By: Bears Butt

Today I decided to carry my camera with me while I checked the traps.  Usually I will leave it in the saddle bag of the toy.  You never know when something interesting is going to show itself and today was a classic.

First off it was very windy and colder than cold out there.  That North wind just bites right through several layers of clothing and I wasn’t sure I had enough on.  My nose is still running like it has all day long.  I wasn’t about to quit though and I just kept mucking along.

Yesterday I caught a rat in a trap where the rat was able to set the trap off and not get caught.  I had moved the trap only about 2 inches and caught him.  Today, another repeat of the rat out foxing me.


It’s almost like he knows it’s there and knows how to set if off.  If you look really close you can see his tail and feet markings in the mud.  Without actually knowing I would have to say, he stood there and pawed at the top of the trap until it snapped.  The trap is laying down in this picture all set off.  A bit of mud in the water indicates to me that the rat went on inside the hole after the trap was made safe.  These critters aren’t as dumb as one might believe.

OK.  I have told you about colony traps and what they are used for.  Multiple catches are what you like to see, but it doesn’t always happen.  This is a colony trap that is under water about 10 inches on the left side and 4 inches on the right.  Look closely and you can see the caught rat on the right end of the trap.


You never know when more than one rat is going to try to get out of or into a den run like this one.  By the way, both of my colony traps payed off today.

As I rode along sniffling and wondering if all of this was worth it (of course it is or I wouldn’t do it), I got to thinking about some of the weirdest things that have happened out on the trap line.  I have caught a rat by the tail once in a conibear.  I’ve caught ducks and geese and even a barn owl once.  Even a fish or two.  FISH!  You are thinking I’m a lying S.O.B. No, really I have caught a trout or two when trapping in the field just NW of home.  Sometimes I’ll come across a set off trap and wonder how a rat can get through without getting caught and it never occurs to me that it might have been a fish.

Yesterday I had just such a situation.  A trap set off with nothing in it.  So I re-positioned it so it would slow the rat down that 1/1,000th of a second to allow the jaws to snap on his body.  Today the trap was set off again and as I stood there scratching my head wondering just what I needed to do to catch the rat I pulled up the trap and lo and behold:


I really do like fishing.

And so you see the day might be colder than all heck.  Your nose may be dripping from that cold.  You might be hungry and thirsty…but when it all boils down to what you would rather be doing…this seems to be a life that is better than having staff meetings and buying donuts for the troops.

Farther down the trap line I came across a caught rat that had actually managed to crawl up and out of the run it was caught in before it died.  I really don’t think it lived too long after being caught and there is a cut off snag on the stake that caught the trap and held it up.  Anyway I thought you might like to see the rat and then the trap re-set after I took the rat out.


Believe it or not this next picture is showing the run where this rat was caught in, directly below the rat in this picture (does that make sense?).

TrapReset Look how deep that run is..only the spring is above the water.

So, when you are out trapping, sometimes you have a situation that calls for two traps to be set quite closely to one another.  Like two runs, or a bait set and a run set.  I have had times where I set 5 traps around a bait station and the next day had 5 rats caught.  Each situation requires you to decide just what to do.  Just like the conibear on the log the other day…it almost connected.  Well yesterday I had just that…a two run set situation and I set a trap at each one.  Today…bingo…the lower, deeper water set connected.



That rat run is almost 20 inches under the water.  By the way that rat stretched out to be 17 inches!  A humungous rat!

And so goes the life on the trap line for day eight.  Oh ya and I ended up catching 13 rats today….poor old Bob didn’t catch even one…he did have a trap that was set off however.

And I managed to set an0ther 14 traps…so tomorrow I will pull the 16 traps around Big Spring…they haven’t produced a rat in three days now, so it’s time they got moved to a more productive location.

Bears Butt

Feb. 26, 2013


Written on February 26th, 2013 , Daily Trapping Events

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    Wapiti commented

    13 rats, that’g great. What is the longest rat you have caught? 17″ is a very big rat.

    February 27, 2013 at 7:42 am
      Bears Butt commented

      Last year we had an 18 inch rat, this year we have one that is just bigger than 17 inches.

      February 27, 2013 at 8:38 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.