Trapping Best Practice methods

auscraft

Henry Arthur Readford
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Ok this is the most important Question I have to ask in the series of Trapping threads I have made all of which you will see all come back or link to this one very important question.
With Australia having very strict laws and very specific list of animals that can be trapped what SOP or methods do you use or would expect others to use in while trapping.
Different states have different laws of what can be trapped and what traps can be used. Even differences in the locations within each state.
Go into detail I ask this question as I believe anyone here who does or has trapped takes it seriously and responsibly and they know the importance of why traps are used and the importance to get it right. Trapping has been given a bad name for many reasons and I won't go into detail but please talk about your best practise methods.

This is a huge question and as stated it does get tied in with other threads , include any other suggestions, tips and tricks can you offer to others in using best practice methods to ensure the and most effective trapping methods are the do's and don'ts.


Ok One that has been mentioned elsewhere already check your traps daily if not twice daily.
Again like the other threads I will give others first chance to step in first.
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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I guess that underlying your question is an assumption that a “good” trapper knows what they are after and should know where and how to target that species, (and what the laws and regulations are with respect to it).

Checking the traps, as you mention is very important.

I guess knowing exactly which species are in an area is important too. Being able to directly observe which animals are in an area or determine from tracks, scats, homes and other signs.

For instance, an area may have a lot of rabbits, but it may have other animals too, so in selection of an area you would want to be sure you could avoid non-targeted species.
You could set traps in a way or choose a type of trap which would only target the rabbits .... ?


Mentioned in another thread was that it may be necessary to leave an un-set trap in position for a while, so the target species can become familiar with it, before setting it (or baiting it)
 

AussiePreppers

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For rabbits, you would only do warren sets on the holes, but even then you aren't guaranteed to only catch a rabbit - i've watched an echidna come wandering out of a rabbit warren under a huge woodpile. You can tailor your set to suit though, for example, instead of just staking a conibear by itself on all the holes you could make a box set that the echidna wouldn't try and fit through but a rabbit would and stuff that in the hole. I'm hoping someone can test that one out, if you do it on all of the holes they will eventually have to come out, but it may spook them too much. Like Aussie123 says, you could probably just put the boxes in all the holes and then add the conibears after they get used to them.

The biggest thing i'll say for this thread, in my experience, is SIZE OF YOUR STAKE / ANCHOR!!!

Never underestimate the amount of force that even something as "weak" as a rabbit will put on your anchor. My minimum is one two foot length of rebar staked into the ground diagonally. For larger game such as wild dogs etc. it's at least two large stakes in different diagonal directions, and even then i'd contemplate also anchoring it to a nearby tree. If you are doing a snare pen setup, then choose a large tree and anchor to that, and build your pen utilising the tree as well. Also remember that it may not be the target species putting pressure on your anchor - a wild dog or feral cat could come and try and take what's in there and you're down a trap then. That's the best case scenario. The worst is an animal wandering around the countryside, suffering, with a trap still attached. It's bad enough for the animal, but imagine what someone would think when they found it dead or dying with the trap attached.
 

Aussie123

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Good points AP.

I hadn't considered that (larger) predators may take the pray and trap ! Or get stuck themselves.
 

auscraft

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It has been a little while since I started a trapping section so I will now continue with my thoughts, Please note I do not see myself as a professional trapper or an expert on all the laws and regulations.

The first point on best practise methods is know the laws for your state and what traps are allowed within.

Now I wish to talk about is choosing trap types, more detailed info will be placed in the trap type thread for each trap style. As I have already mentioned there are several different traps available but within those styles there are also traps that are configured in different ways. When you pick the type of traps you wish to use you need to become familiar with them noting the strengths and weaknesses of each.These differences can be great from the way the trap is set/used to the need to making modifications to them to ensure safe and best practise methods being used at all times.

One of the first things to consider in picking the trap is to be aware that trapping is not species specific, meaning they may catch non targeted animals this must be taken in to your choosing of traps. Remembering all native animals are protected under Law. Next pick a trap that is appropriate for the capturing of the targeted animal in both size and type required. Check the trap and modify if needed. Also before setting/placing any trap ensure that it is in perfect working order each and every time, This is very important as this will help prevent animals becoming trap shy.

One very important point I want to make is that anyone can get lucky setting a trap in catching a animal or two but trapping is a skill that needs continual practise and learning. I recently read that in America the trappers on fur lines look at between 10 -20 % for catches in their traps, Australia has even stricter laws on what can be targeted so those percentages will be even lower. NOTE trapping in Australia is only done for Feral animal control.

The first Trap type that I will discuss will be the Live trap/cage http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?6007-Trap-types again this info will also be part of understanding Best Practise Methods
 
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auscraft

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keeping with Best practise methods (ongoing education) , I attended the Wild Dog and Pest Animal Workshop run by the Gympie Shire council. Held over 3 days workshop 6 hrs. long.
Events like these are very important as they keep you the trapper (whatever experience) up to date. For example the speaker from School of Veterinary Science
gave information regarding Dogs caught in my local town from all 8 dogs she received all had Echinococcus granulosus (hydatids) http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/249686/Hydatids-the-basics.pdf so safety was a huge topic for us in this area. Dogs caught and get donated to the studies not only help the researches but also the trappers , producers and the public. Also Biosecurity gave info on the on going dog and pig problems listing my region as in top 5 areas of Qld for dog problems and other growing concerns including in suburbia along with dingo purity meths so may find hard to believe especially along the East Coasthttp://archive.agric.wa.gov.au/PC_95567.html?s=1001.
Other areas covered Trapping , lure selections and how to use them. Prevailing wind http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/51551/IPA-Wild-Dog-Poster-Trapping-Baiting.pdfagain discussed and the importance to use it to your advantages, Animal habits big talk again and a new topic for these workshops was surveillance methods and reading/understanding what you see and tied back into animal habits.
Finishing the day was a demonstration of trapping and baiting by council and Biosecurity trappers.
Had a fantastic lunch best I have had at one of these workshops and plenty even for seconds, Steak, snags, chicken breasts, Potato bake and 6 -7 salads absolutely great and morning tea:) have to mention it Hairyman.
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Proving how little damage foot hold traps cause. Note these are foot holds not like the old Lanes jaw traps that were leg holds.
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I hope you can see this , it is the movements of 1 dog over 5 weeks from point to point as the crow flies is over 70 kms so as you see well over 100kms proving dogs don't worry about fences. important to let neighbours know when you see wild dogs.

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Above are 3 Trap Demos 2 basic/flat, a hole sets the hole set also included drag. The first set shows the kneel mat with a cross section sewn on this was so the canvas could be used as a mud map.
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At the end of the day all who attended received a free Bridger #5 trap fully mod and two stakes with a copy of legislation and some tips on cleaning and setting flat set traps, all placed in the hessian bag which in it self could be used as your kneel ad.
I tend to go to any workshops I am able to attend including in any districts that I already work in hoping to pick up more properties to trap. All in all a great day each has there benefits but this was a good one with many attending.
 
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auscraft

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Just to put the Hydatids in perspective from all dogs caught and tested with in the Shire only 5% had the disease , 100% of all dogs in my trapping area had it. So I will supply more dogs for the study to see if #'s or % change.
 
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