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How's your line doing?

3705 Views 16 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jrbhunter
Mine started off nicely but I've been fighting the weather ever since. I deer hunt pretty hard so my concentration is pretty broken up until late November or early December... by then we were either dealing with -8° temps and 20 inches of snow or 60° temps and rain!

I have been trapping the deep woods mainly, some creek and rock walls but very few fields. I am not setting my sights on K-9, mainly just other critters. I do my fair share of calling and like to have some coyotes to pound with the rifles come late winter. I've had a few coyotes narrowly evade my traps and caught a couple others... even had a couple fox run into snares and step in some dirt hole sets. Here's a collection of photo's from my season this far, not sure of my totals but it's been a pretty good year.

Opening weekend on the line;

**** on the creekbank;

Who wants to reach in there and get my trap back?

This gray fell hard for a 220 trail set;

This really Red coyote measured out at 72" nose to tail after being pelted.... not even stretched, just pelted.

Just Missed this one;
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Holy Cow!!!

This really Red coyote measured out at 72" nose to tail after being pelted.... not even stretched, just pelted.

HOLY COW...did you trap this one off the old nuke plant...!?!:yikes: That's probably THE biggest yote I have EVER seen...or even HEARD OF! Was it all yote, or was it perhaps a coydog?! My biggest to date was 57", but was THE heaviest coyote I had ever seen...a tad OVER 60#!!! I had three different ICO's look at it and they came to the same conclusion that I did, that it was all yote and no coy!

Here is a pic...sorry for the poor quality, it is actually a pic (digital) OF a pic (35mm/paper!)!

BTW- This sucker had 2" canines!!!
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Nice Coyote

Nice coyote there Ed. Man he does look vicious! Those are some awesome chompers there.. did you save his skull? I'd much rather have one marked up like yours than like this one is... these orange ones are ugly.

This is probably pushing the biggest coyote I've ever seen as well... didn't really realize it until I started to hang him in the gamble then when I threw the tape on the pelt I was surprised. I have taken a few that went over 60 inches but there is a big difference in 60 and 70 inches!!! With the amount of red in this coyote I would agree that there could be some domestic dog genes in him, just how much I am not sure.

Here is a poor picture of the tape measure against the pelt... not a real good view but it's all I have.

The biggest coyote I have seen was caught in Northern Indiana by a fella named Bob Wendt. Bob is big in trapping, he has instructional videos and such about how to catch coyotes. He did a good job on this one, notice it is still alive in the picture! He weighed in at 68# but I don't know the measurements.

P.S. Ed, I modified your picture so that it would fit on the forum. All I could see was two big fangs at first... I shrunk it down four times and got what you see above.
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Thanks…too bad I took it with a .50cal ML, so needless to say the pelt wasn't in too good of shape! :eek: I did save the tail…I like the black-tipped guard hairs! The teeth were the first thing I noticed when I walked up to it, he looked like he was PISSED that I shot him! Yep, I fleshed it out and then bleached it with a little borax. My youngest wants me to make him a necklace out of the teeth! :banghead3 Anyway, I am hoping to put it on a nice plaque with the pic at some point. You know how that goes…!

I also shot the female he was running with about 10 minutes after I shot him! I was sitting on the ground in a blow down (in a homemade leafy suit!) along a heavily used game trail when here they came trotting up. Well they got to within about 15-20 yards and finally winded me. When they took off they only went about 20-25 yards and then he jumped up on a log to try and figure out where/what I was. Big mistake. When I shot him the female didn't know which way to run, so she took off like a bat out of hell at a perpendicular angle. I knew he wasn't going anywhere after the gainer he did off the log, so I reloaded and decided to sit there for a little while to see if my shot made anything else move (since I was actually deer hunting!). I heard something coming down the hill slightly behind me and to my right so I knew as a 'righty' I would have to reposition for a good shot. When I did I realized it was the female circling back around! The only shot she gave me was head on, so I figured my hunt was probably over for the day anyway…what the heck! I apparently over judged the distance slightly, meaning to hit her in the chest I ended up hitting her SQUARE in the end of the nose!!! :bonk: Needless to say, WHAT a mess...left that one lay!!!

As far as the monster you took, did you look at the pits on the bottom jaw? Certainly not a definitive test that it is a full-blooded coyote or not, but usually pretty realiable and about the only way to tell without blood tests (from what I understand!)!

Holy [email protected] :yikes: …I think I might be scared to shoot one THAT big if I was by myself, much LESS hold it while it is still alive!!!! That thing looks like a wolf-hybred!!!

P.S. Many thanks for the crop…I was doing good to get the dang thing posted!!! Mrs. Claus gave me a new digital camera for Christmas and just taking pictures is a challenge…this thing has more buttons, bells & whistles that this PC!!!

BTW- If you are moderator for the other forums also, you may want/NEED to do the same thing for the Public land bowhunting thread…I posted a pic there also!!!:help:
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I know what you mean about the Muzzleloaders being hard on them. I have taken a couple with mine and it ain't nice to em'. Believe it or not, they are easier on fox than they are on coyote... I guess there isn't enough substance to a fox to open the round up so it just zips on through without much mushrooming. I've experienced about 125% expansion through foxes and as much as 250% through coyotes with 300 grain ballistic tip TC sabots.

That is awesome that you pulled the double, especially with the male first! I have always heard the guys out west take the females first because the males are more reluctant to leave after their partner is shot. Me, my theory is.. I take the one that presents the shot first then worry about the rest later.

I did not check the jaw of this coyote at all, actually didn't even keep his skull because I wasn in a hurry to get the messes cleaned up that weekend.

Good luck with the new camera, keep using it. Pictures are worth a thousand words, especially in these forums. I take more pictures than any woman I know... everything is a Kodak moment as long as it involves guns or animals.

I forgot to post one picture above so I'll drop it in here, this is a double I pulled on Red Fox one day a couple weeks ago. These are some beautiful animals, male and female. Not sure if they are a pair or not... they were a good distance apart in the same fencerow. :confused:

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Another good day

Well my line had been pretty dead lately... bringing in a **** or two a day at the most. I did finally thin out the opposums enough to keep the sets up but the other animals weren't running as good as they were in the early season. This bitter cold snap that came through flushed the critters back out for me though, the snares were hanging full yesterday. I just added a new line and it has really produced this week, I've taken 4 *****, 2 possums and 2 foxes off that place alone with less than a dozen snares. Here is yesterdays catch, everything here is big and healthy with the exception of the coyote, he is just a yearling but still has nice color. I expect to catch this yote's partner in the next day or two because after he was hung in the snare his buddy dug out nearby and left an obvious trail... that trail is now marked by a snare. :coolgleam

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Great reports, great pictures on the trapline. We forget about all the great animal resources we have out there that most of us never see. I haven't trapped since I was a kid. What do *****, coyotes, foxes etc. bring from a fur buyer these days?

My complete guess on finished fur would be something like...

***** $6-20,
Coyotes $12-27,
Fox $15-30,
Opposums 0.25-$3.50

The prices vary quite a bit depending on the quality of animals and buyers you are dealing with. I have a couple of young cousins that are ate up with skinning and fleshing the hides and taking them to the fur buyer so I give my animals to them and split the money in half.

The best way I have found to recover some of my investment is to sell to people who are wanting to have the hides tanned for decoration in their homes. I have sold some beautiful furs to folks that are very pleased with the bargain they got. If you go to a novelty store and pick up a red fox pelt you are looking at some big money ($200+?), at the same time if you have a fur connection and a mail order tannery you can get the finished garment pelt for about 80-90 bucks. I have two complete sets (Gray Fox, Red Fox, Coyote, ****) that I will be sending off for tanning this year. I would like to arrange a few more next season to help pay for supplies... I just like to break even and have fun working the line.

My fur, especially as of late, has been top notch stuff. The areas I trap are low pressure so I get some good animals and they are very healthy. These late winter catches are all primed up nicely too. Here are a couple more ***** I took last week, nice and fat from laying in a cornfield for hours each night!

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My guess is fur-bearing animals are an under-utilized resource. There are a bunch of them around, especially when you look at all the dead ones on the roads.
Why did the possum cross the road? to show the other ones it was possible:tongue:

I have gone out of my way to invite several **** hunters to come to my woods. I think they and skunks and opossums are awful hard on ground nesting birds like turkeys.

From what you said Fur prices are up some from what they were several years ago. My dad trapped when I was young. He was a school teacher and mom never worked outside the home. Every year Christmas for my family was provided by a pile of pelts. If it hadn't been for trapping we would have just had lumps of coal. Its too bad the present prices aren't much higher than they were when I was a 14 year old trapping in 1971. In 1971 prices a fox I caught sold for a whopping $18. In 2004 dollars thats probably $60-70 dollars! But anyway its a great sport and I'm glad someone is out there enjoying the outdoors and at least breaking even. Most people never realize somebody has got to keep those critters under control.:) Catch em up!
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Yeah, they definatly get out of hand if you don't keep them in check. I learned how to trap when I was young but after the whole theory of economics kicked in I realized it was a waste of my time as long as I was trying to save up for a bass boat or truck so I took on other jobs. Then when I was about 18-19 I was bow hunting an area near a spring and I discovered a **** den. I sat there one afternoon and watched 13 ***** climb out of that den and play around in the spring, it was neat to watch but I knew they were over populated. Distemper was bound to set in on them so I set some traps later that winter. From that den I nailed 19 ***** in a single season and when I was coyote hunting that area in Febraury (After trapping season) I still saw **** tracks in the snow near the den.

I skipped that den last year and returned this year to snag 6, I pulled the line off that area early in the season so I'm sure it will be good for another 10-15 next year. These hardwoods ***** are different than field dwellers, they den up pretty hard and pretty predictable... seems if I find a den I can whack several but near big fields or river bottoms I have to go to bait sets for the numbers. :confused:

After all that bragging yesterday I went home and found a dry line... that'll teach me. :coolgleam
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Talk about denning up hard. I was cutting up a big old hollow red oak for firewood last Winter. As I was buzzing off rounds off the hollow end, I felt the saw kind of snag up and I realized I'd whacked a racoon that was in the hollow log. No good pelt there!:yikes: What was left of it was prime:cwm27:
Better late than never...

Well, I have never really gotten into the trapping thing...have gone with/helped buddies from time to time, but that's about it! HOWEVER, after hiking yesterday I am stopping on the way home to get some snares/traps!!!

I live within walking distance from Silver Creek and while we didn't get much snow Saturday, there was enough to see tracks that had been left in the last 24 hours. I have NEVER seen so many fox tracks in my ENTIRE LIFE!:yikes: ****, muskrat, and what I think was probably beaver(s) too!!! It was unbelievable!

Unfortunately, there is no way to hunt this area because of the proximity to houses (except with a bow, which ain't happening!) so trapping is about it!

Any pointers for a complete newbee...!?!:gaga:
Silver Creek

I have two different guys at work that live on Silver Creek and they continue to pester me with stories of giant red fox and numerous **** walking through their yards. One guy JUST THIS MORNING was telling me about a Red Fox standing in a driveway near the elementary school this morning. He said "He was so pretty" I said "He'd look better on a fur buyer reciept!" :biggrin:

Honestly, there are a million things to learn about trapping. There are obviously some basics but after that it becomes an art of secrets... everyone traps differently and some are more successful than other. You should attend one of our Trappers Education courses to pick up the basics, bring the boys, it costs you about $10 to become a member of the ISTA then you can attend all the meetings, conventions and seminars and learn more about trapping than you ever cared to know.

I learned how to trap from my dad when I was a kid but recently my eyes were opened when I started trapping with other people. If you walk along with someone on their line sometime you can learn a TON of tricks and probably even come up with new tactics and variations of old techniques yourself.

My suggestion would be to join the ISTA and attend the one day trappers Ed seminar... then come hang out with me and/or a couple other trappers for a day or two running the line. By then you will have a good knowledge in the subject and will be ready for the Conventions where traps and trapping supplies are priced right. You only have 6 days left of this season so go ahead and start thinking of next year. I plan on running some serious lines next year (200+ Sets) so if you want to get involved let me know... we're going to have boiling/waxing/dying/skinning/fleshing and stretching parties Alllllllll winter next year at my place! :coolgleam And You're invited!

(B.Y.O.K. - Bring your own knife) :biggrin:
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Well, let me tell ya…they AIN'T lyin' to ya!!! It was truly unbelievable…if there was one set of tracks, there was 100!!! If it was the same fox, then that sucker must have been chasing the Energizer bunny and/or doing crack!!! There were about a MILLION muskrat/**** tracks, and what I gathered to be beaver tracks (found them around where they had been sliding down the bank into the creek!)! So, what does a good beaver pelt bring anyway!?:confused: I guess it is prolly a little late this year…however after seeing the activity over a 24 hour period, WHO KNOWS what I might still get! Since I would probably just educate a few critters, I will wait until next year.

That's pretty much what I had gathered, that it was more of an 'art form'! One of the ICO's for District 8 is big into trapping and always does a spiel at the Hunter's Ed classes. Guess I should've paid more attention! :banghead3 :bonk:

Anyway, let me know when the next ISTA meeting is and/or how to go about joining...after yesterday, I am PSYCHED!!!:biggrin:
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If you are real gung-ho about it I can come over one evening this week and set you up. You'd have to take care of them every day at daylight... and buy yourself a trappers license.

The tracks you are seeing near the slides may be otters, but if they are beavers they are worth $6-10. Otters are of course protected so if they are then I AM OUT! Haha. I'd be interested in the fox and **** more than anything... fox primarily. I have a couple good honey holes that should produce this week for me before the season goes out... I can set you up though if you want!

I will send you a PM with the information required to join the ISTA, the trapper education seminars start up in the spring and run through the fall.... they are pretty good if I must say so myself. :biggrin:
Oh yeah...

I'd probably be better off just waiting at this point...I didn't even THINK about the trapping license (which woulda been BAD!:bonk: ), not used to having to buy a license for ANYTHING with a lifetime comprehensive hunting/fishing license! Many thanks for the offer nonetheless!!! We DEFINITELY need to get together prior to next year...I'd just like to get your educated opinion:bowdown: on the prospects of the area and see if I am exagerating/overestimating the potential!

A buddy of mine that I teach Hunter's Education with from time to time actually caught an otter while trapping! After jumping through MANY hoops, filling out umpteen thousand forms, etc. he actually got it BACK! He had it tanned and it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Those things have something like 1 MILLION hairs per square inch!!! BTW- Isn't it just that you are supposed to "AVOID" trapping otters!?!

Many thanks, would greatly appreciate the info! I will definitely attend one of the trapper ed sessions LONG before next season rolls around!!
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Yeah it is hard to remember to buy a lisence for stuff like that.... that and federal bird stamps are all I have to buy so I've got it memorized now.

The animals have been very active the last few days so I don't think you are underestimating the area. I know for a fact that those residential areas are often the best places to bring in a good fox and **** catch. Coyotes won't brave heavily residential areas as often so they push the foxes into those areas and it is just common knowledge that a **** will eat and sleep anywhere!! I wouldn't be surprised if a guy could catch a dozen red's and two dozen ***** in that creek with very little effort. If you wanted to get really serious you may do better than that... just depends on the territory. Having it that close to home would be a big help; easier to check and maintain.
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