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Thread: Worst trapper ever - HELP

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    Unhappy Worst trapper ever - HELP

    In January I found a moutainous area where there was a lot of wolverine sign, really fresh tracks everywhere. I put out seven #330 body traps and one leg hold, MB 750 set. The body traps I mounted on angled trees and then tied off wire baskets with pieces of moose, caribou and fish parts. I use a little Gusto at each set. The leg set, I tied off a basket of animal parts about four feet high and placed the trap in a grassy area underneath the basket. According to the tracks, the wolverine really like to check out this lone tree on the end of a ridge, not now. The entire line is about three miles long. After the line was put in, the wolverine tracks continued. One critter walked within thirty feet of one of the best sets and according to the tracks, did not take much interest in it. I have had several wolves check my sets out up close so I don't think it is a scent issue. NOW, the woverines are less fresh and it seems like every five to seven days one will come near one of my sets, but still no interest. The fox and birds are enjoying the bait, but no wolverines. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I was pretty confident in catching one, but the season is quickly coming to an end and I am feeling more like a trapping loser. Any ideas????

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    "The only guarantee is that there are no guarantees"- ole man trapper

    Keep at it you'll get him. remember the 3 P's....... Patience prayer and perseverance!!
    No expert here but try a variety of setups. Sounds like they might not like the 330's....maybe try half foot traps and half 330's if you have the resources. Good luck!!!

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    That's why they call it trapping and not catching...
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    You might try some ground cubbies guarded by your 330's. Wooden boxes, waxed cardboard boxes, 5 gallon buckets, 30 gallon barrels, etc., all make respectable cubbies for wolverine. If you have dead branches or brush or a hollow log, etc, a natural cubby can be the best for spooky / hesitant wolverine that are not willing to commit to other sets.

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    Went and checked on the sets on Saturday and no new sign. Maybe due to my fustration I left some negative tension around my sets. A couple of wolves checked out my sets and I am thinking I should put out some more snares and go for wolves and maybe then I might catch a wolverine. I freshened up my long range attractant at each set. Maybe I am checking the sets too often, once every four to six days. I had been checking my leg hold once every two days.

    I like the ground set cubbie ideas, but worry that I might end up cleaning out the fox population instead of my primary target. I will take a five gallon bucket out this week and try the ground set. Maybe post a few pics so the professionals can see what the heck I am not doing right.

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    i tried some gusto this year and nothing came near my sets after that...threw it in the garbage.
    maybe the baskets of meat they don't like. not very natural depending on the basket i suppose.
    cubbies are great for sure. i make sure i wire my bait to the tree so they can't steal it, maybe they'll just get frustrated with it and forget what their feet are doing...
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    I don't know anything about trapping wolverine, but don't feel bad, I been trappin for 4 years and, other than a million and 2 hares, I have only harvested 1 thing, and that was a young of the year martin. I did catch a coyote, but it pulled out cause I caught it in a fox trap (didn't know we had any 'yotes round these parts) and a muskrat, but it was in alive trap, and the guy I set it for had set it off one day, then when he re set ti he didn't do it right so the doors swung free and he got out Grr. But, keep up hte good work! a bad day trapping is better than a day at the office!

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    In my experience, wolverine aren't all that wary like wolves. I have a much easier time catching them in legholds than 330s. Have caught most under marten sets actually. A good scent makes all the difference, not sure what gusto is but I typically will rot up some moose guts/scraps in a bucket and then mix that with glycerine in a squirt bottle to put out for scent.

    Attractors can help too, dipped in scent. Good luck,

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    Okay, I am not an expert on wolverine but I would suggest a BIG piece of bait...not just
    then tied off wire baskets with pieces of moose, caribou and fish parts
    . I am talking like for example a whole wolf/lynx/wolverine carcass.
    The leg set, I tied off a basket of animal parts about four feet high and placed the trap in a grassy area underneath the basket.
    Good idea, but hang the carcass a little lower then 4 feet between big pine trees, enough for a wolverine to get a good taste.
    placed the trap in a grassy area underneath the basket
    And no need to hide the foot hold trap....open and seen...wolverine will forget about the trap once it gets a taste of the bait...make sure the bait is secured(I usually use a old snare to hang the carcass)so it does not get ripped off the hanging pole. If you have wolverine gland lure, use that on the bait. And if the wolverine still has no interest, I once found its regular trail and set a snare (but that needs to be checked everyday). It was only once I caught a wolverine with a 330 conibear and that was with dried fish/smoked fish tails and fins mixed in a big pile in a wooden cubby,...going to give in to my foot holds next season. My ambition has not been that great the last few yrs but I am missing the whole excitement of the challenge.
    wishing you luck and Happy Trapping
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    Excellent ideas!! I am thinking that my animal / fish parts that I am using for bait are not "stinky" enough. I have been collecting the parts throughout the summer and then freezing them until I put them out. Maybe I should have let them get a little rank before I froze them? Standing down wind from my bait, there is no smell, at least I can't smell anything, but the "Gusto." Also, I agree, my bait needs to be bigger and more attractive then a wire basket with maybe five pounds of parts. Would dragging a carcass or hide around the woods and back to my set help Wolverines find my set? I think more, bigger, stinkier, bloodier bait is needed.

    On 3/09 I checked on my sets, no luck. I located where another trapper had placed two leg holds between a couple of my sets, within 100 yards, but his were fired and empty, very upsetting!! This trapper hung a couple plastic bags full of bird feathers on branches above the legs holds as bait. Now the plastic bags are on the ground, tangled in the alders, where they probably will stay until I clean the mess up towards the end of the season. One of my traps was fired and hanging, hoping a critter was not stolen, disappointed!! But, still doing the deal. Thank you for any advice and sharing your experience.

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    3/11, set two cubbies on a creek coming out of the moutains where a couple of wolverine had traveled three times prior. After I set one of the sets, I noticed fresh wolverine tracks walking on the hard crusty snow right to the tree where I placed two leg holds and some hanging bait. Feel like there is still a chance. The wolverine walked within fifty feet of one of my other sets, didn't give it a notice. This time I used two leg holds at each set and a generous amout of bait. Also, fresh wolf tracks walking by all my sets. I could see where a male wolf was marking his trail as he was going. I think I might take some fox urine and dump it near his scent posts and place a couple leg holds. Still losing the battle, but there is two weeks left.

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    3/16, checked new cubbies, I noticed a wolverine came out of the treeline 100 yards away from one of my new sets, did a ninety degree turn and walked right to it, stopped ten feet away, did a half circle and then walked my snow machine trail away. I think BRWNBR was right, using "Gusto" is tainting my sets. So, a fellow successful trapper in the area saw my thread and felt compassion and is giving me a beaver carcass to hang. Little over one week left, weather is supposed to warm up, will see how far the rivers and creeks go out, won't take much, good base but thin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpilgrim View Post
    3/16, checked new cubbies, I noticed a wolverine came out of the treeline 100 yards away from one of my new sets, did a ninety degree turn and walked right to it, stopped ten feet away, did a half circle and then walked my snow machine trail away. I think BRWNBR was right, using "Gusto" is tainting my sets. So, a fellow successful trapper in the area saw my thread and felt compassion and is giving me a beaver carcass to hang. Little over one week left, weather is supposed to warm up, will see how far the rivers and creeks go out, won't take much, good base but thin.
    keep at it man...wolverine are wierd like that. and dont get so discouraged...i know quite a few trappers that have grown up in ak that still dont have a wolverine, and one i'm thinking of in paticular is a pretty dang good trapper when it comes to most species.

    here's a couple of my opinions...

    wolverine trapping is mostly about two things...haveing wolverine on your trapline, and leaving the right sets out long enough to catch one...sounds like you have the critters, sounds to me like you have workable sets...theyre habits and greed enable them to be caught in a wide variety of sets.

    gusto is not liked by ANYONE that i know personally, i dont use it, and never have, but i've heard terrible reports. good old sable oil or hawbakers marten lure is the only lure i use for marten/wolverine. and i'm not sure its needed for either. it definitely dont run critters off though.

    blind sets man...get accustomed to blind setting for ANY animal where your finding problems catching them. if your seeing wolverine tracks as regularly as you post, then its a natural travel corridor for him...that means he's traveling. that means a baited set might not be near as effective as snaring him in his trail, or catching him with one of your 750's in a blind/trail set...

    i agree with mark in that they dont hold a candle to the intelligence of the canines...but...they're also not near as patternable. something you can count on with canines.

    whether you catch him or not...its fun aint it? and keep using that area year after year...if theres that much sign, even if you catch him, theres a good reason he's using that ridge...and what is attractive to one wolverine, will be attractive to another. have fun man, wish i was still trapping...been welding for a month after pulling my hobby line...caught some critters this year, but i cant even describe how much i miss longlining. i wont miss next year.

    one more thing...if he's stopping by your sets and not getting caught...thats perfect. make a mound or find the highest spot around your set (within his given safety zone, the one he showed you when he stopped short) and bury a CLEAN leghold trap at the center of the mound (it dont have to be very high, just higher than the ground around the set) this is a set used by lots of marten trappers (including me) at every fourth or fifth set and it's purpose is as a safety set to protect your marten hanging from your poles from fur theives, being mainly fox or wolverine...mark hit on this slightly when he mentioned that he catches a lot of gluttons under his marten sets, at least i'm assuming a version of that is what he was talking about.

    good luck man, catch that little *******...theyre awesome, absolutely one of my favorite animals.

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    A couple things I will add. They love to check out beaver houses. Check on their travel route and see if they've went to any beaver houses. If so, put a foothold or two on top and stuff some bait in the house vent.

    If you don't catch them this year, they will follow their same routes next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ninefoot View Post
    gusto is not liked by ANYONE that i know personally, i dont use it, and never have, but i've heard terrible reports. good old sable oil or hawbakers marten lure is the only lure i use for marten/wolverine. and i'm not sure its needed for either. it definitely dont run critters off though.
    I guess I'll be the first to refute you.
    I LOOOOVE Gusto! It is a great wolverine lure and have had GREAT success with it. Pics are worth 1000 words:





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    nice catches no doubt...thats trapping, if it works for ya then by all means...just havent heard anything good about it, and lots of similar reports to jakes. like always i write it like i experience it or see it. and i'll stick with my system... as would most trappers i know. great pics man, pretty sure i've mentioned that before to ya. it (gusto) possibly could be a little loud for some applications...but hey whatever works. never said i KNOW that it didnt work...just that i'd heard bad reports and definitely dont use it...i also dont know (though i do use some in most baited sets) if lure is even necessary in most circumstances i come across with wolverine. just my experience.

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    I didn't mean to offend or say YOU"RE wrong, just show that I've seen Gusto work VERY well, it is probably one of the best Long distance calls there is. I have instances where they didn't go to the bucket or set when I've used it, but i eventually always get them. Maybe it's the large chunk of beaver that seals the deal, who knows.

    personally I think anything skunky is what they like. Had good results with some homemade stuff, some Dobbins Skunky backbreaker. Beaver and skunk = good lure.

    I do think in some areas, wolverine are MUCH different than others. I know trappers that have ZERO luck with connis and buckets, and then people like me hammer them with um. Who knows why it is. But it is.

    Like you said "whatever works for you...works."
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    Gusto is a great lure IMO I think sometimes guys tend to use too much and that can be detrimental to the cause. Lures are made more to peek the curiosity of a critter and get them working a set. Screaming at them with too much lure with a somewhat unfimilar smell like skunk for the critters up here may put them on alert not the object with lure. Right now my shop floor has too much Gusto I dropped & busted a near full 4 oz bottle all over the floor out there last week and my wife still refuses to go out there & get meat out of the freezer Since I like to eat, I am currently the person who gets to choose what it is we are having every night
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan22 View Post
    I didn't mean to offend or say YOU"RE wrong, just show that I've seen Gusto work VERY well, it is probably one of the best Long distance calls there is. I have instances where they didn't go to the bucket or set when I've used it, but i eventually always get them. Maybe it's the large chunk of beaver that seals the deal, who knows.

    personally I think anything skunky is what they like. Had good results with some homemade stuff, some Dobbins Skunky backbreaker. Beaver and skunk = good lure.

    I do think in some areas, wolverine are MUCH different than others. I know trappers that have ZERO luck with connis and buckets, and then people like me hammer them with um. Who knows why it is. But it is.

    Like you said "whatever works for you...works."
    yeah no worries man, and definitely no offense...i'm thicker skinned than that i figured you were simply stating that the stuff had contributed to putting fur on your stretchers...definitely worth mentioning. and yeah, i've found that most species can act differently in different environs and circumstances...to an extent anyway. one thing i'll say about the loud call lure...i think it's a tad more important in really cold areas...they gotta smell something in order to work a bait setup, and when a guy is trapping for them and doesnt know the prevailing winds in relation to his sets, or he just isnt sure where the gulo will come down, or what he'll work when he does...well then, a loud lure might be the ticket. but nearly always in my experience with any critter (and to be honest my thoughts on this subject are strengthening with each season) if you know where he's gonna put his foot, and place the right tool in his way, you can catch him without bait or at least with the knowledge he gives you when you miss him with bait...for whatever this is worth: my very first instinct when i read the op's trouble had nothing to do with the lure or bait that was being used...my first instinct was to advise placing a safety set, or a blind set, then go from there. bait gives some critters too much to put there attention on...mostly to our advantage when speaking of wolverine...obviously not this time.

    some wolverines dive right in, some dont. the ones that dont will give ya fits if ya keep approaching them the same....change it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by otterman View Post
    Gusto is a great lure IMO I think sometimes guys tend to use too much and that can be detrimental to the cause. Lures are made more to peek the curiosity of a critter and get them working a set. Screaming at them with too much lure with a somewhat unfimilar smell like skunk for the critters up here may put them on alert not the object with lure. Right now my shop floor has too much Gusto I dropped & busted a near full 4 oz bottle all over the floor out there last week and my wife still refuses to go out there & get meat out of the freezer Since I like to eat, I am currently the person who gets to choose what it is we are having every night
    good post otterman...that's my take on loud lures as well...specially ones with skunk...but i absolutely believe you and alaskan22 when you say it works for you...thats the way it goes with trapping...having a few guys around (like here on the forum) to bounce ideas and experiences off each other makes for good learnin...for me just as much as the next guy.

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