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CanoeingLynx and PartridgeWalleye Rising

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Summertime Trap Maintenance
Summertime Trap Maintenance 
By Jed Ninefeldt

Like many modern day trappers my time is limited.  Between two jobs, family, fire/EMS training, meetings, and everything else, I have no time to fix stuff that breaks during the season.  During the season I make piles by need such as:  those that I somehow found time to fix, but couldn’t get time to get scent free again; broken or need significant time to fix; used snares that are kept to salvage hardware and as much cable as possible; and items that are good to go and usually just needs to be washed off.  Broken and damaged equipment from trapping comes from a combination steel, cold, and animals pulling and twisting.  A grey wolf caught in a fox trap means extensive fixing, tweaking, and new parts.  There is no reason why a wolf should be less than a quarter mile from town but it happens, more than the general public knows.  Sometimes you catch a hundred pound animal in a trap meant for something that weighs thirty pounds.


Now that the weather is nice, it’s a good time to pull everything out, wash it off with the hose, let it dry, and put it back. After the working equipment is cleaned, I start on the damaged piles by washing them off.  As time allows I work through everything that needs to be fixed.  An inventory and parts list are created so I can acquire more traps and/or parts at the Minnesota Trappers Association (MTA), the state trapper’s convention.  Parts and supplies are cheaper at the convention as you save on shipping and they offer good deals.  By mid to late September everything is fixed and ready to be boiled, dyed, and waxed.  On a good year there is little to do, but on bad years that I buy more traps there is a lot of work to get done.  One of the first years that I was getting back into trapping I waited until early October to order stuff and because of backordered items, I was dying and waxing on Thanksgiving Day.  


Only hardware can be saved on some snares while others can be revamped into beaver snares.  Many new snares are made and ready to be boiled and dyed.  I’ve been experimenting the last couple of years with various components and combinations to make what I think is the most effective kill spring set-up.


By taking care as much as you can throughout the summer you can avoid the mad dash in October to prepare for the long trapping season ahead.