By: Bears Butt

My goodness it was cold out West this morning!  I thought I was going to freeze my tush off.  Luckily it wasn’t blowing or I would have.

My goal was met in part today.  I did manage to pull the 16 original traps from Big Spring and set some on Bull Run…I’ll explain in a bit.

So as things were very much frozen this morning when I began, I started with the brakes locked up on the toy.  I usually set the rear brake when I load it, but I didn’t think to check for ice and snow crusted around the brake release in the back of the toy.  This morning it was frozen tighter than a drum.  No moving the toy until I could get it loose.

Once on the line things went pretty good.  Remember the set off trap yesterday with the tracks in the mud.  Where I figured the rat came along and tipped the trap over to make it safe?  Guess what?


I got him!  If you look closely, he is frozen into position and so he was caught before it got cold enough to freeze.  I had to chip him out of 1/2 inch of ice.  Then I noticed up the bank about 15 feet some mud coming out of another hole…tricky little guys…I moved the trap up to cover that opening.  Tomorrow will tell if they decided to use that entry instead of this one.

Then it was down to the big water way and the colony trap down there.


There you go!  Another in a series…I love this!  Now with two rats I have c0vered my gas for the day and some bonus bucks as well…the rest of the day is bonus.

Oh!  Lookie!  Another in the lower run set…this is like Christmas.


To say the least, I am flying right now and with lots more traps to check my hopes are very high.  How many will the bag hold at the end of the day?

So on I go and as I do the weather warms slowly until it is almost bearable.  I walk quickly when I walk and hunker low when I riding.  By the time I came around to pulling the 16 traps from around Big Spring I finally realize it’s warm enough I can take off a layer of clothing.  Which I did and then took a big old drink from the camelback.

I secured those 16 traps on the back of the toy because the second part of my goal for the day is to get some traps put out at Bull Run.  If I can get 16 traps set down there it would be a great start.

Over on Little Spring, I have that one colony trap that I moved the other day and caught a sneaky little rat, I’m excited to get to see that trap today.  As I approached the trap I could see a rat inside and I was happy.  But I also saw where the other rats had tried to bury it and for sure blocked off the entry so no more rats would venture down that trail and get caught.


That mud and sticks is what they have packed in there to block the entry.  The first time I saw this done was three years ago in another spot and I couldn’t believe that the rats were that smart to do something like this.  I have seen it a lot since then and even in shallow runs.  By the way, that is ice covering that colony trap.  I broke it out and pulled it up onto the bank to dump out the rat…what is this?

Bonus2RatsYehaaaa!  Two rats!  It does get better, but this is wonderful!  Now I am a happy guy!  And the weather is warming quickly!  More happiness for me!  I took some time to clear away all of the debris the rats had filled in the run with and waited until the water cleared enough that I could see nothing more was blocking it.  Then plopped the colony back into the space.

Back at the rig, I loaded up and headed for the Trellis line.  There I met Bob and he had not caught any rats as of that time, but still had a few traps to check.  I feel bad that he can’t get to where he wants to be to trap and is very limited on places he can set traps.  I know just how disappointing it is when you check and check and check the traps and don’t have any rats to show for it.  At this point I tell him I have 9 rats…he is happy about that and knows that these nine will pay for both of our gas for the day.  Then he heads for the upper reaches of Pete’s ranch to check out another possibility spot.  I told him my goal was to swag in some traps on Bull Run if I could find a safe place to pull off the road.

On I went to check the Trellis line.  5 more rats came to the bag, for a total of 14 for the day.  Then up to Bull Run to take a look around.


This is Bull Run.  A series of springs that concentrate their flows in one location and flow out toward the south.  It goes for a couple of miles before coming to the main highway that Bob traps.  I didn’t know if there would be much rat sign there or not, but I loaded the toy up with another batch of 20 traps as well as the 16 from Big Spring and headed on across country.

LOADS of rat sign welcomed me as I walked to the water way.  BUT…also Raccoon, Skunk and Fox tracks filled the areas snow banks as well.  I will have to put my stakes in really deep to keep the raccoons from pulling up the traps when they find a rat caught in them.  Raccoons are notorious for stealing a $10 rat and making it worth nothing.  They can also get away with a $8 to $15 dollar trap.  If raccoons were worth skinning and selling I would be overjoyed by all the sign of them, but they just are not worth the bother.

I kept at setting traps down on Bull Run until the light got so low that I could not see the runs and holes.  I set 19 traps down that line and only made it about 200 yards.  Still a long way to go to get it covered and I figure it will take two more days to do that.

Bears Butt

Feb. 27, 2013


Written on February 27th, 2013 , Daily Trapping Events

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    Wapiti commented

    Each day gets better. How many rats have you caught in one day, and combined with Bob, what was the total?

    February 28, 2013 at 8:06 am
      Bears Butt commented

      If you are asking about this year, todays was the most at 14. Last year we had one day with a combined catch of 37 (I think).

      February 28, 2013 at 9:39 am
        Wapiti commented

        That’s what I was looking for – 37. I would bet you two will do better this year.

        February 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm
          Bears Butt commented

          I don’t know about that. This year is quite different, the snow is too deep right now to be able to get where we need to be to set traps and the rest of the water ways are frozen solid. By the time they open up I’m afraid the run will be over…time will tell.

          March 1, 2013 at 6:49 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.