By: Bears Butt


One of the perks of trapping this time of year is seeing the snow geese migrate through.  This picture isn’t the best, as I took it with my phone camera but you can still see a large group of geese on the ground and some in the air.  They have to be the noisiest birds in the world.  The really funny thing about this band of geese is that just about 300 yards away there were some hunters set up and the geese just would not go in their direction.

Another subject on a water trapping line is boots.  Hip boots, waders, chest waders, whatever you want to call them and whatever style suits your fancy; unless you want to be wet and cold and miserable, you will wear boots.

Last year you will recall my purchase of the most expensive boots I have ever bought…Godwin Muck Boots…they had high praise in the web world and most people rated them 5 stars…I had a different experience and mine leaked.  I called the company I bought them through and sent them back…they in turn sent me another pair.  It was too late in the season to try them out and so I stored them, out of the box mind you, in my basement.  They were NOT folded in any way, but stored in their length, out of the sun and in the cool of the basement.

They leak.

I’m not happy with these boots and neither is Bob, who purchased a pair just like mine thinking they were some good looking, hard wearing boots.  So, my assumption is THEY ALL LEAK!  Period.

In my weak mind way, I have opted not to bother the company with my complaint again, but I did contact them and tell them that their leaking boots could cause someone on a very cold trap line to get hypothermia and they should recall all their boots.  Nuff said.

So, while in Walmart the other day, I saw a can of spray leak stopping rubber and I bought it.

SprayLeakSealWhen I got home I took my boots out and hung them in the tree and sprayed the upper portions of the boots, where the water comes in, my hope is that it will seal them up and keep me from getting wet.


Yesterday I had one heck of a time getting them to fold down so I could get my foot in them, but finally managed.  By the time the trapping was done, however, they folded down just fine.  Did my legs get wet?  I’m not sure, because it was raining so danged hard I was soaked from head to toe and that could have been the cause.  So the jury is still out.  Today the chance of rain is only 30%, so I’ll probably be able to put the boots to a true test.

So, what can I expect today?

Well, I feel pretty confident on the traps we set in the Bull Arena yesterday.  So confident in fact I bet Bob a 25 ounce beer I would come home with “at least 31 rats” today.

In addition to the rats, I have two skunks I have to dump out of their live traps and re-bait for raccoons.  I think I probably will have caught one raccoon today as well.

Bears Butt

February 28, 2014…If you had plans to get something done in February, today is your last day to get it done!  Just sayin!


Surprised again out on the trap line!

I headed straight out with an extra 40 Conibear traps and decided to set traps before I checked traps.  I managed to set an additional 27 traps, extending the line from where we ended yesterday (in Bull Arena) to the end of the line.  Then I went back to the top and began checking the traps we set yesterday.  I thought for sure we had set nearly 70 traps yesterday, but when I counted them we had only set 54 (which is a lot of traps, but not nearly as many as 70)….so with my beer making bet with Bob at a very bad compromise, I went to checking traps….I ended with 23 rats!  Pretty much on line with a first checking of 54 traps..27 would have been 50%, and I did have 3 or 4 other traps set off with nothing in them.  Well I lost the beer bet.

Then I headed over to Doris’ pond to set what I could there.  By this time it was getting windy, cold and late.  I went around the West edge carrying 10 Conibears, but soon decided it would be better to go around the pond with no traps and mark the places to put traps.  So, back to the rig I went and dropped off the Conibears.

You have to understand this pond…it’s not very big, maybe 3/4 acre in size, but it is completely encircled with tumble weeds that have blown into it…all around the edges.  It is also very deep, with steep sides, because of last summers dredging work.  Yes, there are some weeds, toolies and other water type plants growing in and around the pond, but it is not easy to find places to set traps.

Well after making my way around the pond, I could see I needed 2 bait sets and 11 Conibears…I gathered them up and went to work.  After setting the last trap, and as I was walking back to the rig, I started counting the flags as a final check as to how many traps I had set.  What to my bewilderment did I see, but way across the pond the water near one of the flags was splashing.

I went over there and there was a muskrat, dead as dead!

It seems like every year there is some strange thing like this that happens and this was a great one!  Last year I only caught one rat out of this pond and so far this year I have caught one…on set day no less!

So, my total for the day ended up to be 24, while Bob caught 12.

I must say, his line is holding up well!  A 36 rat day is a great trapping day in anyone’s book.  No raccoons, no skunks and no rats in Mavryks bucket.

Bears Butt

Written on February 28th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

AnotherSkunkYesterdays pretty scene.

It’s Thursday and Bob and I are prepared to head way out West…The Bull Arena awaits our presence.

It’s going to be very interesting to see if there are any rats in that little bit of water.  Last Spring I could see several rat houses out there and that was from the road.  The thing(s) that kept me from entering the field and trapping it were the bulls….have I told y0u of my fear of bulls?  It think I have.  And unlike the scene I saw yesterday with Bob ignoring the bulls…

BobIgnoringTheBullsIf I were in his shoes right there, I would be having a heart attack….look what was across that little seep of water:

BullsInterestedInBobThey are very interested in Bob at this moment. (CSR stands for “Chit, Scared, Run”, not really it just applies to me)

Well, we don’t have to contend with bulls in the Bull Arena, as Richard Nicholas has taken them out just so we can trap it.  A couple of years ago, he and I had a very good heart to heart conversation about “fears”…My fear is bulls and his fear is “rats”….so we have a mutual feeling and for him to give me permission to trap those rats was a given.

We want to totally wipe out every rat in that area and it should be pretty easy to do.  The water way is only about 500 yards long, from the spring at the top, to where ever the water goes at the very end.  For some odd reason, all the water out in that part of the country just comes to an end…not like it goes into the Great Salt Lake, it just plain ends.

So, even though it is slated to rain today (90%), and we can expect to get soaked, we are going out with the intention of setting about 80 traps in that little area.  With that many traps out we should wipe out the population of rats in about 4 days.  Hang with me and I’ll let you know how we do.

As for todays catch:

With yesterdays surprise number, and last nights winds and building clouds, I think we can expect to only catch about half what we did yesterday.  So, I’m saying I’ll catch 7…I hope I’m wrong.  Oh and I’ll get a raccoon too.

Bears Butt

February 27, 2014


Got back home at 4:55…a very long day in the field.

Bob and I set “A Bunch” of traps in the Arena today…all the Conibear traps I had on the toy and I think that was 60, but I’m not sure.  We ran out of time and traps at the same time.  Tomorrow I will set more.

There was so much sign of rats in that small ditch it is crazy….I don’t think it has ever been trapped.  Bob could not believe it either.

Meanwhile up on the Trellis, I caught 3 rats….that’s it.  In the live traps one skunk…pewwwwww!

As I was about to leave the area the rain had been coming down steady and I was soaked, then the North wind came up and the temperature dropped at least 15 degrees, to the point I could see my breath…I’m still cold right now.

Bob caught 12 rats on his line and he is feeling really good right now…he is regularly kicking my butt!

Bears Butt

Written on February 27th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

A guy has a lot of time to think when he is out on the trap line and most of my thinking is centered on catching more critters, usually.  That is, IF, I don’t have to contend with bulls….

This year I thought of an idea that I just knew would put more rats in the bag at the end of the day.

We have all heard how good colony traps are, right?  For those of you who don’t know what a colony trap is, I’ll explain right here.

It is a specially designed trap, usually out of wire, that has doors on both ends that will pivot out of the way to allow a rat to enter the body of the trap, but it won’t let the rat go out the other end.  Once trapped inside, they drown.  I have caught as many as 6 (six) rats in one colony trap at a time.

When you are in the business of catching critters this trap is THE trap for catching muskrats!  You can catch a whole colony (family) in one night, thus the name.

Another thing we know about muskrats is they like to climb up on stuff that is floating in the water…logs, dense brush, piles of downed cat tails etc.  I use “floats” wherever I can and have taken 2 rats a lot of times in one night, as the floats usually have two traps on them.  The other day you saw a picture of a rat with two traps attached to him….that was on a float.

OneRatTwoTrapsIn this case the float was nothing more than a board I found alongside the water way.

So, my thinking was, IF you were to combine the float with the colony trap, you could catch multiple catches each night and fill your trap bag quicker.  It made sense to me and so I put my mind to work and made one….a Floating Colony Trap!

I’ll be brief and just say it took a little bit of time to bend the wire and make the “boxes”, but it didn’t take a long time.  Two boxes were made the same length but both boxes were of different depths.  The deepest of the two went on the bottom when I hooked them together.


This is crude I know, but give me a break, this trap was in its infancy.  I thought I would use 1/2 gallon empty milk jugs to float it.  But from the picture you can clearly see a smaller trap on top of a larger trap.  The top trap has the two slanting doors that allow the rats to enter, but not leave.  The larger trap underneath is deep enough to hold up to 10 rats, should 10 rats find their fate in there.  I have wires that will allow you to open the ends of the lower trap and remove the rats from there…I think I’m onto something here, it will be up to YOU to make it work.

Between the two traps is an opening that allows the rats to dive down and/or climb up and out of the bottom trap.  There were some built in discouraging “pokies” I had in place to keep them from coming back up, but later you will hear why I chose not to employ this trap.

This view doesn’t show you much, unless you are a scientific type and can see the “wire through the wire”….

OpeningBelieve it or not, this shows you the opening between the two traps.  Look closely:

OpeningCloseUpOK…Pokie things hanging down on the left are the easiest to see…study it…well, maybe not as things have changed.

So, as time went on I decided the milk jugs would not do as floatation devices…Unknown to Winemaker, I used the hot tub as the testing area.  I decided to use the foam kids floating tubes and cut them to size…see here:


Oh Ya Baby!  That looks like it will work just fine!

Well, Weasel tried it out on the farm pond…it caught nothing….and then I used it on the Trellis area where the rats are so thick they have to have stop lights to let me continue down the road…and it didn’t work…so….I disassembled it and made two colony traps out of it.

EndViewWithPlexiglassBefore I get too far away from my extended idea, the ends of the lower part of the trap are covered with clear plexiglass….to make the rats think they can get away….pretty smart huh?  Well, it didn’t work…Who is the dumbie….ME!


Bears Butt

February 26, 2014

Written on February 26th, 2014 , Hunting/Fishing/Trapping Stories
By: Bears Butt


Without going back through my posts to make certain, I’m guessing I started setting traps at the Trellis about this time last week.  Yesterday was a rather disappointing day in the trapping business.  With such a pleasant night before, the rats should have been running like crazy…and they probably were….what few there are at this place.

I have over 50 traps set on the Trellis and I caught 1 (one) rat and had two others set off with nothing in them.  So that only means a few things could have been the reason:  One, I’ve caught the majority of the rats out of there.  Two, The rats that are there are “on to me” and avoiding the traps and the runs they are covering.  Three, I stink as a trapper and they don’t like the smell of my carrots.

The bottom line is I’m wasting time continuing to trap the Trellis and need to move on.

I have promised Richard, the owner of the bulls in “Bull Arena”, I would move into his place next.  He is located out past Doris’ place on Promontory and the area is not a big area.  Bob has voiced his desire to go with me when I move out there.  Today I’m going to announce to him I’m going out there tomorrow and that today I will begin pulling traps from the Trellis.

Part of my discussion with him today is the fact that his lines, on the interior of Petes’ are “dead” and he needs to pull them.  He made comments two days in a row that his first 30 traps were empty and that he didn’t catch a rat until he checked his 31st trap.  That should be an eye opener to him.  You can’t leave traps in the small springs and expect to catch rats all season long.  It doesn’t work the same way as it does on the bigger waters along the Right of Way.

If you recall from last years daily writings, I went along with Bob to leave my traps at the Trellis for longer than I usually do.  I think I left them 3 days longer and checked them daily and only caught one rat in those 3 days.  I feel I’m at that same place on the Trellis.

With the traps I have on the back of the toy right now, if I pulled 20 or so traps from the Trellis today, that should give us enough traps to cover the Bull Arena tomorrow.

That is my goal for the day and I hope he goes along with me on this idea.

What do I expect to catch today?

One raccoon and 5 rats.

Bears Butt

February 26, 2014


I got away a bit early today and only had two stops to make.  I pulled 21 traps from the Trellis and Arrow Head and then went to checking the remaining traps.  I still have 68 traps out, plus the 7 live traps.  I was pleasantly surprised at the number of rats there were in the float traps.  The rats must have decided to have an open air party last night and get away from the density of the toolies, because that is where I caught most of them.

By days end I had 14 rats and one skunk!

Bob is still out so I don’t know how many he caught and I haven’t talked to Weasel yet about his day.  I’ll update this when I know about their catches.

SURPRISE!  Bob caught 14 also!  A 28 rat day….now nobody can complain about that!

Bears Butt

Written on February 26th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Here kitty, kitty, kitty….BOOM!

Day 2 of week 3 is about to begin!  Yesterday I used up a big bag of carrot bait and it sure seems to be working like last year.  We have discovered a secret ingredient to add to the chopped carrots and the rats are really attracted to it…at least in our minds they are.

Tonight we have to be at a the High School to see Conner perform with the orchestra…He plays a Cello and is quite good at it.  So there will not be any rat shed fun until tomorrow night.  Skinner Man has been directed to skin yesterdays catch and freeze them until we have more time.

Today will should catch quite a few rats as the temperature last night was very warm….40ish.  But you never know about those little critters.

The trap line is different for me this year, as right now I have more bait sets out than I do Conibears, that is something quite unusual for me.  But the water along the Trellis is so deep I have to have float type sets and it is way too deep for setting Conibears, even though I can see the runs down under the water.  The water is over my boots in some places and I would be setting traps with my face in the water if I wanted to push a stake in to hold the Conibear.

So, everyday means chopping up more carrots and putting in the secret ingredient as the attractant to my bait sets….it’s pretty fun mixing that secret ingredient in.  Today I made a change and am going to do a small experiment to see if this “new” secret ingredient might or might not do.


Weasels rat from the set he made last Saturday….good job Weasel!

The bottom line to all of this is to catch rats and catch them as quickly as we can.  The weather is too warm right now and the run is about to begin.  As we know from past experience, when the run starts it is “go like gang busters” and then suddenly the rats are gone and you can’t buy a rat!  It happens every year and this one will be no exception!

So, this is the type of thing I like to see:


Actually, what I really like to see is two rats in two traps, rather than one rat in two traps.  This one messed things up and on the board was lots of other rat poop, plus this poor bugger had rat poop on his back!  Rats have no mercy!

What do I expect today?

With 17 new sets, they should produce 8 rats.  The other sets along the Trellis will also produce 8 rats, for a total of 16 rats…the live traps will have one skunk and one raccoon.

There you have it!

Bears Butt

February 25, 2014


As mild as the temperatures were last night it seems the animals didn’t want to leave home….well, maybe they are just smart about our traps right now.

I was extremely surprised by the lack of rats in my traps.  I only caught 11 and most of them were caught in the 17 traps I set yesterday.

No skunks, No raccoons.

As of this moment I have not talked to Bob so I don’t know what his catch was, but I’ll bet it’s a lot like mine.  I’d be surprised if he caught more than me.

Also, Mavryck (Maverik) caught another rat which we will buy from him to add to our collection, that makes 5 from him.

When I went out this morning I saw Pete’s two sons and one Grandson moving the bulls and they ended up pushing them all the way to where Bob is trapping…All of the bulls!  When I told Bob that earlier in the day, he said he would just ignore them….OK…Just ignore them.  I’m just glad I’m not trapping in there.

I will update this when I know what Bob and Weasel caught for the day.


Bob = 9,  Weasel = 0

Bears Butt


Written on February 25th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


This begins our 3rd week of trapping for this season.  So far we have enjoyed a very fine catch of fur and if God will allow, we should see more of the same this week.

Saturday evening found us in the trapping shed faced with 5 raccoons and 64 rats to process.  Skinner Man took good care of the raccoons and was right on time when Weasel came in with his newly caught fox!  Skinner Man had just begun to skin the pile of rats and so the process began…the only hitch was Bob…where is Bob?  Well, we found out later his butt was kicked and he had elected to take the evening off from the skinning shed.  So, up stepped Weasel to take his place.

You see, we each have a job in the shed…Skinner Man skins and tosses the hide to Weasel, who turns it fur side out and does a preliminary QC on the hide as to how dry it is….if it is dry enough to continue to put it up he will then brush the fur to rid it of any debris that may be in/on the fur and of course that fluffs it up some.  Then he turns it skin side out and tosses it to me.  If however, the fur is too wet to put up this day, he spreads it out on the drying rack or hangs it in a place the heater can dry it overnight.

My task is to flesh the fat and meat off the hide.  My task also exposes any bite marks that may be in the hide.  Often times a rat will be bitten pretty good (bad), but you would not know it looking at the fur side, it’s when you turn it to the skin side, that you can see the breaks in the hide.  Removing the fat and meat exposes the holes.  When I’m done, I toss the hide to Bob, who positions it squarely on a wire stretcher, pins the nose to the end of the stretcher and pulls the hide as tight as he can get it down the length of the stretcher.  Sliding hooks mounted t0 the sides of the stretchers are positioned and hooked into the hide to hold it tight.

Then Bob hands the stretched fur and stretcher to Weasel who hangs it on an over head wire to finish the drying process.

When someone does not show up to do their part of the job(s), someone else has to step up and take that job over…each job must be done even if only one of us shows up.

Saturday night found us with an extra man…Crock!  Crock came to see the process, B.S. with us about outdoors stuff and to see the skinning of the fox.  He also gained two extra bonus pieces that can come from fur trapping and I’ll get to that in a minute.  The important thing here is, Bob didn’t show up, so Weasel stepped into his shoes and Crock took Weasels job…well, Weasel still did the QC and combing, as Crock was wearing clothes that none of us wanted to see get soiled with the ugly of the trapping shed.  So, his job was to hang the rats on the wire in groups of 25 and make sure that none of them touched each other…another very important part of the process.

So, it’s vitally important that when you put the hide on the wire stretcher it is kept square with the world (so to speak).  By that I mean the eye holes are equidistant from center to side of the stretcher and on the other side, the feet holes are equidistant from the sides of the stretcher.  A lop-sided hide really looks tacky and will cause you to lose money when the buyer comes to grade them.  I will repeat the above picture (since I know you have forgotten what it looks like).

BobDoIHaveTheFeetStraight And the question is asked: “Are the legs holes straight on this one Bob”??

That’s an inside joke, and VERY FUNNY to us!  (Insert smiley face here)

Back to Crocks newly acquired “Good Stuff”.

So, as well as I can remember, Crock asked about “Coon Bones” and I told him that there were two male coon carcasses out in my truck and he was welcome to go and cut out whatever he wanted…he jumped at the chance and soon came back with two very nice coon bones.  Since this is a family show, if you do not know what a coon bone is and you are interested in knowing, please look it up on Google…I’ll leave it at that here.

Yesterday was Sunday and I received this email from Crock:


Well I cleaned up those two Coon Bones.  I have not yet decided how to “display” these bad boys,  So I googled it and there is no real examples of what you do with these things.  I will have to figure something out.  However, I am sending Brek a message cause wikipedia tells me that a Coon Bone on a string(to wear around her neck) is how you tell your lady she is the one for you.  While the rest of us some how missed the boat and still got a wife, what better way in this day and age to set yourself a part from other potential suitors than with such a memento of your devotion.  Surely no woman could resist such a fine example of true love.  Lucky for him he learned about these early in life.


Thanks Crock!  I needed that laugh and I hope Skinner Man takes it to heart!

Life in the trapping shed is always a joy!

So, today is Monday, the beginning of week three!  What does old Bears Butt expect today?  Well, its been two warm nights since I last checked the traps…22 traps in the Seeps and 49 traps on the Trellis and don’t forget the 7 live traps at the top of Bull Run.

My guess is one raccoon, 2 rats from the Seeps and 20 rats from the Trellis.  22 rats and one coon.

I’m pulling the Seeps traps today and hopefully will get them reset on the Trellis somewhere.  Another long day ahead!

Bears Butt

February 24, 2014


It sure was a warm Spring day today…high must have been close to 60 degrees.  Lots of birds chirping and high flying swans and snow geese squawking.

Well I didn’t catch a raccoon….but I did catch a stinky old skunk…YUK!  One shot him, which was good, but he still did his thing in, around  and on the trap.  I managed to dump him out and get it re-baited for tonight.

When Weasel went with me last Saturday, I told him to set a Conibear in a run that had some mud sign in it.  I told him if there was a rat in it today that he could count it in his catch….He caught one!

As I was pulling the Seeps lines, Craig stopped up by the highway and yelled my direction.  I went up and met him and his boy Maverik came out of the truck and over to talk.  Maverik had caught 4 rats from the pond (the same pond I have already trapped) and would I buy them from him?  Of course, now for the price….$5 each, unskinned.  He took it!

When I got through pulling the Seeps lines I went back to his place and found the rats in a bucket and put his $20 under the bucket and then left a note on the windshield of the truck telling him where the money was.  Any future rats he catches will be the same…$5….And he will let me know when he has some.

The Seeps kicked out 5 rats counting Weasels, which was a pretty big surprise to me, actually twice what I expected.  But I pulled those traps and now only have the live traps to check up at Bull Run and the Trellis.

I managed to re-set 17 of the traps I pulled today and should be able to set more of them along the Trellis tomorrow.

OH.  And I caught 16 more rats along the Trellis for a 20 rat day for me!

I came home with 25 rats…my 20, Weasels 1 and Maveriks 4…By the way, Bob paid the $20 to Maverik….He will get re-reimbursed when we get our fur check.

Bob caught 14 rats today….so a total catch of 35, plus the 4 of Maveriks gives us a 39 rat day!  We will take that anytime!

Which is worse for me?  Plowing snow or dealing with trapped skunks?

Bears Butt

Written on February 24th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt

Yesterday was such a long, long day involved with trapping, from heading out West, to checking, to setting a few traps, to coming home and tending to the trapping shed details, to taking down rats, to mending a broken trap and taking apart a trial trap, to fleshing the catch and putting up rats from two days of trapping….well, you get the drift…that is why there was not a PM report for yesterday.  You will have to let this suffice.

Weasel and I got away about 9 a.m. for what I was considering a relaxing day on the line.  We checked the live traps on Bull Run and sure as shootin, there was another big old raccoon!  Weasel was in charge of the pistol and in short order killed his first raccoon!


And then we moved over to the Seeps to check those traps.  My expectancy was not high for any rats to be caught there, but we did catch 3 and I considered them a bonus catch.  The sign that was there is all gone now, the runs are filling up with moss and the mud that normally is in the deeper runs has all settled and nothing but clear water fills them.  I have to say I have caught almost all the rats out of there and it’s time to move those traps.

When we got over to the Trellis and began checking those traps there were two traps that have not had any rats in them until today.  It was a nice reward and the beginning of a pretty good days catch.

At the end of the checking, we not only pulled a total of 22 rats and one raccoon out, but we set a few traps as well.  We figured, we had a few traps and we had some open water, why not lay them in!


On the way home I had to stop at the “Short Stop” convenience store in Corrine to pick up a 25 ounce beer I owe Bob for a bet we made the other day.  When we pulled in, Bob pulled in right behind us to find out what we caught and to tell us what he had caught.  His catch was 10!

A great catch day on the line!  32 rats and one raccoon!

I think Weasel learned a thing or two about setting traps and the how tos’ of making sets where there were no sets and I’ll let him know how his catch rate did on Monday.  He also got to see just what a remarkable muskrat area we are trapping.  Up here in the local field he is elated to see a single rat poop on a rock or mud dob…out there we were stepping over piles of rat poop to get to the big piles!  There must be hundreds of rats on the Trellis and we are making a pretty good dent in their population right now and still have a week or so to trap it!

Once we were home, I went to disassembling my floating colony trap (story coming soon), which just didn’t work the way I thought it would.  In the shed Skinner Man was busy taking care of what now turned out to be 5 raccoons!


After I made two colony traps out of the one floating variety, I pulled down 50 rats from their stretchers and put them on hangers.  We needed both the stretchers and the hanging space for the rats that Skinner Man would be processing today.

The day ended with all five of the raccoons put up on stretchers and all 64 rats skinned.  Several of them will have to wait until they are dried some more before they can be put up on stretchers, but we combed and put up what we could.

After the rats were taken care of, it was very late for me and my butt was thoroughly kicked.  I excused myself from the shed as Weasel was preparing to skin out his first ever snare caught animal, and fox.


What a great day!  And what a great week of trapping…we caught a total of 195 rats this week!!!! Not bad for the end of week number 2 of the 2014 rat trapping season!   Add that to the 102 we caught last week and the 65 Bob caught last Fall and are in the freezer and we have a total of 362 rats!!!

Today is Sunday and we don’t usually go out to the trap line.  It’s a day to regroup for the upcoming weeks rat trapping.  You would think it was a day to relax, but here is what I have to do to prepare for next week.  Check the vehicle for vitals like gas, oil and tire pressure.  Chop up more carrots for bait.  Make sure the toy has plenty of fuel and load up another bag of bait set traps.

Bears Butt

February 23, 2014

Written on February 23rd, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Today is Saturday and Weasel is going out on the trap line with me.  I hope he is not disappointed.  If nothing else he will see what a real trapping opportunity it is out on the Holmgren Ranch.  There is every critter known in Northern Utah on this ranch and what a trappers paradise it is.

Yesterday I pulled the last of the rat traps off Bull Run and it was time for that to happen.  Even though there are still a lot of rats in there, a trapper would have to spend a lot of time targeting them and that time is not something I feel I have right now.  The catch wasn’t great but it was what it was and it paid for the gas.


The Seeps line really needs to be pulled, but because of the timing of things, those traps will have to remain until Monday to be pulled and then those traps will have to sit idle until such time as I get out to Doris’ pond and the Bull Arena (Richard Nichols place).


These 6 rats taken off the Seeps lines should not be taken lightly, they still represent 6 rats that aren’t digging up Pete’s place, plus about $60 worth of fur.

So, with Weasel joining me for a “learning experience” on trap placement and techniques to fool these little critters, I hope to make it an enjoyable “class” as well as show him what I know about rats.  I expect we will see just about everything these critters can throw at a trapper and he should learn a thing or two.

So, what about the catch for the day?

Live traps…one raccoon, one skunk

Seeps at 3 rats.

Trellis…hmmmm….18 rats!  So a 21 rat, one coon, one skunk day.

Bears Butt

February 22, 2014

Written on February 22nd, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Today is Friday and whatever traps I get set will be all for the week.   I’ve learned not to set traps on Saturday, as I don’t check traps on Sunday, therefore any rats caught in newly set traps (which are always the best producers) are then given two days for other predators to find them and destroy their furs.

My plans for the day is to finish pulling the traps at Bull Run and even though I am catching a rat or two from there and am still seeing some sign, it just isn’t worth my time to continue going in there for that few of rats.  I have 22 traps still in there and after this morning the only traps will be the 7 live traps.  I will leave those live traps out until I move my lines to Promontory.

Beginning next week sometime (probably Tuesday), I’ll pull the traps form the 3 seeps.  Seep one did not produce anything yesterday and only seeps 2 and 3 produced the 11 rats.  Today, those two seeps will probably only produce 4 or 5 rats and by next week all the rats in there will have been caught.

At the Trellis, there is rat sign everywhere!  And Craig wants them ALL caught!  I don’t blame him one bit as they have destroyed the trellis as a roadway and he has had several dump trucks of gravel dumped in the areas where they have tunneled under the road.  There is so much rat sign in this area I highly doubt we can completely wipe them out and the water is so deep in the middle and on the trellis side, I’m going to have to pull out my “wizard” techniques to catch any rats at all.

I set my newly created floating colony trap yesterday in the deep water and if it does not produce by next Monday, I’ll take it apart and make two colony traps out of it.  I also set a float in this deep water as well and may have to move in more floats to catch rats.  If I had a canoe or kayak I’d use it in here to help get out to the rat houses that are so plentiful.

Expected catch for the day?

After yesterdays success I’m not so sure there are any more raccoons at the top of Bull Run, but I’ll go out on a limb and say I will catch one raccoon today.  The rats will play out at 2 from Bull Run, 5 at the seeps and 10 from the Trellis….17 rats today.

Bears Butt

February 21, 2014


The weather today was sure different.  Early this morning it was calm and very balmy, as the day went on the wind began to blow and the temperature dropped quickly, and then it warmed back up about 2 p.m. to a reasonable temperature.

I managed to pull all 22 rat traps from Bull Run and caught 2 rats….It was way past time to pull those traps (3 days).  I did catch one more raccoon as well and left all 7 of the live traps in place.

The rest of the trap lines, Seeps, Trellis and Arrow Head were not too friendly….I ended up with only 15 rats total for the day, and only two other traps set off with nothing in them.

I did manage to set another 25 traps on the Trellis.  The Trellis should be a good producer until about next Wednesday or Thursday.  Normally I would begin setting traps in the Big Spring, Goose Club areas, but with my agreement with Richard Nichols, I will have to wait until March 3 to set any other traps.  Perhaps I can explore some new areas around the Trellis.

So, while I was enjoying some not so good rat catching, Bob was doing pretty good on his line…He came home with 17 good ones!  Weasel had a zero day again and I think Brek has pulled his line.  So a total of 32 rats….that is NOT a bad days catch!  We are now sitting right at 330 rats total.

Bears Butt

Written on February 21st, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events
By: Bears Butt


Driving down the freeway to my exit that heads out to my trapping area, I have gotten several thumbs up from folks passing me and seeing this trailer tail gate sign.  It makes me giggle.

Today is a make up day for this kid.  I have a feeling of anxiety to catch up with the loss of yesterday.  Re baiting the live traps is a priority, as is pulling the first 10 traps I come to on Bull Run and getting them re-set on the Trellis.  I have to leave as quickly as I can to get it all done.

The weather looks favorable with only a slight chance for rain today, high in the low 30’s.  Not bad for a late February day.

In the trapping shed we are seeing the glands of the male rats beginning to swell and I predict by this time next week we will be seeing most of them swollen and the run beginning.  It seems early to me and it would not break my heart to see the run delay another week….is this another indicator of an early Spring?  Maybe.  After all, Bears Butt did predict a high of 70 on March 6th.

Having two nights where the rats could have gotten into some of my traps and having 21 traps I have set and not checked yet, I expect to see a catch of one raccoon and 20 rats.  There will be at least one damaged beyond salvage and several others with severe bite marks.

More to come later in the day!

Bears Butt

February 20, 2014


Boy was I fooled about the Spring like weather!  It was windy and cold as heck!  I about froze my butt off.

Another surprise was 3 out of the 7 live traps held raccoons!  A great day for bagging them critters!  And they are BIG!

I went through and pulled 12 traps from the Bull Run area and then finished checking the remaining traps.  The end result?

3Coons7Rats3 Raccoons and 7 rats!  A great start to the days trapping.  I also lost 3 rats to other critters….DANG!

On to the 3 seeps areas I didn’t have a lot of faith in much of a catch there, but just as I always get surprised, those areas kicked out a good number of rats.  I did however lose a trap to something strong enough to pull the stake and everything and take off with it!  I hate when that happens.

TheSeepsCatch1111 rats from the seeps!  An excellent day even if I don’t catch another rat!

So, stop number 3 at the Trellis and I have high hopes of re-setting the 12 traps I pulled from Bull Run.  The temperature was really dropping by noon when I got to the Trellis and so I put my rain coat on the toy in case it got colder.   Again I was surprised at the number of rats that I caught out of those few traps.



For a total of 27 rats and 3 raccoons!

I did manage to set 14 traps on the trellis and to say my butt is kicked is an understatement.  I arrived back home about 4:30….a long day.

Bob, in the mean time, caught 20 rats!  So totally we caught 47 rats and 3 raccoons!  Does it get much better than that?!  I think not!  Mr. Skinner Man will be up all night skinning tonight!

Bears Butt


Written on February 20th, 2014 , Daily Trapping Events | Stories, Ramblings & Random Stuff From an Old Mountain Man is proudly powered by WordPress and the Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz
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