Muskrat trapping

Discussion in 'Trapping & Fur Taking' started by BowieKnife357, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. BowieKnife357

    BowieKnife357 New Member

    Messages:
    514
    State:
    Kansas
    Got a muskrat problem. Dang things have about tore up the dam on a little bait pond I fish sometimes, and the guy that owns the property asked me if I'd try to trap as many of them out as I could. I've trapped some in the past, so I agreed. Got some 110 conibears set over den holes that appear to be active (smooth edges, not caved in further up, ect.), and have managed to catch 2 so far, but as many as are in there I'm thinking I'm not being as productive as I could be. I've trapped coons and coyotes and I'm fairly proficient, but the muskrat thing has been a learn as I go experience. Yall got any tips or things I should look for?
     
  2. RetiredToFish

    RetiredToFish New Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    State:
    Newark, Ohio
    How big is the pond? You might be surprised how much sign 2 or 3 muskrats will leave and those same critters can do a lot of digging. As an example ... I had the same situation this year except it was a 2.5 pond ... I found what appeared to be 5 active rat dens so I set colony traps in them ... caught 5 rats in the next 3 days .... left traps set for another 2 weeks and never caught another rat and I searched for more dens and found none ... of course there was no new sign either.

    Garry-
     

  3. crazy

    crazy New Member

    Messages:
    2,090
    State:
    Kansas CIty, MO
    A active muskrat run will have a hard bottom. Might want to walk the pond again and see if they have any new runs or maybe you missed one.
     
  4. warcraft1975

    warcraft1975 New Member

    Messages:
    1,190
    does the pond have a creek comeing in or out of it?if so set it up as well
     
  5. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    Get you some bait. Apples,carrots etc.
    Bait a couple of good looking spots.
    If the bait is missing you've got some more trapping to do.
    Have a good one
    just
     
  6. backwoodsman68geric

    backwoodsman68geric New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    illinois
    If you've located all the runs/dens and got traps on them I'd say you trapped it out. u can also put a slice of potatoe/apple etc on the trigger of a few of those 110's if ya got a few spares and see if you catch anymore. They may have some deep water dens? What ya doin with the 'rats? Hides are still fairly prime in most ares as 'rats prime up late. Meats good to eat and makes great catfish bait and trapping bait.
     
  7. BowieKnife357

    BowieKnife357 New Member

    Messages:
    514
    State:
    Kansas
    I think I might have got it trapped out. None of my conibear sets have been touched and there's no new sign, but I have been keeping pieces of carrot out and they've been disappearing. Out of curiosity I dug a little foothold set and suspended a piece of carrot over it, and of all the things to catch, I caught a big ol' field rat. Maybe that explains the missing bait. Either way, I've cleaned a couple of the 'skrats for the meat, the rest are in the freezer whole for right now. I'm a little bit of an ametuer taxidermist, and I'm saving them to practice on when I get a little more time and get some mannequins ordered.
     
  8. backwoodsman68geric

    backwoodsman68geric New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    illinois
    Yep years ago I caught several field rats in wet set at one pond. Sounds like you may have caught them all, least until the spring migration. Amateur taxidermy's fun, when I was married the first time I tried some of it. Squirrels arent too hard to do, I imagine 'rats arent any harder. If you have extra hides you dont want you can tan them too and sell them at the blackpowder meets. Ive sold quite a few hides there over the years espescialy cheap/damaged hides that fur buyers didnt want.
     
  9. BowieKnife357

    BowieKnife357 New Member

    Messages:
    514
    State:
    Kansas
    I'd think muskrats would be a little easier than squirrels being they're a little bigger. I've done a couple squirrel mounts so I'm looking forward to moving on to something else. Also got a nice raccoon waiting in the freezer, and a possum that's so big that I can't find a form or mannequin to fit it. Might have to do that one the old fashion way. I'll have to see when there are some blackpowder meets around here, definately try to tan some hides and take up there. Thanks for the advice.