coon trapping lessons

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Mobuck

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I have a short break in work/farming and sounds like our 'farming partner' wants to declare war on the raccoon population that ravaged his corn crop throughout the summer. He came up with 40-50 used dog proof traps and I'm supposed to get him started. Not much thought involved--at least not in the beginning. There's a 12" wide path crossing 1/4 mile of pasture headed straight to the corn field from the most likely coon haven. I predict the first 2-3 nights to be an all out slaughter. Pelts are worthless so this is nothing more than population control.
 

nekvermont

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vermont
I'm grinning just thinking about how many coons you might catch the first few nights, wish I was there to watch.

I used to love trapping coons back in the late 70's when they were worth good money. In 1979 I sold a Dec. caught coon for $50 and a Fisher for somewhere around $175. That was a lot of money to me back then.
 

contender

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Oh,, to get a job call like this! :D :D :D

I'm sure you know how to do all this. Keep us posted as to the results.

I'd set ALL the traps you have in one day, all along the trail.
 

harley08

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When you get all these coons, I am sure someone can do something with the pelts. When I was a kid I always admired Davy Crockets Coon Shin Cap he wore. I Think they would sell well!
Rocko Rizzo.
 

The Norseman

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Black Hills of South Dakota
Please keep us updated. I use the Dog Proof traps.
I’d be interested in how you prepare and go about
baiting the traps.

One thing I found out, is skunks can be trapped
in this D.P. trap. Stay up wind!

The Best to you and Endeavors.
 
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Mobuck

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"I'd set ALL the traps you have in one day, all along the trail."
Yes, that was my plan. Son said we have 4-5 dozen plus the 3-4 dozen procured at a farm sale last week for the other guy. That's a LOT of marshmallows and cat food.
"I am sure someone can do something with the pelts. "
Honestly, the pelts are worthless this early. Not worth the time to skin or the gas to take to a buyer even when prime. MDC has opened the season early in an attempt to decrease coon numbers because no one hunts/traps when fur is worthless. The landowner is also concerned that after corn harvest, the varmints will start raiding his hog feeders.
"Please keep us updated. I use the Dog Proof traps.
I'd be interested in how you prepare and go about
baiting the traps."
Very simple: place a 1/2 teaspoon of fish base cat food in the back of the trap, shove a large marshmallow past the trap trigger(I use a pencil sized stick to do this), cock the trap, and shove the pointy end in the ground. This works 90% of the time. A squirt of 'fish oil' on top of the marshmallow may help at times. You do need to set the trap(s) along a coon trail or where they travel around a pond looking for food. We re-purposed some rebar stakes that had been used to secure a green house sunshade--18-20" of 1/2" rebar with a 3" crossbar welded 3" from one end for our trap stakes. Works well enough most of the time. I've also used SPAX screws driven into trees with a cordless driver when the ground was frozen. Legal for landowners to do this BTW. Contender does this for a living so may have other (better) advice.
 

Wvfarrier

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I have really good luck using the live traps and then dispatching them. They murder the heck out of my ducks and chickens if I am not careful
 
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krw

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Arkansas
Everyone I know who strictly traps to depopulate uses the small traps that looks like a pc of pipe that catches the paw. Easy to set!! Put cat food in bottom of trap and thats it
 

Sapo

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I had trouble with coons in the feed room at the ranch. Couldn't use cat food as we have several mousers in the barn. Tried to feed the cats some sweet feed aka horse/mule, but they weren't interested, so I used sweet feed for bait. Caught 5 real fast.
 

langenc

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Lewiston, MI USA
"I am sure someone can do something with the pelts. "
Honestly, the pelts are worthless this early.
Copied from Mobuck-#6

I dont think a month or 6 weeks will make much difference in the price of the pelts-quality maybe a little better.
 

Mobuck

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"I dont think a month or 6 weeks will make much difference in the price of the pelts-quality maybe a little better."
We just had our first hard frost Friday night. Coon hides will still be 'blue' until mid-November. Buyers will refuse 'blue' hides.
If you are worried about catching barn or pet cats, use marshmallows only as bait with maybe a little honey, pancake syrup, or cheap molasses for scent attractant. I used to trap lots of coons around farmsteads with pet cats and didn't catch any cats in the 'dog proofs'.
Re: live traps
We're talking about massive numbers of coons raiding 30 acres of corn field. It would take a truck load of live traps to catch as many as I expect to catch in 2-3 nights.
 

contender

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Not much I can add to Mobuck's methods.
Too many for most to have live traps & use them.
(I'm an exception. I do it for a living, and I have a LOT of live traps.)
Baits. As noted,, a sweet bait will work on coons, skunks, & possums,, but cats in general ignore sweet baits. There are MANY recipes for sweet baits to be used in DP traps.
Fur,, waiting 6-10 weeks for the weather to change enough to where the skins are worth anything can allow the coons to change their patterns, move to other place, and cause much more damage. Plus,, the time spent skinning & such for fur that's almost worthless isn't good business sense. It may seem wasteful, but thank the PETA types who fought to get fur coats & uses for fur reduced to a much smaller market.

With a high number of animals,, diseases are also a concern. Controls are necessary. Again, thank the PETA types. When there's a potential profit to be made,, people will trap & skin & sell fur. that also keeps the populations in check.
 

Mobuck

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I sent a text to the landowner suggesting that with the rain shower(s) predicted for the next couple of days, it would be a good time to set traps. Told him to raid the grocery store for cat food and marshmallows. He sent back a smiley face.
 

BROKENBEAR

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Suggest fish oil be sprayed around the trap (50/50 water oil) on the ground and not in or on the trap as the odor is indeed an attractant .. the actual taste to the coon of fish oil is bitter ..or so I’ve been taught
You understand I’ve never taken a “pull” off a bottle of fish oil 😎

Bear
 

Mobuck

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Since the raccoon can't see the bait, the idea is to get it to reach inside (as coons are prone to 'feel around' for their food).
 

hittman

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My relatives near Williamstown MO (far NE part of the state) live on a blacktop but a mile from the nearest neighbor. Surrounded by woods and farm ground …. Their house sits on about an acre they mow.

Every year without fail they will catch 30 or more coons and a dozen or more possums … in their YARD. We might be very surprised if we knew the real total population of coons in the county.
 

contender

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"Every year without fail they will catch 30 or more coons and a dozen or more possums … in their YARD. We might be very surprised if we knew the real total population of coons in the county."

With that many,, I wonder what they are feeding outdoors to attract that many so close. Pets? Livestock? Birds?

Bird feeders, pet food dishes, livestock feed bins ALL attract wild critters.
 

Ruger00fan

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When you get all these coons, I am sure someone can do something with the pelts. When I was a kid I always admired Davy Crockets Coon Shin Cap he wore. I Think they would sell well!
Rocko Rizzo.
My son was enamored with the idea of a real coon-skin cap so we bought a bunch of dog-proof traps and will give it a go mid-nov. Quality of the pelt won't matter, its for the adventure!
 
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