to be licensed in this state. In fact the DNR for the upstate is the one that tells people to call me. That is how I got this call. The woman called DNR for some help and they told her to call me. I use to do this work as a sole living for the largest company in the Southeast. I wanted to explain that so people would know even though it is out of furbearer season I am still allowed to do this under certain curminstances. I main job these days is a police officer so I follow the laws to the key I also recommened everyone else to do the same.

    So to bait these things yall have used apples and potatoes? Also when you float the board on the water how do you conceal the traps. 223 How do you make one of those floating colony traps and how does it keep from tipping over? Thanks
    Stephen
     
  7. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Stephen- OK, I just always make it a point to let everyone know to be aware of & obey their States Reg's. Though it wasn't required, thanks for the bio & your awareness of the regs.

    The traps on an open float don't need to be concealed, rats will climb all over anything. I'll reinteriate my warning about local waterfowl & exposed footholds. Usually the trapschains are attatched to the float, then a wire or cable attatched from the float to some sort of anchor.

    There's enough width by using a 1"X12", add the weight of the lower chamber, and you've got a fair amount of ballast. The pic I posted of the floating colony trap hadn't had any foam added yet. You'll just have to experiment to reach the proper amount of flotation material to reach the desired "float-height".

    Hope this helps.
    Smitty
     
  8. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    Thanks 223 how did you biuld that trap? It looks like you put a colony trap on the top with out the bottom then what did you buildthe bottom of the trap out of? Also does anyone have any pictures of the foothold set up? I would like to see how it was constructed as well. Thanks for the wealth of knowledge. Like I said I will let yall know tonight after I go there what I see. Thanks again
    stephen
     
  9. slipbobber

    slipbobber New Member

    Messages:
    240
    State:
    Kentucky
    2 answers for your proble .22mag or .22lr hollow pts.
     
  10. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    The lower chamber is 1"X2" welded wire (rabbit cage material, less than $20 for a 24"X 25' roll) same as the top, and same as I use to make my colony & funnel traps. If you find the welded wire, they'll usually carry the clips & wire as well. I made a door in the bottom of mine to make it easier to "unload"

    You're pretty much right-on as far as the upper design, it's basically a 3-sided colony trap, with no bottom. The dive-hole is 4" diameter. I used smaller fence staples to attatch the wire to the wood.

    I don't have any pics of floats used to carry footholds, but a browser search would give you plenty to look at. Might try Hal Sullivans site, Trapperman.com, or Traps4Kids (lol, don't worry, it's OK for adults too).

    I'm sure you probably are aware, shooting a rifle into/across a waterway isn't the best idea.

    Smitty
     
  11. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
  12. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    Thanks for the pic 223. I went to the dock I believe they are going to be having problems with the norway rat. Considering I saw them running around in the middle of the day. However the homeowner is convinced that it is muskrats so I set out a trail camera on his dock. If it is muskrats they will set it off. I have leaned a lot from this post and I just wanted to say thank you again.
    Stephen
     
  13. mapper

    mapper New Member

    Messages:
    36
    State:
    overland park, kansas
    Keep us posted.....this is getting interesting.

    If you’re seeing Norway rats running around during the day I would have to guess this more than just a few rats.

    Is this a rural area?
     
  14. sds888

    sds888 New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Townville, South Carolina
    Mapper your right it is a serious problem when you see norway rats in the daytime. Eventhough I trap norway rats for people too these people seemed like they could handle the situation. I let them borrow some rat traps and they caught one. Now they have the fever they went out and bought a whole slew of rat traps and are going to try to take care of the problem themseleves. When I went back to the house to pick up my traps I walked around looking at how they had set thier traps out and spent a good while showing them the right way to place rat traps. I made no money on the job but gain a lot of knowledge from this website for future jobs. I aso gain the happinest of helping someone gain knowledge of trapping.
    Stephen