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Muskrat Trapping in Ditches #6376853
11/19/18 02:50 AM
11/19/18 02:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
I am new to Muskrat trapping this year and have been muskrat trapping in a small pond. There is a ditch behind this property I am trapping. I believe their are muskrat in there. Is there and signs I can look for and if so how should I trap a ditch? Thank you.
PS. The ditch is very steep and is about 6-8 across in length. Some parts narrow and some parts open up. Also how should I go about trapping their for Mink? Thanks again!


THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6376876
11/19/18 03:34 AM
11/19/18 03:34 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,820
Michigan
D
Ditchdiver Offline
trapper
Ditchdiver  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,820
Michigan
Pocket sets will catch rats, mink and coon. Look for rat toilets, bank dens, feed beds, trails under overhanging grass, etc.


When life gets me down..... you know hunting/trapping season is closed.
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6376885
11/19/18 03:47 AM
11/19/18 03:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,820
Michigan
D
Ditchdiver Offline
trapper
Ditchdiver  Offline
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D

Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 1,820
Michigan
Also (for mink), look for dry trails up on the banks. They FREQUENT the water but spend a lot of time on dry land too.


When life gets me down..... you know hunting/trapping season is closed.
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6376985
11/19/18 12:29 PM
11/19/18 12:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,319
Hancock Co., Indiana
Kart29 Offline
trapper
Kart29  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,319
Hancock Co., Indiana
Those ditches can be really tough to trap. There is quite a bit of silt in the bottom of many of them and they can be very difficult to walk along. Sometimes the sides of the ditch are so steep you can barely climb up and down them.

The overhanging grass makes the bank dens pretty difficult to find and they can be hard to set also. I have the best luck setting 220 body grips in narrow spots in the stream. If the stream isn't naturally that narrow you can make your own narrow funnels on the stream using sticks, brush, or even wire fencing. It won't be long before the rats swimming the stream are accustomed to going through the narrow spots in the ditch. Colony traps might be effective in those locations also.


Of course, I will also set toilets and bank dens whenever I can find them. In the ditches I trap, those locations can be hard to find and sometime hard to access. I've also used foothold traps on boards shoved into the bank at a shallow angle - kind of like making my own toilet log. But I find all of these to be less productive than the 220's in narrow spots where the rats are already swimming through.

Also, I find ditches that have cornfields on the sides to be far more productive than ditches that go through bean fields.

Good luck, have fun, and don't get stuck in the mud!


“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;..
you are mine...
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6377078
11/19/18 03:37 PM
11/19/18 03:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
Muskrat Offline
trapper
Muskrat  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
Question: Is there a culvert tube/pipe in this ditch somewhere, with perhaps a road above it? I trapped many drainage ditches where I used to live, and also had the steep banks and silty bottom to deal with.

Here's how I made life much easier trapping 'rats, and even mink, in these ditches. Floats.

So if you've got ditches, and there are culvert tubes connecting ditches, maybe to the pond, maybe with a road on top, you've got current, right? If so, take a look at these pics, and maybe you can work this into your trapline.

The floats I made were V-shaped, to "ride" in the current. On the front end, the point of the V, I attached a nylon cord, sort of similar to trot line, and would wrap that around the float when not in use. I took a portable drill and drilled a small hole in the top center of the culvert tube on the upstream end. The float nylon cord was then tied to the lip of this culvert tube, and the float would be slid into the water and would position itself inside the tube once it floated downstream inside the tube just a bit 'til the nylon cord tightened. 'Rats and mink had no problem swimming through the tube then get up on the float for a break. You can even use a little 'rat lure or "the Beav's peppermint paste" to entice the 'rats up there. In longer tubes I would have a wagon train of two or even three floats all tied together. Looked like of line of destroyers riding in the tube if one leaned over the pipe and peeked inside.

The picture should tell about all on building these, just a couple of 2x4s, plywood base, and Styrofoam under that for floatation. Drilled a couple of holes in the 2x4s for dead sticks to poke up.

[Linked Image]

Marsh grass and whatever could be wrapped around these sticks real easy to make it more inviting.

[Linked Image]

About any trap for 'rats will do, I used #1 and #1 1/2 longsprings. Less likely to tip over. Build up a little vegetation on the floor for coilsprings so if the 'rat steps on the lever it won't flip.

[Linked Image]

And they do work. Might seem like a lot of hassle to build 'em, but once they're done they can easily store in the attic/rafters of your garage or what have you.

[Linked Image]

Made the mistake the first year of leaving them on the farm I was trapping and the carpenter ants made homes out of 'em. Best stored high and dry.

I don't trap ditches anymore since moving down here, but get them out when mother nature decides to flood the bottoms and most other sets are out of commission. Might look weird tied off in the middle of a flooded slough like this, but they do work!

[Linked Image]


Lifetime member NTA and WTA.

We can hoop your beaver mountain man style!

http://www.riverinefurtraders.com/hoop%20your%20pelt/index_hoop_your_pelt.html
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6377686
11/20/18 03:37 AM
11/20/18 03:37 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,111
southern ontario canada
C
coonwild Offline
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coonwild  Offline
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C

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,111
southern ontario canada


I pretty much muskrat trap ditches exclusively


Duncan Wildlife control your solution to wildlife problems


my video's: http://www.youtube.com/trappermatt1976

Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Muskrat] #6378661
11/21/18 02:54 PM
11/21/18 02:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
That would be great. There is no culvert that runs underneath the bridges it is just open with big rocks in the bank. I will look making some floats, how do you go about stakeing them down? Thanks all of you guys for the responses. I might have some pictures to upload here soon.


THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6378673
11/21/18 03:11 PM
11/21/18 03:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
Muskrat Offline
trapper
Muskrat  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
No culvert? Did you look at coonwild's short video above on colony traps? I believe colony traps are legal in IN, right? I would go with the colony traps before making floats. How about posting a picture of your ditch?

As far as staking the floats down, I just tied 'em off to the culvert tube lip, after drilling a hole in it.

Seriously, necking a ditch down with some of those rocks to make just enough room for your colony traps should really do the job.


Lifetime member NTA and WTA.

We can hoop your beaver mountain man style!

http://www.riverinefurtraders.com/hoop%20your%20pelt/index_hoop_your_pelt.html
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Muskrat] #6378686
11/21/18 03:22 PM
11/21/18 03:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Yes colony traps are legal in Indiana is there a good size any of you guys recommend getting for a colony trap? I have some pictures headed your way. I will post more later tonight but here are some.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Muskrat] #6378711
11/21/18 04:01 PM
11/21/18 04:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
I was looking at a 8x6x36 or maybe a 7x7x24?


THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6378736
11/21/18 04:39 PM
11/21/18 04:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
Muskrat Offline
trapper
Muskrat  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
Whichever is legal in your state, go with it. That 8x6x36 might do you real well with those long straightaways you have there.

Looking at your second picture, here's where I'd stick that colony trap. That bank side that's sluffed off, probably from 'rats digging in , is real shallow, right? And if you wade to the opposite bank, where that red rectangle is should be deep enough to fully submerge your colony trap, right? With your boot, can you feel almost like a "groove" along that bank and the bottom? You should. The bottom edge. A right angle if you will. That's where I'd stick that colony trap, tight to the vertical bank and level on the bottom. You might have to dig some of it up with your boot or get debris out of the way.

Now I see some brush in the foreground. Snap a dozen pieces off, say two feet in length, and on each end of your submerged colony trap, form an angled wall from the corner nearest the middle of the ditch to that sluffed off bank. Angled so it tends to funnel the 'rats into the colony trap. Six sticks on each end. That will insure your 'rats traveling up and down this ditch will swim into your colony trap. I'm not sure of your laws, but if all that's legal, I'd even add another colony trap, along side of that one. Your first one may fill up quickly.

Anyway, there's a start. With no brush hanging over the ditch, traveling 'rats will more often swim on the bottom, hugging the edge, as will mink.

Good luck!

[Linked Image]


Lifetime member NTA and WTA.

We can hoop your beaver mountain man style!

http://www.riverinefurtraders.com/hoop%20your%20pelt/index_hoop_your_pelt.html
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6378769
11/21/18 05:15 PM
11/21/18 05:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,215
100 Mile House, BC Can
bctomcat Offline
trapper
bctomcat  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,215
100 Mile House, BC Can
If the water is to shallow for a submerged colony trap you could use a 3-4 ft culvert box with 2-120 body grip traps, at the location shown by "Muskrat". It will take any rat or mink travelling the stream as it seems they cannot pass up exploring the tunnel. No bait or lure is needed.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by bctomcat; 11/21/18 05:17 PM.

The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.






Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Muskrat] #6378911
11/21/18 10:17 PM
11/21/18 10:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Everything you said is correct it is fairly shallow and very undercut. I also found a spot in the ditch where it funnels and Muskrat have dug into the side to get around the rocks in the middle. Thank you for your help! My Last question is, how and what do you need to stake down a colony trap?

Last edited by Siegs; 11/21/18 10:24 PM.

THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6378929
11/21/18 10:44 PM
11/21/18 10:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
Muskrat Offline
trapper
Muskrat  Offline
trapper

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,923
Lower WIsconsin Riverway
I run a length of lath down the middle on one side. If you've got 1x1 wire, you could snip a piece to accept the lath. If you've got a solid bottom, a 24" length of 3/8" T-bar would snug it down. If you've got a rocky bottom, you could position it in place by setting rocks along the sides and top. Just be sure to wire it off to something solid, like a shrub or its root, or set a stake in the bank, and wire off to that. 14 or 16 ga wire should do it.


Lifetime member NTA and WTA.

We can hoop your beaver mountain man style!

http://www.riverinefurtraders.com/hoop%20your%20pelt/index_hoop_your_pelt.html
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Muskrat] #6378956
11/21/18 11:23 PM
11/21/18 11:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,082
SW Montana
T
Taximan Offline
trapper
Taximan  Offline
trapper
T

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,082
SW Montana
Many don't stake but I always do.I usually put a T stake down through the top.I have had coons drag my trap out of the water and steal my catch.I have also had strong current move them.

Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6378974
11/21/18 11:48 PM
11/21/18 11:48 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,665
minnesota
M
mnsota Offline
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Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,665
minnesota
Aside from colony traps,( not a lot of experience with them),that ditch sure looks like a target rich environment for pocket sets,..coon,rats,and mink.
If you have them?

Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: mnsota] #6379198
11/22/18 03:50 AM
11/22/18 03:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
I have seen many signs of coon and mink, interstate I-65 is right next to it and many coons have been hit by running this ditch.


THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6379419
11/22/18 01:33 PM
11/22/18 01:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,258
pa
H
hippie Offline
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hippie  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 6,258
pa
Originally Posted by Siegs
I am new to Muskrat trapping this year and have been muskrat trapping in a small pond. There is a ditch behind this property I am trapping. I believe their are muskrat in there. Is there and signs I can look for and if so how should I trap a ditch? Thank you.
PS. The ditch is very steep and is about 6-8 across in length. Some parts narrow and some parts open up. Also how should I go about trapping their for Mink? Thanks again!


Yes, they will leave sign.
Put on your waders and walk up through that ditch, looking at the banks closely. They will have dens somewhere that you can use a coni over.
Also watch for their feedbeds. These are usually a small indentation in the bank with some cut grass, chewed roots or crab pinchers laying around. Watch for area's where they scratch at the roots under an overhang or sometimes it can be a small V scratched into the bank where they exposed the roots to eat.

Once you learn the sign, you can avoid dead-water and keep your traps and time on productive water. Good luck!

Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6379425
11/22/18 01:38 PM
11/22/18 01:38 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 15,003
potter co. p.a.
P
pcr2 Online content
"Twerker"
pcr2  Online Content
"Twerker"
P

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 15,003
potter co. p.a.
good info hippie,i'll add to look at places where they can rest with protection from overhead.


quality over quantity

Hickory Garden Farms
Re: Muskrat Trapping in Ditches [Re: Siegs] #6392219
12/07/18 02:41 AM
12/07/18 02:41 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Siegs Offline OP
trapper
Siegs  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 53
Indiana, Benton/Jasper
Update: I have yet to pull anything from this ditch so far, I'm not sure what it is. I just put out a colony yesterday and the water went down so I relocated it underneath a bank on the ditch. Here is a picture of where I had it located before. [Linked Image]

Still trying at it. Just curious if anyone knows what this is I noticed it today but didn't really see any tracks by it?
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


THIS SEASON
Muskrat- 6
Coyote- 1
Raccoon- 2
Skunk- 1
Possum- 1
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