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

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    Lalie commented

    Wynn you are no Dummie! you’ll figure it out. 🙂

    February 26, 2014 at 8:18 pm
    Wapiti commented

    You are always thinking, keep it up. Some things stick and some don’t. On the way to 1k

    February 26, 2014 at 11:17 pm
    Bones commented

    Looked like it should have worked. Sherry might have your hide when she finds out you tried it out in the hot tub!!! You will be out in the milk house (trapping house) hung just like the muskrats!!! ha ha

    February 27, 2014 at 7:43 am
    Mike Matney commented

    The state of Washington we can not use a trap that grips the animal since 2000
    With the aid of camara’s we have learned alot and came up with a very workable trap
    Take a look at web site and the videos

    June 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm
      Bears Butt commented

      I saw a You Tube video of your traps last year (I believe), very ingenious! For me the price is a bit high, but if you can’t use body grip traps, colony traps are the way to go. You can fill up a fur shed quickly in the right environment. Great invention!

      June 30, 2015 at 8:21 am | 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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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.