By: Bears Butt


Yesterday felt like a day off even though I pulled 43 traps and managed to set 22.   Doing that actually takes quite a toll on this old guys body.  I guess what actually felt like a day off was time in the skinning shed.  With only 2 to skin and about 10 to flesh and stretch it didn’t take long at all.  What was very interesting was the fact that Bob had really taken the day off to fix up things in his rental, he also went to town and bought 6 “dog less” raccoon traps and assorted other stuff to go with them.

I’ve been reading about this sort of trap for many years but never thought about purchasing one to give it a try.  After seeing how simple they are I can see why they are such a craze to use against raccoons.  “Dog less” traps were designed to target only the curious animals with the ability to clench food with a fore paw.  Domestic dogs can’t do that.

I’ll be taking some pictures out in the field as I set the three he let me borrow.  But for now you have to just go along with me on how they work.  Raccoons are a curious animal.  They have really good noses when it comes to smelling out trouble and of course something to eat.  They will eat anything and everything.  They can scale straight up walls, climb trees, jump across huge expanses, dig, chew, swim and bite with the best of them.  The one thing that can get them into trouble is reaching into a hole to extract the goodies that are hiding down in it.  They like to reach into holes for stuff and their hand like front feet are dexterous enough to grasp items in the hole and hold onto it while they pull it out and then eat it.

I worked with an old boy from North Carolina and he told me of catching raccoons (coons) by finding a knot hole in an old log, placing a shiny button in the bottom of the hole and then driving three number 6 finish nails down on angles into the hole.  The raccoon would come along, see the button and reach in and take hold of it.  With his fist clinched on the button he would try and pull out of the hole, only to encounter the sharp points of the nails.  Rather than let the button go and pulling his paw out of the hole, he would hang onto the button and be there when the trapper came along to get it.

So, these “Dog less” traps do just about the same thing.  They are cylindrical pipes with a trigger and a wire catch.  The raccoon reaches in to get some food from the tube, fires the trigger and the wire catch pins his leg against the inside of the tube.  It is strong enough to hold him and he can’t pull out of it.

We were taught that using food such as marshmallows, dry dog or cat food or some sort of individual food pieces works the best as they keep reaching in for another bite until eventually they fire the trigger.

I made a beer bet with Bob that I catch three coons tomorrow (Thursday).

As for today on the rat lines.  I plan on completely pulling out of the Trellis line.  The rats that were there must have moved or maybe we have caught most of what was there.  I think between Bob and I we have taken nearly 50 rats from that area.  I’m also convinced there are at least that many more in there, but with time running out on our season (the run, slippage etc.), we need to move on and catch rats while we can.  Our goal is 500 and we are about 150 short right now (more is always better).

I set 22 traps yesterday and of them I think I’ll only catch 8 rats.  Several of those sets are on the big channel that goes from Big Spring down through Petes and onto the Goose Club (no trespassing).  Those traps will only attract rats swimming up and down the main channel and I’m hoping when the rats do go for a swim they swim the side of the channel where my traps are set.  Swimming on the other side will get me nothing!  Also, there are lots of ducks on that channel and I usually tag one or two of them.  They are always alive and I release them unharmed.

So, 8 rats expected in the new sets and I don’t expect to catch any in the Trellis line sets.

I do plan on setting more traps out on Big Spring so it will be a big day in the field.  The weather is looking pretty good today.  Partly cloudy with a high expected in the 40’s.  I love this time of year.  Not as much as the hunting season in the Fall, but still, Spring has its goodness to enjoy.  Like yesterday, I could hear some Chukars up on a rocky hill.  I stood there and looked on the hill trying to see them when all of a sudden I saw flapping of wings.  The birds were in their mating ritual and the males were battling over the females.  There were quite a few birds sitting on top of rocks watching the battle and I assume they were the females.  Can anyone enlighten me on this?

I’ll give an update later.  Bob is supposed to head out to the Goose Club and set some traps out there.  Eventually, he will understand his traps among Petes cows have caught all the rats that lived there and he will move them.  But for now, as long as he has traps in the truck, he will set them and continue to check the traps that have remained empty for weeks.  Old mind sets are hard to get to see thing differently.

Bears Butt

February 25, 2015


Well, Bob didn’t make it out to the Goose Club area….It was cold and VERY windy….nobody likes the wind.

I toughed it out and set another 22 traps, but he area looks very suspicious as to whether it holds rats or not.

My catch….11….Bob…3.




Written on February 25th, 2015 , Daily Trapping Events

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.