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Thread: Otter

  1. #1

    Default Otter

    How trap shy are otters? Do you need to boil your 330 conibears to eliminate scent first or are they not that sensitive to scent?

  2. #2
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    not trap shy at all unless you make a mistake and one hits a coni with the springs safety hooks on or something like that no need to boil but boiling and dye do help keep the traps from rusting and putting a stain on the hide that fur buyers will dock you for but if your just tanning I can say I have never had a rust stain from a trap show after tanning.
    You can actually block otter as much or more than beaver to narrow down spots for your traps
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by otterman View Post
    not trap shy at all unless you make a mistake and one hits a coni with the springs safety hooks on or something like that no need to boil but boiling and dye do help keep the traps from rusting and putting a stain on the hide that fur buyers will dock you for but if your just tanning I can say I have never had a rust stain from a trap show after tanning.
    You can actually block otter as much or more than beaver to narrow down spots for your traps
    Hey thanks Otterman. I appreciate the advice. I would give you a rep point, but the machine says I can't give you another yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by otterman View Post
    not trap shy at all unless you make a mistake and one hits a coni with the springs safety hooks on or something like that no need to boil but boiling and dye do help keep the traps from rusting and putting a stain on the hide that fur buyers will dock you for but if your just tanning I can say I have never had a rust stain from a trap show after tanning.
    You can actually block otter as much or more than beaver to narrow down spots for your traps
    Otterman nailed it. No need to worry about it but you do at some point want to boil, dye and WAX your connis for thesons above and to keep them working fast while sitting in that -30 weather for weeks. Plus, at some point you want to set them for wolverine in buckets and you wan them clean and fast. Otter, like lynx, can be fenced and funneled in easily. They pick the easiest paths normally when traveling. just set the areas where they come on and off the lakes and do a little fencing and you will connect. Otters MANY times are traveling in famlilies of 3 or more so be creative when you are setting a trail. Like wolves, when one is caught, the others will fan out and go around quickly. After I set a main trail I like to step back 10 feet and get my head down to the ground and look towards the trap I just set and look for natural openings or paths just past my trap and gang set them. A story last weekend of a otter that gave me the slip. I was just ending my north loop from my trapline about mid day, coming down a draw to a small lake that I always have otters on. As I am idling down the bumpy hill I could see a black dot out on the ice. I knew right away it was an otter as I have seen this many times. I started to slowly head towards him and that sucker stood up on his hind legs watching me get closer and closer and about 30 yards before I came to his hole he dived down and dissappeeared. I love these chances as they USUALLY are a sure catch. I looked in my sled and only had one coni with me and the triggers were broke off ( very commen, do yourself a favor and buy a box of triggers, you will need them). I new I had twootter sets on this lake so I raced over to a set that had been sitting for 4 weeks waiting for the otters to return. SWEET, nice otter caught. But he was frozen inside the trap with no way to get him out without thawing. I then raced over to the other end of the lake to my other set and it was stil sitting there set in a otter trail. I carefully grabbed it and rode back to the otter hole and set it over the hole. As doing so, like many other times before, the otter was pissed and huffing and blowing water back out at me. I was thinking this won't take long. I pushd snow around the trap and made it the only way he was coming out was to go thru the conni. I then stood up and looked around to see if there were any other holes or blown up muskrat pushups that he could get out from under the ice. Found one, about 50 yards away that had fresh otter tracks so I assumed he was using that hole also. I rode over to the edge of the lake and cut a small spruce tree and went back and shoved it down deep into the hole and then packed it full of snow. I often stay at my camp at this lake since it is a half way point and also where my north and south loops meet. I stayed the night and after coffee, 2 eggs and 2 bacons, rode happily over to my otter set before leaving and looked down at my trap. That otter out smarted me by digging out a perfect 8" hole 3 " over next to my trap and got out over night! Havn't had that happen before. My mistake was not checking the area arounf the hole when setting the trap. Turns out it was a big hallow cave around the hole, making enough room and easy for the otter to simply push thru. True story..

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailblazersteve View Post
    Otterman nailed it. No need to worry about it but you do at some point want to boil, dye and WAX your connis for thesons above and to keep them working fast while sitting in that -30 weather for weeks. Plus, at some point you want to set them for wolverine in buckets and you wan them clean and fast. Otter, like lynx, can be fenced and funneled in easily. They pick the easiest paths normally when traveling. just set the areas where they come on and off the lakes and do a little fencing and you will connect. Otters MANY times are traveling in famlilies of 3 or more so be creative when you are setting a trail. Like wolves, when one is caught, the others will fan out and go around quickly. After I set a main trail I like to step back 10 feet and get my head down to the ground and look towards the trap I just set and look for natural openings or paths just past my trap and gang set them. A story last weekend of a otter that gave me the slip. I was just ending my north loop from my trapline about mid day, coming down a draw to a small lake that I always have otters on. As I am idling down the bumpy hill I could see a black dot out on the ice. I knew right away it was an otter as I have seen this many times. I started to slowly head towards him and that sucker stood up on his hind legs watching me get closer and closer and about 30 yards before I came to his hole he dived down and dissappeeared. I love these chances as they USUALLY are a sure catch. I looked in my sled and only had one coni with me and the triggers were broke off ( very commen, do yourself a favor and buy a box of triggers, you will need them). I new I had twootter sets on this lake so I raced over to a set that had been sitting for 4 weeks waiting for the otters to return. SWEET, nice otter caught. But he was frozen inside the trap with no way to get him out without thawing. I then raced over to the other end of the lake to my other set and it was stil sitting there set in a otter trail. I carefully grabbed it and rode back to the otter hole and set it over the hole. As doing so, like many other times before, the otter was pissed and huffing and blowing water back out at me. I was thinking this won't take long. I pushd snow around the trap and made it the only way he was coming out was to go thru the conni. I then stood up and looked around to see if there were any other holes or blown up muskrat pushups that he could get out from under the ice. Found one, about 50 yards away that had fresh otter tracks so I assumed he was using that hole also. I rode over to the edge of the lake and cut a small spruce tree and went back and shoved it down deep into the hole and then packed it full of snow. I often stay at my camp at this lake since it is a half way point and also where my north and south loops meet. I stayed the night and after coffee, 2 eggs and 2 bacons, rode happily over to my otter set before leaving and looked down at my trap. That otter out smarted me by digging out a perfect 8" hole 3 " over next to my trap and got out over night! Havn't had that happen before. My mistake was not checking the area arounf the hole when setting the trap. Turns out it was a big hallow cave around the hole, making enough room and easy for the otter to simply push thru. True story..
    Good advice and great story Steve. Again, I'd give you a rep but I'm not allowed to yet.

  6. #6
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    no worries, I don't why or how the rep thing works anyways. I just help when I can. Good luck, like Otterman says, the otters wil really be moving hard and long distances getting ready to mate. One thing to watch is singed of the fur. Maybe he will chime in on why and when they get it. i have seen it only a few times, both begining and end of season. It basically is hair breakage that looks like a flame has been on it. I am guessing it depends on the ground from sliding or mabe wet hair frozen to the ice??

  7. #7
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    Think of otters as little bulldozers...they will push and dig to use their regular slides and crossover trails. Block and funnel with big stuff. All of my otter sets are on salt water beaches so I keep a little steel wool handy to polish the rust off of the trigger area to keep it working free. Very rarely experienced any singed fur but only in late season. Just sent 10 off to Moyles.Attachment 88474Attachment 88475

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by KasitsnaBay View Post
    Think of otters as little bulldozers...they will push and dig to use their regular slides and crossover trails. Block and funnel with big stuff. All of my otter sets are on salt water beaches so I keep a little steel wool handy to polish the rust off of the trigger area to keep it working free. Very rarely experienced any singed fur but only in late season. Just sent 10 off to Moyles.Attachment 88474Attachment 88475
    Thanks for your suggestions. I can't see your pictures though. Rep sent +1.

  9. #9
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    Default Maybe this will work.

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by KasitsnaBay View Post
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    Nice! Yep, that worked.

  11. #11
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    singed otter tends to happen when they start spending a lot of time in the sun in the spring but you will see it all times of the year but very faintly it just depends what they are doing and what the weather is like . The worst I have ever seen has been in those caught in footholds or snares on bare ground they roll like mad when caught and the end results can have them looking like someone took a miniature curling iron to the tips of the fur. This is one reason I dont set anything but conis for them unless I have a situation I know I can drown them in and I feel a foot hold will work better. They do tend to check out the smell of castor and I have caught several in footholds set for lynx or other things with a castor based lure along a creek. Same thing with snares had a few fall down due to snow ( something we don't see anymore) and catch otter running trails along creeks and rivers that the fox run those seem to have the worst sing of all not sure why maybe because the snare allows them to roll more than a foothold will
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    Good thread. Hey KasitsnaBay, why do you split skin your otter? Do you have a customer that wants them that way? Or do you sew them for things? Just courious. The fur buyers as I am sure you know will want them case skinned. All though the fur buyers want them fur in, I case skin and dry them fur out to sell to people and for the local fur auctions. Seems to bring way better money then the fur in at the big auctions..

  13. #13
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	88495I split this batch of otters as I have a lap blanket in mind. I tend to split all, unless they are going to auction. Never understood the buyers preference for unturned and unsplit otters...hard to see/tell what the fur quality really is.

  14. #14
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    If your inspection window is cut properly in the belly they are no harder to grade than a mink,muskrat, or racoon,. Grading fur that is left fur in does take some education. Many years ago mink and otter were turned fur out in most of Alaska and it still is turned fur out in parts of the state. The auction house will take them either way. You do avoid a lot of sing that can take place after a fur is dried by leaving them fur in
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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