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 introduction and a couple questions

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grizbacker



Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-01-23
Location : Montana

PostSubject: introduction and a couple questions   Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:36 pm

Hi Guys. Been lurking for awhile and first want to say what a great forum! Anyway, I am from Montana and my buddy and I plan on running a trap line for bobcats next winter. We are both pretty new to this (limited experience with a few traps for small game and my buddy has trapped coyotes before) but we live in the outdoors hunting, hiking, and fishing. We plan to buy plenty of books and dvd's because we know we have lots to learn. I'm sure i will have plenty of dumb questions to come so I appreciate any advice.

I'll start out with the most basic question. We plan on buying 3 or 4 dozen traps. What traps would you recommend? We are thinking either size 2 or 3 but not sure what one. Also, we were thinking dukes because of the price but lately have heard you have to tune them all so would another brand like bridger be better or come pre tuned? Basicaly tell me what size and brand trap you would use (or currently use) and why.

Thanks a lot and sorry for the dumb questions just getting started and want to do it right.
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Bghunter119

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Posts : 727
Join date : 2009-04-03
Age : 44
Location : Nw kansas

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:00 pm

Most traps that you buy have to be tuned in some way or another, a few do come better prepared right out of the box, pan tension, pan level, chain length, swivels, are personal and important items, the right size for the animal targeting, with that said, i run mainly bridger #3 offsets, 10 " chain, 3 swivels, double stake swivel, pit pans and dogs, i like the jaw spread for cats, good preformance for the money, i have some duke, montana, and northwoods # 3's too, i would spend the little bit of money and go with the bridger, dukes will catch cats as well as what i listed and others, some traps just require alittle more tlc than others, cats are not hard to catch and i believe you do not need a powerful trap, a well tuned trap with some tweaking will catch and hold any cat, with that said i have no 4 coiled traps and hold cats and coyotes in them, hope i made some sense
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grizbacker



Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-01-23
Location : Montana

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:33 am

Thanks for the reply. A few more questions. So you dont run 4 springs and dont think they are needed even with a size three to help with closing speed? Also, what is your opinion of the square like design of the bridgers' jaws? For some reason they give me the impression that they would not be as good as round jaws but i really dont know why. Thanks again!
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ridgeback740

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Posts : 439
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 61
Location : South Central Idaho

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:23 am

What trap to use has started more arguements between fellow trapper than any other topic I know. It like the Ford - Chevy arguement. Its a personal preference or a basic "what can I afford to buy" decision. I urge you to buy American, but that being said, there are a few brands out there that are made abroad that will work well enough. I like bghunter119, run many brands, victor, blake and lamb, montana, montgomery and northwoods. I even have a few of the collector type traps that when called upon will catch an animal or two for me such as Diamond and Sargent. If you don't do anything else to your traps once you buy them, boil them in logwood crystals. I attribute the longevity of traps that I bought new over 40 years ago to this. It puts a good darker coating on the steel and protects against rust. These traps are as strong today as the day I bought them. Square jaw vs. Round jaw is another Ford - Chevy arguement. I've done well with both, but in the back of my mind, I think that the square jaw does have a slightly larger area for the cat to place their foot. I would be sure if buying used traps that are coil springs, to buy only the high levers. By this I mean that if you were to look at them from the side, the levers are canted at almost a 60 degree angle. I have a few low levers and the angle of those levers are around 35 to 45 degrees. They don't seem to have the holding power and I've had a few coyotes twist them up and break them during their escape. My opinion here is just one of over a million, so remember the saying, "Free advice is worth what you pay for it." Experience and time along with picking the brains of successful cat trapper will provide you with the knowledge you are seeking. I want to welcome you to our club of trapping and tell you nothing is more exciting than the first check of the season when you are new to trapping. Still remember my first morning and what I felt then which was 42 years ago. First check of 14 traps netted me one coyote and two grey fox. I remember it like it was yesterday. Good luck and hope you catch a bunch.
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BUCKSNBOWS

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Posts : 895
Join date : 2011-08-28
Age : 49
Location : NEVADA

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:54 pm

No doubt its what you prefer for sure. Most traps you have to work on no matter how much they cost! If it is the cost then go with the duke #2 round jaw. Faster than square and easier to pack. If its not the cost then got with bridger 1 3/4 round jaw. Better built trap and will last longer. I have alot of diffirent traps but those 2 are my favorite for the money. 4 coil is preference too? I have both and cant say that it matters either way. Its all in how you set them up! Notch the dog and pan with about 3-4lbs of tension. When they step in it and don't feel the give you got them! Deep full foot catch every time!
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grizbacker



Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-01-23
Location : Montana

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:50 pm

Thanks guys. I realize a lot of this is personal preference but wanted to see if there were certain trends for one resaon or another.

Heres another rookie question. The bridger #2 is essentially the same size as a duke number 3# correct?

Also, once again i know its a lot of preference, however, if someone could tell me some of the pros and cons of the round vs. square jaws that would be great. Bucksnbows mentioned faster... As in closing speed faster?
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ridgeback740

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Posts : 439
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 61
Location : South Central Idaho

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:02 pm

Bucksnbows is right about the speed. I have all my square jaw traps 4 coiled and to me they seem to close as fast as a 2 coiled round jaw. If you are packing your equipment on your back, go round jaws. Every extra ounce matters at the end of the day. I have places where in order to properly cover an area for cats, I have to pack a half dozen traps in a pack on my back, so weight is a consideration. Judging from the pictures that Bucksnbows has posted, I'd say that he has good information and experience to listen to. Don't know why, but I've never bought a Bridger trap. Guess I have plenty of traps now, but think I'll try a dozen this year just to check them out.
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ridgeback740

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Posts : 439
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 61
Location : South Central Idaho

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:06 pm

Hey Bucksnbows, what is your thoughts on dying your traps? If you do, do you use the powder or the crystals (which seem to get harder and harder to find each year). I don't wax my traps as I do catch some pretty big skunks from time to time and they can put a waxed trap out of commission for a short time until the smell goes away. I thought skunk on the trap wouldn't matter for cats, but have had a few shy away when I reset the trap right after catching a skunk. What say you?
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grizbacker



Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-01-23
Location : Montana

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:13 pm

So with a sqaure jawed trap 4 springs would be a good idea? Also, i am thinking about laminating them which would slow them down even more right?
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ridgeback740

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Posts : 439
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 61
Location : South Central Idaho

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:37 pm

I have a couple that are laminated, and because of the weight, don't use them unless I getting low on traps. I would think it would, but haven't really paid that much attention to speed. I have some areas where I have good sandy soil to put in some cat sets, and use these laminated jaw traps or double long spring traps in those locations. I would think that the move material that trap jaws have to come up through to close would slow them down. These traps that were laminated, I bought used from someone else. I insure the jaws don't become dislodged by welding a dobber on the end of the jaws making in near impossible for the jaw to slip back through the hole in the cross-dog portion of the trap.
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BUCKSNBOWS

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Posts : 895
Join date : 2011-08-28
Age : 49
Location : NEVADA

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:42 pm

Ok here is my take on this issue. I use smaller traps because they are easier to carry and you are not loosing any power on smaller traps. My favorite are the Bridger 1.65 OS round jaw. I also like the 1.75 OS Duke another good trap for the money. They all need work!!! Yes I dye my traps and then wax them to help with firing in cold weather. Skunks and wax. Yep they will smell some stuff up for sure and tear up a set too! These are all things that cats love to see. Very curious. If you are worried about shy cats put the stinky trap in the bag and replace it with another. I would not leave that sopt though. Free scent!!!!
Lamination is another way to pay more for a trap. I have caught alot of strong animals in the 2 coil round jaw that proves itself over and over. keep it simple and low cost. Adjust your traps for short quick fire! If your after cats no need to cover your traps and hope they fire through the dirt?? Wow my hands hurt from typing!
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grizbacker



Posts : 11
Join date : 2012-01-23
Location : Montana

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:48 pm

lots of great input.. Thanks guys. One other question. I see a lot of references to double staking, does this simply mean two stakes at the end of the chain going through the loop? My plan was to use a single 18 inch rebar stake per trap, is this adequate?
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ridgeback740

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Posts : 439
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 61
Location : South Central Idaho

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:44 pm

When I stake a trap, prior to setting it, I pull hard against the stake to make sure that I can't pull it up. If I can't, then no need for double stake unless you have type of soil that gets pretty soft once you get a lot of rain. When I double stake a trap (and I seldom do that anymore with earth anchors available), you want to drive them in at an angle like 60 degrees, crossing each other. Like I said, earth anchors have all but eleminated me double staking traps. I have an earth anchor driver that is 38" in length and have some of my cables that are 30" long. Haven't had any of them pulled out.
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BUCKSNBOWS

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Join date : 2011-08-28
Age : 49
Location : NEVADA

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:44 pm

Have you ever used a snare to tie off to a rock? I don't use stakes because its something else to pack. Sagebrush will hold a cat too.
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ridgeback740

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Posts : 439
Join date : 2011-12-31
Age : 61
Location : South Central Idaho

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:29 am

I have used #9 wire to wrap a rock like a package and anchored to this a few times. A retired ADC govt. trapper told me to carry a cordless drill with a masons drill bit. He would drill a hole in a solid rock that wouldn't break apart, run a bolt through it and with a nut and washers he would attach his chain to this. If you can use a drag, this is a good idea. But when wanting to tie solid to an object, I've never tried a snare, but since reading yours and others postings, I have a site that this would work great and I'm going to try it in the next couple of days. I appreciate the incredible information that everyone freely shares on this site. It is for this reason that some of the secrets that have been shared with me through out my 40+ years, I am going to freely share here when the question is posed and I haven't seen anyone with that idea post it. The people on this site are inspiring to me as I used to have a very dim view of what is happening to human race as a whole. "You guys Rock."
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BUCKSNBOWS

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Posts : 895
Join date : 2011-08-28
Age : 49
Location : NEVADA

PostSubject: Re: introduction and a couple questions   Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:16 am

Great to hear and glad to share! Just pass the trapping along to a youngster and let them enjoy the fun we have!. When snaring a rock make some notches in the edges of the rock and the snare won't move.
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