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#6343684 - 10/08/18 11:07 PM MN rat and mink numbers
Calvin Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 4671
Loc: South metro, MN
Just read my latest outdoor news publication.

I see that the Biologist John Erb states that rats and mink "aren't doing all that well". I find that head scratching as we are in our 5th year of good water levels...and I'm seeing more rat ponds popping up anywhere I've been.

Erb did reference back to 20 or 30 years ago. Not that we have to go back that far, but wondering if people agree with his statement...or are we seeing a good rat and mink population these days?
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#6343687 - 10/08/18 11:19 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
trapper les Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/06/11
Posts: 17136
Loc: williams,mn
Erb is out of touch, and temporarily forgot the cyclic nature of predators and prey.


Seems to be a lot of mink around, and you can see a rat about anywhere despite the drought we had. They are flipping on every water way.
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#6343688 - 10/08/18 11:33 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
yukonal Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/15/14
Posts: 741
Loc: MN
A bunch of ponds and ditches that I normally trap in Sherburne County are dry. Haven't seen a rat house in the last 2 years.

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#6343735 - 10/09/18 04:56 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: yukonal]
nightlife Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/05/08
Posts: 2329
Loc: Mn
Originally Posted By: yukonal
A bunch of ponds and ditches that I normally trap in Sherburne County are dry. Haven't seen a rat house in the last 2 years.


Lots of water here but not many rat huts this year but there seems to be an abundance of mink have seen a good doz or so cross the road and stopped counting at 50 the ones that did not make it across

Up untill last year there were a good number of huts everywhere but this year there are only a handful
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#6343767 - 10/09/18 06:16 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Osky Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 5804
Loc: Northern MN
By visual survey only this summer I believe mink are up in my area, otter and rats may be down a bit.

Osky
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#6343779 - 10/09/18 06:32 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
BernieB. Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1087
Loc: Northern Minnesota
Rats have been down for many years but I have been seeing more the last couple years. Pretty wet late summer and fall around here which means there should be more rat huts in the marshes.

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#6343809 - 10/09/18 07:39 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
trapper les Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/06/11
Posts: 17136
Loc: williams,mn
It's actually been dry here all summer, but every time I stand still at a beaver control job, I'll see a swimming rat. For years we hardly had a rat very far from the lake.
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#6343818 - 10/09/18 07:50 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Dead Coyote Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 5192
Loc: Slaughter Slough, MN
Around SW MN, we had so much rain and flooding this Spring and Summer. Skrat numbers are way down. With the 4" of rain the past couple of days, it won't get any better either. Skrats don't like rising and falling water level's period. The marsh's around here had three big Douches of water come thru them in the last 6 month's. A lot of Mink and Skrats died with their young. While trying to shoot some carp this spring, I seen numerous dead Skrats and a couple of Mink. What else could kill water dwellers and not eat them. Floods don't mix well with any critter.
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#6343821 - 10/09/18 07:56 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
160user Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 11623
Loc: MN
If we get any more rain here I will need to start exploring coyote and fox floaters.
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#6343885 - 10/09/18 09:10 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Rat Masterson Online   content
trapper

Registered: 08/14/12
Posts: 1502
Loc: SE Minn
Looks like rats are down here, we have had a gradual slide the last 4 years.

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#6343886 - 10/09/18 09:10 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
MnMan Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 6124
Loc: Central MN, sort of old
Rats seem to be down in my small area and have been for the last two years..... mink as well. Otter populations seem to be up, though.
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#6343911 - 10/09/18 09:58 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
The Beav Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 14456
Loc: Wisconsin
From what I'm seeing around here Is that the rats have been flooded out of their normal haunts and are building In these shallow water ponds. When the water goes down and It freezes up they are going to be In world of hurt.
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#6343978 - 10/09/18 12:32 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Rat Masterson Online   content
trapper

Registered: 08/14/12
Posts: 1502
Loc: SE Minn
Better kill them all then Beav.

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#6344024 - 10/09/18 01:26 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
The Beav Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 14456
Loc: Wisconsin
It's In the plans. colony traps In the runs. In and out In 2 days.
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#6344051 - 10/09/18 02:48 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Blindsniper Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/17/14
Posts: 393
Loc: South Central, MN
I had a big drop off last year in rat numbers in my ditches. Mink were far and few between from what I could tell. We've flooded at least 5 times this year, but we have plenty of good habitat around for them yet.

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#6344199 - 10/09/18 06:28 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
backroadsarcher Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 1231
Loc: Frazee, MN
we don't have many rat huts around this area at all. But most of the rats I have trapped in the past were all in the bank. I don't trap a lot of rats so I am not the one hurting the population. Haven't really looked for much mink sign with the low mink prices I don't bother chasing them.

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#6344331 - 10/09/18 08:35 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 17218
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
Seen marten and mink running here today when I went out in the bush.When you see animals running in the bush in daytime it usually means its going to be a good year.

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#6344340 - 10/09/18 08:42 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
nimzy Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/01/13
Posts: 2176
Loc: WI
Dang narrow leafs

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#6344384 - 10/09/18 09:41 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
SkyeDancer Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/11/15
Posts: 66
Loc: MN
I keep my feet dry and trap canines. As wet as it has been this year i am really glad I spent time making waxed dirt this summer

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#6344388 - 10/09/18 09:44 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Calvin Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 4671
Loc: South metro, MN
Les,...Interesting on the Mink as Erb said mink are down, particularly in the northern part of the state.

Trapstickman smile Doesn't surprise me your seeing both higher otter and lower mink and rat populations. Otters eat em like popcorn I suspect.

Also makes sense with you guys who live in stream country. The floods this year are never good for either rats or beaver.

Nightlife.... Not sure what part of the state you're in, but they aren't even building here yet. Hopefully some get building for you soon.

Nimzy, I see the MN DNR are now spraying wetlands in an attempt to control (or knock back) the narrow leafs. According to their reports, they are making progress. Not sure if it's just a drop in a bucket or not, but maybe a good start to controlling the narrow leaf. Any idea if WI is doing the same?

Thanks for the replies, guys. I have more confidence in our own observations, personally.


Edited by Calvin (10/09/18 09:49 PM)
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#6344395 - 10/09/18 09:54 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
trapper les Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/06/11
Posts: 17136
Loc: williams,mn
In a dry year, mink just have more tick bites. For years we didn't seem to have any mink, Then a little rat boom happened and mink gathered in those places. Lake of the Woods has a huge watershed.

Does Erb actually know anything of the borderland part of the state ?
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#6344521 - 10/10/18 06:03 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
nimzy Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/01/13
Posts: 2176
Loc: WI
Originally Posted By: Calvin


Nimzy, I see the MN DNR are now spraying wetlands in an attempt to control (or knock back) the narrow leafs. According to their reports, they are making progress. Not sure if it's just a drop in a bucket or not, but maybe a good start to controlling the narrow leaf. Any idea if WI is doing the same?
.


Yes ironic isnít it?
I mean spraying a load of poisonous chemical into our cherished wetlands. Wonder if this has anything to do with your ďdeclineĒ. Perhaps another thread

I would be out of line to speak of MN. In my part of Wi muskrats were going quite well as of last season mink seem down tho. WI beaver numbers have turned artificial due our former fur czar/ trout enthusiast and WS

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#6344602 - 10/10/18 08:24 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Calvin Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 4671
Loc: South metro, MN
Never know Nimzy (or at least I don't). Just a short article about it in the recent Outdoor news publications (first I heard of it). Can't say how poisonous it is. But I do know its happening in the "General area" that I trap some of my rats. I have not seen a decline in rats in those areas as of late. Actually an increase, but that's probably due to more water in areas that used to be dry.

Lets not even talk about the trout nuts and WS (Can O worms)...Grrrr

I don't have any idea what Erb knows...or doesn't Les. I sure didn't like his wording on his "fur report" in the Publication, though. Mink and muskrat numbers aren't doing well? Kind of makes it sound like they need additional protection to someone who doesn't know better.



Edited by Calvin (10/10/18 08:27 AM)
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#6344623 - 10/10/18 08:47 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
blackhammer Offline
trapper

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1809
Loc: sseMinnesota
With an animal like mink. I really think about the only way a real population number has been formulated is through harvest numbers. And of course with low prices that isnít an indication of populations right now. I think Erbs so called facts are nothing more than an personal opinion. In regards to his general philosophy about trapping and fur harvest Iím not sure if he means well or is of a mindset nobody should make money off animals other than the DNR? He does seem to be passionate about the registered fur bearers in the state,Marten Fisher,cats and otter and has some interesting information about them. Getting specific populations trends state wide on many of the species he claims are suffering low populations seems a bit far fetched
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#6344691 - 10/10/18 10:28 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
MN4Life Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/09/14
Posts: 431
Loc: Northern MN
I'm with Les on this one. I have seen mink and rats all summer doing my beaver control jobs. Huts are popping up here already. Rice was pretty good up here and I see rats swimming all the time. I just wonder if we will have open water when the season starts frown
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0/150 Muskrats
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#6344695 - 10/10/18 10:32 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: BernieB.]
Trapper7 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 6032
Loc: MN, Land of 10,000 Lakes
Originally Posted By: BernieB.
Rats have been down for many years but I have been seeing more the last couple years. Pretty wet late summer and fall around here which means there should be more rat huts in the marshes.


That's what I'm seeing too on the rats. Mink seem to be holding their own. I like trapping mink so well, I just can't see killing them for such low prices.
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#6345050 - 10/10/18 08:23 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
SwampRat83 Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/26/17
Posts: 171
Loc: MN
Ive noticed south of the metro im seeing less rats, but western suburbs and further west im seeing more than usual.

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#6345055 - 10/10/18 08:30 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Steven 49er Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 5177
Loc: mn north of blakely
If a person lives in an area where beaver numbers are down, it's not surprise. They don't get a break anymore. Everyone and their brother are trapping them all summer long. Market forces no longer dictate beaver populations.

There are those who fear nonresident trapping will harm beaver populations in this state, I fear APHIS and every tom dick and harry that is out trapping them all year long. May as well put them on the unprotected list with the coyotes.

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#6345063 - 10/10/18 08:38 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
mnsota Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/26/09
Posts: 1585
Loc: minnesota
Nimzy, I see the MN DNR are now spraying wetlands in an attempt to control (or knock back) the narrow leafs. According to their reports, they are making progress. Not sure if it's just a drop in a bucket or not, but maybe a good start to controlling the narrow leaf. Any idea if WI is doing the same?


Calvin,..do you have a link to the DNR attempts at this?

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#6345064 - 10/10/18 08:38 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Steven 49er]
blackhammer Offline
trapper

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1809
Loc: sseMinnesota
Originally Posted By: Steven 49er
If a person lives in an area where beaver numbers are down, it's not surprise. They don't get a break anymore. Everyone and their brother are trapping them all summer long. Market forces no longer dictate beaver populations.

There are those who fear nonresident trapping will harm beaver populations in this state, I fear APHIS and every tom dick and harry that is out trapping them all year long. May as well put them on the unprotected list with the coyotes.
yes for an animal that back in the 70s had tags and a limit of ten and now kill them year round is ridiculous They provide excellent wildlife habitat and the DNR is too dam lazy to manage them properly
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#6345065 - 10/10/18 08:40 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
SwampRat83 Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/26/17
Posts: 171
Loc: MN
You are spot on blackhammer and steve.

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#6345069 - 10/10/18 08:46 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: blackhammer]
Steven 49er Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 5177
Loc: mn north of blakely
Originally Posted By: blackhammer
Originally Posted By: Steven 49er
If a person lives in an area where beaver numbers are down, it's not surprise. They don't get a break anymore. Everyone and their brother are trapping them all summer long. Market forces no longer dictate beaver populations.

There are those who fear nonresident trapping will harm beaver populations in this state, I fear APHIS and every tom dick and harry that is out trapping them all year long. May as well put them on the unprotected list with the coyotes.
yes for an animal that back in the 70s had tags and a limit of ten and now kill them year round is ridiculous They provide excellent wildlife habitat and the DNR is too dam lazy to manage them properly


Don't forget about DU and it's relationship with the DNR controlling wild rice lakes. Yep, control the beaver, it's not like the beaver and wild rice haven't coexisted since the glaciers retreated.

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#6345070 - 10/10/18 08:48 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
mnsota Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/26/09
Posts: 1585
Loc: minnesota
If a person lives in an area where beaver numbers are down, it's not surprise. They don't get a break anymore. Everyone and their brother are trapping them all summer long. Market forces no longer dictate beaver populations.

There are those who fear nonresident trapping will harm beaver populations in this state, I fear APHIS and every tom dick and harry that is out trapping them all year long. May as well put them on the unprotected list with the coyotes.



Excellent post!

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#6345283 - 10/11/18 07:54 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Calvin Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 4671
Loc: South metro, MN
Steven, This may be the reason the DNR changed the Nuisance permit structure for beaver. Used to be our yearly nuisance permits covered Beaver. Now they do not. Permit holders are required to contact a C/O every time now for the taking of beaver out of season...and that C/O has to issue a separate permit. Can't say how often that rule is followed but that's the new rule. APHIS of course exempt (I really wish APHIS would learn how to trap every beaver in a colony...makes life real hard for those of us who have to follow up).

mnsota...That Cattail information I quoted was out of an "Outdoor News" publication 2 weeks ago (vol51 No39) on page 14.
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The insane are running the asylum.

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#6345519 - 10/11/18 03:53 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
beaverwarrior Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/20/11
Posts: 55
Loc: minnesota
Mink and rat numbers appeared to be way down here in southern Minnesota. The constant flooding has probably been detrimental to reproduction success. Never thought too much water would be a bad thing for rats, but it looks like that's the culprit.

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#6345568 - 10/11/18 05:31 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
goldy Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 7025
Loc: minnesota
Rats should be building houses like crazy now. I've put on a lot of miles lately and I've seen almost zero activity. As far as mink, how would they know what the population is doing? If Erb is going by harvest numbers, of course the population is going to be down when few trappers are after them. Same with otter. When beaver and otter prices are down, otter harvest drops off dramatically. The DNR has no idea how many otter or mink we have in this state.
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#6345579 - 10/11/18 06:00 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
blackhammer Offline
trapper

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1809
Loc: sseMinnesota
In this part of the state Iíve always said dry is better than wet for rats. Of course stable water levels is the optimum. Looking around this year after all our big rains it appears as usual Iím right In regards to Erb if he was conducting rat populations census right now by counting houses he could get an idea of a trend. His so called numbers were made up before rats started building. Last year according to many trappers rat numbers were ok in much of the state from what I gather. Goldy you sure are right how do you come up with mink numbers. Only guide you really have is harvest
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Ah,for the life of a millionaire,say some,but just let me stay a trapper. Bill Nelson

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#6345582 - 10/11/18 06:05 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Dirt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 3942
Loc: Armpit, ak
I'm curious, do guys actually use any of this census information to make trapping decisions? If not what's the point?
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#6345616 - 10/11/18 07:00 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Dirt]
Calvin Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 4671
Loc: South metro, MN
Originally Posted By: Dirt
I'm curious, do guys actually use any of this census information to make trapping decisions? If not what's the point?


I quit sending in my annual MN DNR survey after they used it against us.

Rats build at different times in this state. They almost never start here this early....and haven't thus far, locally.


Edited by Calvin (10/11/18 11:13 PM)
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#6345617 - 10/11/18 07:02 PM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
blackhammer Offline
trapper

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1809
Loc: sseMinnesota
I think everyone has their own personal census The point ? justifies salaries for pencil pushers Too bad managing and limiting trappers is more important than managing the resource. Why are beaver which make wildlife habitat to the max killed for the sake of trout for instance. Money of course pretty hypocritical in my opinion. The amount of life a beaver pond generates is amazing. A fast running trout stream not so much. A happy medium would seem to make sense
_________________________
Ah,for the life of a millionaire,say some,but just let me stay a trapper. Bill Nelson

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#6345784 - 10/12/18 05:16 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Steven 49er Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/18/10
Posts: 5177
Loc: mn north of blakely
Originally Posted By: Calvin
Steven, This may be the reason the DNR changed the Nuisance permit structure for beaver. Used to be our yearly nuisance permits covered Beaver. Now they do not. Permit holders are required to contact a C/O every time now for the taking of beaver out of season...and that C/O has to issue a separate permit. Can't say how often that rule is followed but that's the new rule. APHIS of course exempt (I really wish APHIS would learn how to trap every beaver in a colony...makes life real hard for those of us who have to follow up).

mnsota...That Cattail information I quoted was out of an "Outdoor News" publication 2 weeks ago (vol51 No39) on page 14.


Calvin that is incorrect. It might have been the law but it isn't any more. Couple years ago it was changed to a landowner or an agent of the landowner doesnt need a permit.

BTW how the heck you been buddy? You should come up and eat crayfish with us this weekend.


Edited by Steven 49er (10/12/18 05:17 AM)

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#6345880 - 10/12/18 08:50 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Steven 49er]
MnMan Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 6124
Loc: Central MN, sort of old
Originally Posted By: Steven 49er


Calvin that is incorrect. It might have been the law but it isn't any more. Couple years ago it was changed to a landowner or an agent of the landowner doesnt need a permit.


Steven, could you direct me to where this might be printed? I can't find anything in the regulations and in the weekly CO reports I regularly am seeing where beaver permits are being granted. I am an agent for a city where they hold a permit that was issued in 2016 but is open ended in that it has no expiration date on it.

I have, however, talked to different landowners who have contacted the DNR about their beaver problems and they have told me that the DNR responded by saying to do whatever was necessary including shooting.


Edited by MnMan (10/12/18 08:53 AM)
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#6345883 - 10/12/18 08:54 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: MnMan]
160user Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/06/07
Posts: 11623
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: MnMan
Originally Posted By: Steven 49er


Calvin that is incorrect. It might have been the law but it isn't any more. Couple years ago it was changed to a landowner or an agent of the landowner doesnt need a permit.


Steven, could you direct me to where this might be printed? I can't find anything in the regulations and in the weekly CO reports I regularly am seeing where beaver permits are being granted. I am an agent for a city where they hold a permit that was issued in 2016 but is open ended in that it has no expiration date on it.

I have, however, talked to different landowners who have contacted the DNR about their beaver problems and they have told me that the DNR responded by saying to do whatever was necessary including shooting.


I checked with my CO after reading this and he assured me that a permit is still required.
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#6345909 - 10/12/18 09:42 AM Re: MN rat and mink numbers [Re: Calvin]
Calvin Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/12/07
Posts: 4671
Loc: South metro, MN
I have a permit that I renew with the DNR yearly that allows me to take many of the common (protected) nuisance animals out of season. I submit a yearly report of those animals taken. Beaver used to be on that list. About 2 years ago the DNR changed it across the board (best I can tell) to NOT include beaver. That is now a separate permit that must be issued by the C/O. That's, at least, how it works for me. I'd be interested to hear if it's different in your area if you hold this same permit.

Steven....I keep thinking I'll get up there. Sure want to. Just not happening again this year...Unfortunately.

Guessing you'll be out ice fishing and busting huts on top of the ice by rat opener at this rate.


Edited by Calvin (10/12/18 09:47 AM)
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