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Thread: Trapline Pics - Jan 19th

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Trapline Pics - Jan 19th

    Well after the two weeks of deep cold we had four days of above freezing temps, major winds...could not get out on line when it was +40. Was +33 yesterday, low scud, some freeezing rain, decided to get out and cover one line, miserable trail conditions after the big thaw.

    Here's a marten in a coni set...catch a few in this particular set. Note the amount of twigs and branches and such littering the snow everywhere.


    That guy was just caught, still warm. Onward we went, punchy trail. Here's a shot of one of the many cutbanks we encounter and one of the reasons I like using dogs over snowgos; this kind of stuff doesn't stop us but I do have to lift the nose of toboggan up first and push from behind...marten in pole set right there too:


    When I first learned to trap marten the favored method was 0's on pole sets like this:


    Still have a few pole sets but have switched over mostly to the coniber sets. One more pic in next post....

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default trail conditions after the big thaw

    Much of the trail now is like trails in late spring after some thaws where the hard trail is actually higher than the surrounding snow. Makes it real hard to stay on the trail too, really a bummer to see a major thaw like this midwinter:


    Caught another marten on way back, also just caught. Looks like critters are moving around again after the cold. 2" of snow last night, +13 this morn and still snowing and blowing. Hope the snow will make staying on the trails less of a pain (literally <grin>).
    Good luck on the lines,

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Nice pics Bushrat, Thanks. Is the ice scraper for taking overflow off the runners? Seems like you tend to get pretty dark marten in your area, or is it just the photos make it look so?

    I'm switching over to the dogs for my line checks temporarily until the overflow freezes. Tired of running the gauntlet with the snomachine. Need a helper to watch the dogs though. I keep telling myself I'm going to teach them to stay while Im off the sled but they got racing in their heads and cant stand still.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Yep, ice scraper is for getting overflow ice off. I've taken the plastic scraper part off and bolted on a metal scraper. Usually pound on the plastic with back of axe first to knock off ice after going through overflow, but it never really gets it all off without scraper.

    That was a dark marten in first pic, other one in pole set not so dark. We have a mix of the two here but more dark ones than some other places.

    When I leave the dogs to check sets twenty or thirty feet off trail I have to make sure the hook is set good, even in the ice if I'm on the river. If I can't stomp it into the ice I chop out a slanted hole to set hook in. Then I always lay toboggan on it's side too, cuz have had them pull hook before and take off, but if rig stays on it's side it will slow them down enough I can usually run and catch them. I know...it's a major pain with dogs that way...ptarmigan or anything jumps out ahead and they want to go even if you don't want them to. Team I have now is pretty good though at staying, and even turning around if they do take off and I yell "come haw." Not as many "whiners" as in the past either, used to drive me batty to stop to make a set and dogs would yip and whine and jump and pull...hands would start shaking making set trying to hurry afraid they'd bite line or get loose <grin>. You know how it goes!

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    I can't see your pics bushrat.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I noticed the lighter one, but seemed to remember that trend from past pics...

    I do know that feeling, LOL. I think it is a huge advantage to not have those "cheerleaders" when your stopped. It is nice for racing, but the rest of the team will get amped up with one dog screaming and pounding like that. I'm planning to put cable necklines on and undo tugs when I stop, that helps alot. I think I'll run them single file too, less opportunities for mayhem that way. Do you run singles because of trail width or some other reason? Do you use a kevlar or cable main line to discourage chewing or just rope? Sorry for the 50 questions....

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Run single file cuz I'm using 18" wide rig and so the trail is too narrow for running double. Used to use 1/8" coated cable gangline and necklines but that wore out, so using just poly now but have cable inside for wheel dog and next dog. Not too many biters in the team now, mostly happens when kids are home and skijoring in front, and we stop, or when we're hooking up. One of the newer dogs (a female) tends to bite when we're hooking up with all the barking and such so we hook her up last.

    Last winter when the females were in heat the male in front of wheel dog bit the gangline while I was messing with a marten trap, didn't even know it til I turned around and saw six dogs screaming off up the creek unattached to anything! Yelled "come haw" and luckily they did (leader always wants to turn around and come home, so that helps <grin>). Which is why I have cable in that section of line now.

    Certainly plenty of drawbacks to using dogs for trapping over snowgo with things like that.

    Kusko, not sure why you can't see the pics...they should be uploaded and showing okay.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Pluses and minuses both ways I suppose. I do like the quiet aspect of traveling with the dogs...I had an older leader that was really good at the "come haw" thing, alot of times when you werent ready for it. It took me a long time to "untrain" that but now I wish he was still around cause there was a time when I lost a team and he turned them around for me.

    I also one time had a wheel dog chew the main line behind where his neckline attached and I suddenly had a 12 dog team attached to the sled by the wheeldogs collars only. That was an interesting predicament to say the least.

    Good job on the marten and heres to some winter weather for us all!!!

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    Great pics, makes me want to start another line.... but then I feel how cold it is outside and change my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kusko View Post
    I can't see your pics bushrat.
    Are you viewing this from work? If so, some employers block certain photo hosting sites, thus the pics won't show up.

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    awesome bushrat.....love all your post.

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    I can never see your pics here at work either Bushrat but always look forward to viewing them at home! I'll check them out tonight and post some updated pics of my line also. Did you send any fur into the first auction. I took a gamble and sent my cats in(keeping fingers crossed).

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    Mark, Great Stuff as usual! Looks like it is probably one of the loves of your life but it must be an enormous amount of work!

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    Great pictures Mark! Love that sled hanging up on the cut bank! Thanks for sharing!

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    Mark awesome pictures once again.

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    Default Steve, haven't sent fur in yet

    Steve, be interested in how the auction pans out and what prices are doing. I'll be bringing mine in in February.

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    Mark,

    Thanks for sharing photo's of what real Alaska is all about. It's a great educational tool for Outsiders to learn from.
    Now, a couple of questions for ya.
    What types of critters do you get the most?
    What critters are the hardest to trap?
    How often do you trade in your furs?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Jeff,

    Mostly trap marten so that is what I get most of. They are easy to trap. Some mink as well that we tan here to use ourselves. Occassional fox and wolverine. Haven't been hardly any wolves around last few years. Wolves are probably the hardest to trap using traps. Snaring is easier imo.

    Don't make it to town much, usually send out or bring in fur in February and sell locally in Fbks. It's getting harder for trappers who live remote to get fur to auctions in time, and prices you get locally can be half as much as auction, even less. We're taking a big hit that way.

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    Bushrat, you should post some pics and a tutorial for your marten sets. There are a lot of new trappers that could learn from them.

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    Love seeing the pics!!! Be sure to post wolverine pics if you get one. No otter out your way????

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