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Thread: How long between checks on sets?

  1. #1
    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default How long between checks on sets?

    Fellow Trappers,

    Curious how long you guys wait till you get back out to check your sets?

    I intend to use snares and coni's for all of my sets and will not be trapping using footholds on any of my canine sets, I do not want to take a chance losing any catches due to the time between checks.

    Im checking once a week, should I be checking more often?

    Arctic Trapper

  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Are you able to check more often? Alot of us are part time trappers due to jobs, family, etc.
    Alot of factors go into deciding on a check time. How many critters are in the area? How much does a run of the line cost you? How much time does it take, all day, couple hours, etc. ?
    Assuming you want to get some monetary return from your trapping, you pretty much have to weigh all the various factors and decide how often to check.
    I wouldn't discount legholds. If you have quality traps in good shape they will hold an animal for a week. Especially lynx and marten. Even fox. Tho some animals fight harder than others. Snares and coni's can make bad catches too, and result in a loss of the animal.
    So where do you trap, I seen the pic of your son with the caribou?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  3. #3
    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Road Trapping

    MT,

    Used to trap up in your neck of the woods when I lived and worked in Kotzebue. Mainly foxes. Now Im a part timer on the road system down here in Anch.

    It seems that I have to go quite a distance to get away from others, and even then, its not far enough. I have a snogo but Im reluctant to venture too far off, especially with my son. So Im staying close to the road, but
    Im at least 100 miles from my sets and it would be tough to check more than once a week.

    Not sure of the amount of critters in my area, we did run into a few sets of fresh marten tracks, so went ahead and set a few. Hoping some canines came through this week, wouldnt mind setting a few snares.

    Ive got 5 kids, my 10 year old being the oldest boy. Not in it for the money, doing it to expose my kids to the outdoors and also to supply me critters for my taxidermy hobby.

    Andy (aka Arctic Hunter)

    P.S. My son got the bou up on the Kobuk River. He took it the "traditional way" and the only way I was taught, crossing the river and one shot with a .22 Chipmunk. He's hooked!!!

  4. #4

    Default trap check interval

    Andy, I am in a very similar situation, I live in the Valley and drive "up the road" to my short beaver/marten/otter line. I too can only check once a week. I would go more often just to be there, but with work and family... also gas prices are a limiting factor. I'm with you about the footholds, I just think a week is too long. This is a personal "ethical" thing I have set for myself and would never impose on anyone else. Farther north, where consistent cold weather, if I understand correctly, takes down an animal in a foothold overnight anyway, I probably would use them. For now its snares and conibears, or drowning sets in the spring.

  5. #5
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    Nothing wrong with using leg holds and checking once a week.Been doing it for twenty years.Like MT said,lynx and fox will be there when you get there.You should be making your marten sets to where after the catch they swing away from the tree and are hanging about four feet off the ground.Good luck.

  6. #6
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Wes, the very reason you mention not using legholds, is exactly the reason I would recommend using them. Conibears and snares generally kill quickly. The animal dies with a warm belly. At the temps you regularly see on the south side of the Ak. range, your risking that belly going bad and having fur slip. Problems can also arise with the animal laying dead on the ground and being eaten by shrews/voles.
    Your wrong about the cold up north taking down an animal overnight. Suffice to say, an animal in a leghold trap, resting on the ground, often uses very little energy and can survive for several days.
    I can see the sense in using coni's on beaver and otter, but I wouldn't cast aside the leghold cuz you feel it's less "ethical" than other traps/snares.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  7. #7

    Default Check interval

    Good points MT, thanks. Do you find certain animals to be in better shape than others on long checks? For instance a muskrat can't be held in a non-drowning foothold set for 5 minutes. But if a lynx will just sit and wait, maybe it's no big deal. I suppose that there's no way to tell exactly how long the critter has been caught anyway. If it was going to hurt itself trying to escape it might happen quickly, or not. Do you consider length of check interval when choosing trap type? (offset jaws, etc.) Hmmm, perhaps I should press those #4 jumps into service this weekend...WW

  8. #8
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    Wes,I have caught many,many,many muskrats alive in non drowning sets(push-ups).In fact I prefer them that way because the fur stays clean and dry and you have no problem with the belly rot.Most of the time rats just like lynx will just hang out untill you get there.Several of the cats I have caught are just sitting there like MT said,and they don't even tear up the cubby's.Fox,coyotes and wolves will usually tear up a set pretty good when caught in leg holds including chewing up tree's and willow's around the catch circle.

  9. #9

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    Wow I wouldn't have thought that possible- I too have caught them live in pushups, but i figured that it was only because I was checking the set frequently, as in 4 times a day. Will they stay caught, say overnight or 2 days in a pushup? I'm sure you've had the learning experience I have trapping them in open water with footholds and they get wrapped around some grass or something and wring off overnight. (I being a bit facetious about the "5 minutes".) Perhaps in the pushup there's nothing to wrap around, so they just await their fate? Thanks for telling your experiences everyone, its very helpful besides "taking the edge off" when we can't be actually be on the line!

  10. #10
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Hey now, where did I say lynx just sit there? Some do, some don't. I have had bad experiences with long trap chains and lynx climbing, then jumping back down. Broken leg and multiple punctures in the leg skin.
    Just about any trap can be improved on. 2 of the mods I like are a center swivel and laminated jaws. Offsets can be good also. Sharp edges on trap jaws cut skin and lead to problems.
    In most of alaska, the animals foot will freeze in the trap. If that trap grabs high enough, the foot wil freeze above the wrist. This increases the chance of the leg breaking during struggles. Extra swivels are important. I would also tend to favor a solid anchor point for foot trapped animals, and in a spot where there is little to tangle on. Keep those swivels working and the animals foot from twisting and turning.
    Lots of things to consider.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  11. #11
    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Good Points All Around

    Im starting to rethink my position on footholds. I may give it a try again, but will limit it to a few sets. I'd like to give lynx a try this season, if I can find em.

    Ive had a few times where Ive lost a few fox to traps breaking skin. Ive always felt guilty thinking about three footed foxes running around, if only I was there a few days earlier to check. My trapper friend trapped one of them a few days later, you would think the fox learned his lesson.

    But anyways, a good discussion. Still will have to limit my checks to once a week.

    MT, I think I saw your For Sale ad at the Taxidermy site for the AK Lynx. I may have bought red fox from you a few years back.

    Andy

  12. #12
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    OK, I know who you are then. I remember.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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