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Thread: Realistic expectations

  1. #1

    Default Realistic expectations

    Okay, so any of you who have read any of my posts knows I am very new to this....BUT, I am always a quick learner and put everything I have into what I do so that I do it well. That said, I will want to do well at trapping the animals I am going for, and I don't want to get started and think I am doing well when I am in fact not, or that I am doing poorly when I may be doing just fine.

    I am hoping to trap wolf, coyotes, wolverines, fox, beaver, lynx, and marten. I want to know if my expectations are too high or too low, or right on.

    My hope is that the first year I will get maybe 7-10 marten, 1-2 coyotes, 4-5 fox, 1-2 beaver, 1 lynx.

    As far as wolf and wolverine, I am hoping for an average of one out of the two per year..i.e., a wolf one year, a wolverine the next....maybe two wolves the next, and nothing the next. I am assuming wolf are very hard to catch, but wolverine are even harder. I don't know why i think this, but it is just my perception.

    I will most likely be setting about a dozen snares for wolf, a few coni's and snares for wolverine, about a dozen snares and a couple traps for beaver, a dozen snares and a few traps for coyote, a dozen snares and a dozen traps for fox, a few traps a snares for lynx, and about a dozen traps for marten.

    it doesn't seem like too much to handle, but also tell me if that is too many to manage. Thanks.

    Also, if anyone can point me in a good area for wolverine, I would be grateful. I really want to get at least one in the next couple years and have no idea where to start with them.

  2. #2

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    Depends....on where you intend to trap....one line or multiples in different locations.
    I have always found wolverine in rocky terrain, mostly above treeline. I always look for rock outcroppings, surrounded by thick stands of willow and dwarf birch. They like to prey on birds, caribou and sheep. For lynx, look for hare signs. If you find lots of hares, you will have lots of lynx.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  3. #3

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    Akres - thanks for the help on wolverine. Still not sure what you mean by "rock outcroppings"- and I plan on running lines in 2 or maybe 3 locations.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Explorer View Post
    Akres - thanks for the help on wolverine. Still not sure what you mean by "rock outcroppings"- and I plan on running lines in 2 or maybe 3 locations.
    By 'rock outcroppings' I am referring to large rocks jutting out from the hillside, that offer shelter and cubby holes. Usually they are also jagged and broken. Not just a bunch of bolders laying on the side of the hill. Bolders offer very little shelter, though sometimes you can find a den under the larger of them. Look UP on the highest and roughest peaks and ridges. This is normally where you will find rock outcroppings. Along some of the secondary roads that have good elevation, like the Denali Hwy, around mile 11 and the Maclaren Summit, you can find good wolverine habitat. Also near the base/moraine and sides of any glaciers offer excellent opportunities. Cats make good bait, one cat=2 wolverines.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  5. #5

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    Cool. Thanks man. I will have to scout out some areas this winter.

  6. #6

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    Not sure what area you are working out of, but the areas around Matanuska Glacier, the moraine there and along the side of Gunsight and Sheep Mountains are easy to get to to trap lynx and wolverine both. Start looking for places, from Caribou Creek, all the way to Gunsight. Quite a few fox and coyotes in that stretch too.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I figure if you catch a couple of anything every day you will be on your way to stardom
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  8. #8

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    Thanks again Akres!

    Will - I didn't mean DAILY - those are what i was hoping for in a season. If I were catching them daily, I would have a lot more than that! I just don't think I will be good enough in my first season to catch more than what I listed. Maybe so. Who knows.

  9. #9
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    I don't think your expectations are unrealistic if the fur is there. The best sets in the world will sit empty all season if there isn't critters available to fill them. I think in the long run you will find wolverines are not all that hard to catch compared to wolves. Wolves have a way of turning even experienced trappers inside out with their ability to avoid traps and snares especially if you are trapping an area where they have seen pack members caught. Wolverine on the other hand seem almost obnoxiously brave or stupid until you educate one then they can really mess with you.
    Good luck and have fun that's the most important part having fun and not getting discouraged. Remember some of the guys on here have been trapping for 30-40 yrs and that in itself contributes to their success. I remember as a beginning trapper 30 yrs ago that it was the third year when exact location really found its way into my head and I started putting up better numbers of fur
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

  10. #10
    Member Alaskan22's Avatar
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    First year expectations: have fun and learn

    After that, catching fur is a bonus.
    Know guns. Know peace. Know safety.

    No guns: no peace. No safety!

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I am inexperienced as well and am reading this with great interest, but your beaver # caught my eye. The reason I say this is because a friend and I went out a few years ago with zero experience and set two beaver traps. The next morning we came back to two beavers. If you have multiple ponds/etc. that hold beavers, it seems like you could reasonably expect more than 1-2.

  12. #12

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    I agree - it will be fun getting out as well as learning. Not really "worried" about the fur numbers, just want to know if I suck at it or not! LOL

    Brian - that is good to hear. I don't expect to try for a lot of beavers, but if I get more than I think, great!

  13. #13
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    Brian is right on the beaver if you set 6 active houses that no one else has trapped you should be catching a dozen beaver or more
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

  14. #14
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    I was a new trapper about three years ago. I decided I was going to learn how to trap and I started buying traps, lure, snow go ect. I went out to a beaver pond and set a foot hold and the next morning I had a beaver. When out a few days later to another beaver lodge set a body gripper and had a beaver the next day. I thought to myself there is nothing to this trapping. To make a long story short that was all that I got that season. I had some close calls with fox and what not, but it just seemed that I didn;t know where to place the trap and what really worked. I was humbled and learned a lot that year. The next year I took the ATA trapping class up in Fairbanks. A couple of weeks after that class trapping seasoned opened up. I seen some mink tracks around this beaver lodge so I set a pocket set in one of the holes of the lodge. A few days later I got a really nice buck mink. On the same pond I seen where a fox was smelling an old beaver castor mound that I set and pulled that fall for beaver. I placed a 2" foot hold right in his foot tracks and a few days later there was a nice male fox waiting for me. This was all in November. Then in Dec I went after lynx and did end up getting two, and snared another fox. I learned a lot the first year and with the ATA trappers that really helped me out.

    This is the advice that I can give a beginner trapper.
    1. Don't expect to get a lot of critters the first few years.
    2. Enjoy the winter and have fun just getting out.
    3. Learn how to make snares and where to set them. I get 50 percent of my fox and lynx in snares They work though freeze thaw cycles the best for me.
    4. Attend the trapping meeting for the ATA. It is alot of fun to BS with the old timers that really know what is going on.
    5. HAVE FUN and don't get frustrated if you don't get anything. Take notes on what works and what didn't work.
    6. The most important to me is to have fun. There is no way that I have made a profit yet, but it is as a hobby and enjoy every minute of being outside. Dont worry about how many animals you get, learn and have fun.
    7. learn how to put up fur!!! I see people trapping and they get some critters then ruin them by putting them up bad.
    8. set on sign. If the animals are not there you wont get them.

  15. #15

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    Good advice,donkey. Thanks for the info. I went to my first AFTA meeting tonight in palmer and really enjoyed it. SOme good folks to meet and got a lot of goof information. May even get invited to go with some neighbors to watch them set out their traps and learn what the heck to do. I need a LOT of education of reading tracks...knowing what is what. I know hare, moose, and would probably recognize wolf, but after that, no clue.

    I am on it for the fun first, for sure. If I happen to get good enough to get a lot and can help pay my wife back for some of the traps and equipment, even better! LOL

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