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Thread: Trap maintenance?

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    Default Trap maintenance?

    I bought my traps new this year. At the seasons end when I pulled them I noticed some rust forming due to all the rain and warmer weather we had. What's the best method for keeping them in good order for next season. I know how to keep steel from rusting for sure, but are my methods at hand a bad idea? (WD-40, PB, or other petroleum products) is there something else to use? Or do I just clean them really well before the next season and lube them up now?

  2. #2

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    I pre rust all my brand new traps.
    The iron has to be pitted to accept trap dye. I would hang them on the shed and boil, dye and wax them next fall.

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    yep..nothing wrong with that. They will last for years...dont worry. Take a stiff wire brush and give em a good brushing especially if they have coil springs. Good to go.
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    seacowboy - type in dying and waxing traps and you will get a bunch of videos on how to do it....
    Most trappers that are setting traps in water sets seldom wax traps - expecially body grippers - but land trappers usually do both. After the traps get a decent coating of light rust they will generally accept trap dye well and then each season repeat the dyeing process. I have a few dozen new traps outside now and will dye and wax them in a couple months and put them in sealed storage tubs until this fall. I dye my water traps when I am done and put them away as well. You can hang them in a dry shed also ( basement etc ).... Lots of good you tube video's explaining various ways to do it....
    Can be messy so would not advise doing it in the house....
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Why do u dye your traps? They are completely covered when you set them, right? I haven't trapped since I was a kid.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    cod, I would say there are a couple reasons. It helps slow down the rusting process so the trap should last longer and function smoother - more reliably.
    I suppose, if by chance some of it would get exposed on land sets primarily, the shiney steel may make a canine want to dig and investigate it???
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    cod, I would say there are a couple reasons. It helps slow down the rusting process so the trap should last longer and function smoother - more reliably.
    I suppose, if by chance some of it would get exposed on land sets primarily, the shiney steel may make a canine want to dig and investigate it???
    Smoother functioning... I'll buy that. Doesn't rust away asquick... I'll buy that too. A although when kids our traps musta been twenty yrs old. Gues now that I'm older 20 yrs don't seem so old any more. I have 2 brand new coyote sets out now. We'll see how they do.
    When I mentioned "dying" the traps to the wife she stated " why would they do that if they're worried about scent?" She claims it would definitely scent them. True??
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Smoother functioning... I'll buy that. Doesn't rust away asquick... I'll buy that too. A although when kids our traps musta been twenty yrs old. Gues now that I'm older 20 yrs don't seem so old any more. I have 2 brand new coyote sets out now. We'll see how they do.
    When I mentioned "dying" the traps to the wife she stated " why would they do that if they're worried about scent?" She claims it would definitely scent them. True??
    Your wife brings up a good question. When the traps are dyed in the commercial logwood dyes ( and walnut dyes and hulls ) it is supposed to leave a odor that is more common in nature. However most trappers will dye the traps and wax them for coyotes, fox, cats etc and the wax while also adding a protective coating helps seal in odors. Wax also really helps increase trigger speed. I would venture to say most trappers also hang their traps outside for a few days after dying and waxing and this helps reduce any left over odors before setting them.
    Since I decided to trap at the last minute this year, and had sold almost all of my coyote traps, I had to order them 2 weeks before season. Got them in the weekend before, threw them in buckets of water with some salt over nite, boiled them the next day, dyed and waxed after the boiling and went out and caught coyotes! So, the regime is not etched in stone by any means. I am a firm beliver that scent control is important all the time for canines, but area of most importance is how much human scent one leaves at the set. I am very careful to not get any lure on the trap and clean boots - preferably rubber - is extremely important.
    I leave my knee high boots in a plastic tub, along with clean cotton gloves and a 2' x 2' carpet square for kneeling on. All the lures are kept in a seperate bucket with rubber gloves to handle that with - never using those gloves to handle the trap.... Yes, one can go out with leather boots that he just wore around the house and dirty gloves and catch some coyotes, however I want to catch them ALL! Keep us posted on the sets and how they work out!
    My high school trapping partner sent me a pic of some he caught this year - 96 coyotes, 85 coons, and some red fox in 5 weeks! We had not been in touch for several years and we both re-started trapping this year - he is one of the top "wolfers' alive today! He then went to Kansas for a 10 day spell and caught 30 more coyotes and many bobcat and fox.... Pretty good for a 60 yr old! I will try to load a pic this weekend - he is also a top fur handler and really puts up his pelts like a pro, my hands are getting too crippled to flesh and stretch it all properly.... Good Luck!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Your wife brings up a good question. When the traps are dyed in the commercial logwood dyes ( and walnut dyes and hulls ) it is supposed to leave a odor that is more common in nature. However most trappers will dye the traps and wax them for coyotes, fox, cats etc and the wax while also adding a protective coating helps seal in odors. Wax also really helps increase trigger speed. I would venture to say most trappers also hang their traps outside for a few days after dying and waxing and this helps reduce any left over odors before setting them.
    Since I decided to trap at the last minute this year, and had sold almost all of my coyote traps, I had to order them 2 weeks before season. Got them in the weekend before, threw them in buckets of water with some salt over nite, boiled them the next day, dyed and waxed after the boiling and went out and caught coyotes! So, the regime is not etched in stone by any means. I am a firm beliver that scent control is important all the time for canines, but area of most importance is how much human scent one leaves at the set. I am very careful to not get any lure on the trap and clean boots - preferably rubber - is extremely important.
    I leave my knee high boots in a plastic tub, along with clean cotton gloves and a 2' x 2' carpet square for kneeling on. All the lures are kept in a seperate bucket with rubber gloves to handle that with - never using those gloves to handle the trap.... Yes, one can go out with leather boots that he just wore around the house and dirty gloves and catch some coyotes, however I want to catch them ALL! Keep us posted on the sets and how they work out!
    ... Good Luck!
    Thanks for the response, Smokey. I always enjoy your input...... It sure would be interesting to have a coyote nose (sense of smell) to see exactly what they can pick up.
    I realize you all have your standard operating procedure (sop) and since I am re-starting this trapping stuff it makes me think of all aspects from an ignorance pt of view. That sometimes is a good thing because from an ignorance position it makes one analyze the situation.
    When reviewing some things you write, I cant help but wonder what kind of help a 'carpet piece' might be. Wouldnt one think a piece of carpet would be FULL of smells from your home, your scent, your vehicles scent etc. A carpet is like a absorbant pad, yes? Plastic and rubber too have a scent. Albeit maybe less so. (even paraffin/wax has scent)
    That said, I CAN see how setting traps out in open air would definitely make their smell more natural/nuetral.
    With regard to how a coyote may react..... Do you think that most coyotes come in considerable contact with human smells? I would think down where u are they certainly would...? Aren't yotes pretty curious anyhow? Seems like they may in certain cases actually dig at a 'smell' on occasion if they found it interesting (like a lure kind of scent). I actually put some fox urine (had some left over from the olden days-Also have some doe in heat stuff around, and there are no deer here either...still??maybe) in the area of my traps to make them think there may be another 'dog' in the area. ...even tho I have no fox in tis part of the country. Another thing I want to try is spreading some chickent coop straw w. chicken doo in it in the trapping area. Thinking there is chickens (natural 'bird' smell) might entice some interest in the area.
    I'm having great fun trying to call them in on snomachine this winter. Only called in one in about 30 attempts and no shots yet. Dang, they are smart and sneaky. Learning to outsmart them will be/is great fun!
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  10. #10
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    Good evening sir, thanks for the kind comments!
    I have several carpet squares that were never used and leave them outside for a few weeks in the rain and fresh air before using them to kneel on. When these old knees were 30 years younger I didn't need to kneel, today it is a must have! I keep a plastic tub in the rear of my vehicle and leave a couple of these pads in there until I need them, then if I feel one is contaminated I will replace it with a fresh one.
    Now, if you want to make a killer set by all means gather up a pile of that straw from the coop, heck even get a few feathers, and place a pile of it someplace coyotes travel by. Make the pile about twice the size of a basketball and then place a layer about 3-4in deep in front of this pile to bed 2 traps in. MAKE SURE THE TRAPS ARE IN THE PRIMARY DOWN WIND SIDE OF THE PILE. I like to spread a layer of peat moss to bed the traps in and then cover lightly with the straw as it can bind up the trap jaws. I would use #3 coilsprings if you have them, #2s are harder to get to close with a mouthful of straw. I like to make a small "tunnel"in the mound between the 2 traps to make it look like a nest. Coyotes love to hunt mice in grass piles and they can't resist the curiosity so find a fairly open spot to lay it out...
    During the summer months if you mow any grass let it get a bit tall and then rake up the clippings, roll them a few times with a rake to let get good and dry then bag them in a breathable cloth bag. This makes excellent bedding material and the traps will come through it much better and its FREE! As it drys and bleaches out it will match the straw color nicley - even though I am not sure color really matters!
    You can never totally be scent free for sure, they know a human has been there but usually will come in over a couple days. Most times a coyote will come close the first time by and then gain confidence and come in all the way the second time it runs its territory. Kinda like me, I walk by the candy dish a time or two then its all over but the crunching! LOL
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Thanks again, Smokey. I'll give your straw/grass idea a whirl. I have lots of tall grass around handy whenever there is no snow. We have 3 ft on the ground now. There are a lot of eagles and ravens around who also really like to 'investigate' things. I'm try to be carefull to not attract the unwanted from where my traps may be. Right now the traps that are out are along the edge of the frozen riverbank. Lots of little cubby holes all up and down the river edge. Of course the yotes like to run the river edges or just up on the bank. My snowmachine leaves a great path for the animals to travel more easily and so they often use it. I have a bit of bait tucked back under the cubby hole where birds cant see it and put a couple traps out front. I have old cooking oil that I spread around in various places just to spread some food scent. Along with the fox urine drops on a few of the yotes favorite 'watering' holes to -hopefully-make them think they may have discovered a fox's food cache. Its in a place I can/do drive my sled within 20 ft of it to see if any visitors had come by.
    I totally agree with you that the yotes eventually get confident enough to come in. They just cant stand continually walking past a free easy snack.
    I appreciate you letting me pick your brain. Any tips on keeping other birds or animals out of your sets?
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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ID:	68533Always willing to share idea's cod, I have been lucky to hang around some really good trappers over the years and wish I could remember everything I picked up!
    We cannot have any exposed bait within 30 fet of our sets here in IL. But, thats kinda good to keep eagles out of sets. When I set out a deer carcss I anchor it down so it does not get drug off and set traps about 40 feet away and that works well. You have a lot of snow to deal with so I would guess sets really stand out that could attract birds, I would probably try some urine posts right in your snow macine tracks which should be a killer! I like to take sticks that are about an inch thick, burn about half of it in a fire just enough to partially charcoal it, place a small tuft of fur or wool in a split on the end, add some urine and you have a very attractive scent post.... I would think you could stick them in the bank left by the machine protruding into your tracks and set a trap about 9 - 10 inches in front of it and pound the yotes.
    Bought me a skinning machine today from a chap in Iowa, about 240 miles away, these old hands can't take them coyotes much longer! Good news is it will only be 10 miles from forum member EKC so I have a great excuse to visit my old friend!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  13. #13

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    the other thing not mentioned yet (or I missed it) is you could speed dip them this spring/early summer and let them hang outside till its time to lay steel again.

    Buddy of mine in KS talks about those kinds of numbers smokey. Still amazes me, how everything is in love with the alure of AK....but man alive the amount of fur he has running around is crazy. 4 big chest freezers full in short order. That skinning rig is pretty slick!

  14. #14

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    This is good information so far. The traps should not be allowed to rust until they are pitted. They will except dye with only a light coat of rust. The dye process protects the traps and reduces smell. Wax will help protect traps and also speeds up traps used on land sets. I do not wax water traps or body grip traps. Traps should be cleaned first by boiling or washing good to remove all oil from new traps or oil or grease from a animal that was caught in them. If new traps allow them to get a light coat of surface rust after you clean them and before you dye them. I have used a car wash to clean new traps and have heard of people getting good results with new traps in a dish washer.

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