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Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? #7443343
12/28/21 02:40 AM
12/28/21 02:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,727
North Central Idaho
Jumperzee Offline OP
trapper
Jumperzee  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,727
North Central Idaho
Looking to round up questions folks have on wolf trapping. In particular, what kind of stuff would you want to see presented during a demo or ask a panel if you had the chance.

Every year at our Idaho Trapper's Assn fur sales we put on a couple days of trapping and fur handling demos to keep folks engaged while the graders are doing their thing. The wolf demos have gotten popular to the point people are coming just to see those presentations. We're fortunate to have some knowledgeable guys who have been consistently successful and don't mind sharing what they know with aspiring trappers.

To keep things fresh and share as much info as possible we're going to try a panel Q&A discussion in addition to the standard field demos. We want to try and keep the topics organized and curious what kinds of questions folks have.

Sample topics:

- Set location, picking spots, trap siting, bait, lure, etc, etc
- Time management, line maintenance, multi-species lines, etc
- Dealing with non-targets, public, other trappers, risk mgmt
- Fur handling
- Dealing with weather
- Gear, traps, anchors,
- Access - truck, foot, ATV, snowgo, etc
- Snares

There are no dumb questions, so please post them up or send to me via PM. Q&A stuff will also be posted on an educational "wolfer" website that should be finished soon.

Thanks for your help - Mike

Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7443377
12/28/21 07:01 AM
12/28/21 07:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,909
7mtns of CENTRAL PA
GROUSEWIT Offline
trapper
GROUSEWIT  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2013
Posts: 2,909
7mtns of CENTRAL PA
Avg size of wolves

Most popular trap and size

Most popular snare/cable restraint to use

Loop size and height


NRALIFER,HUNTER,FURTAKER(PTA)(FTA)(NMTA)(RMEF)
Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7443460
12/28/21 08:57 AM
12/28/21 08:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,474
missoula, mt 59803
M
mttrapperguy Offline
trapper
mttrapperguy  Offline
trapper
M

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,474
missoula, mt 59803
Mike, thanks for putting this together. My biggest question would be how to keep footholds operating in the freeze/thaw cycle that we have to deal with in the west. Should a trapper wax all his footholds for wolves? These are the two questions that come to mind before i get some coffe in me. I will have more as i think about it. Have a great day

Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7443549
12/28/21 11:39 AM
12/28/21 11:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 37,223
james bay frontierOnt.
B
Boco Offline
trapper
Boco  Offline
trapper
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 37,223
james bay frontierOnt.
What percentage of animals,can you take out of the resident pack before the neighboring pack starts to make incursions into the weakened packs territory..


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7444124
12/28/21 10:27 PM
12/28/21 10:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,727
North Central Idaho
Jumperzee Offline OP
trapper
Jumperzee  Offline OP
trapper

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,727
North Central Idaho
Thanks for the questions - these are exactly the kinds of things we're looking to discuss and learn from each other. Please keep them coming!

Grouse - most guys are using the MB-750's, modified TS-85s or the NO BS. Snares are a work in progress for most folks too - lots of different ideas and cable/lock/loop combos. Average wolf size is probably high 70's, which really disappoints a lot of folks. They look huge, but under the fluff they're a very lean animal. Regardless, an 80ish lb wolf is still a very large and awesome critter up close.

Guy - great question, probably the biggest struggle for everyone. Don't have a good answer for you, especially for the country between where we live! Coarse sand that's heavily waxed has been performing well for me - something I learned at a demo last year. I sourced some decomposed granite from a road cut slope on my line and it's been outperforming dirt or play sand.

Boco - That will be an interesting thing to follow up on. Even the most experienced ID/MT wolfers have only been at it 8-10 years (most far less) which limits those observations. However, in the few instances where I know a pack was removed, it seemed to take about a year before more wolves showed up. That was a long time ago though and when the state kept a lot more info on them. A lot of guys are starting to notice a change in behavior over the last 2-3 years with their expansion across the state, movement of their food and more folks pursuing them.


Appreciate your questions - these will be asked to the panelists and I'll make a commitment to report back as much as I can if folks are interested.

Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7444130
12/28/21 10:33 PM
12/28/21 10:33 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 117
WI
WIFrost Offline
trapper
WIFrost  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 117
WI
Has anyone ever tried the cheap plastic wrap? I used that to trap my bobcat last year and that worked well to keep traps from freezing up.

Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7444138
12/28/21 10:37 PM
12/28/21 10:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,571
Georgia
warrior Offline
trapper
warrior  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,571
Georgia
I would be interested in lower 48 trappers comparing notes with Alaskan/Yukon trappers and seeing what differences there might be. Then compare with the eastern great lakes trappers.

I would assume the basics of bait and lure and equipment to be the same or very similar with variation allowed for climate/temps. But it would be interesting if subtle behavioral differences show up. Especially with wolves more in contact with human activity.

Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Boco] #7444148
12/28/21 10:44 PM
12/28/21 10:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 33,547
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
white17  Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 33,547
McGrath, AK
Originally Posted by Boco
What percentage of animals,can you take out of the resident pack before the neighboring pack starts to make incursions into the weakened packs territory..



I think those incursions happen all the time. But not many happen when both packs are in the same area at the same time. If that was a frequent occurrence, it would not bode well for wolf populations in general.

It may happen more frequently if the pack hierarchy is altered or if their is some event that alters the distribution of the prey base.

On the other hand, in areas where pack home ranges are small due to good prey availability, it may happen more often. But if there's enough to eat at home, why leave ?


Mean As Nails
Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: white17] #7444889
12/29/21 06:26 PM
12/29/21 06:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,066
AK
bfisch Offline
trapper
bfisch  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,066
AK
Originally Posted by white17
Originally Posted by Boco
What percentage of animals,can you take out of the resident pack before the neighboring pack starts to make incursions into the weakened packs territory..



I think those incursions happen all the time. But not many happen when both packs are in the same area at the same time. If that was a frequent occurrence, it would not bode well for wolf populations in general.

It may happen more frequently if the pack hierarchy is altered or if their is some event that alters the distribution of the prey base.

On the other hand, in areas where pack home ranges are small due to good prey availability, it may happen more often. But if there's enough to eat at home, why leave ?


A couple years ago I worked on a pack of seven or eight. They were fat and in good moose country. When the pack was five member less another pack moved in. They had much less fat. When that pack was down to one member, a third pack moved into the area. They were also skinny. Never could catch the last one of the third pack. I don't know what ever happened to the remaining pack members and spring came. The next winter their were four or five running around the area and I only got one. This fall there were maybe 8. Two were shot by hunters and I got two trapping. The others are still running around.

After the majority of a packs members were taken out it took less than two weeks for another pack to move in. The subsequent packs were easier to catch. I don't know if that was coincidence, my skill improved, or the new wolves were unfamiliar with the area and thus at a disadvantage, etc. Maybe all those reasons and more.

Last edited by bfisch; 12/29/21 06:28 PM.
Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7444979
12/29/21 08:08 PM
12/29/21 08:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 37,223
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
trapper
Boco  Offline
trapper
B

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 37,223
james bay frontierOnt.
On my northern line there are two territorial post locations that I know of.Three packs of wolves test each other by marking at these posts .They dont trespass beyond the posts but do kick up a lot of dirt,and snow and mark fairly regularly.These 3 packs use areas both on and off my trapline.one pack uses the northwest corner and also goes across the river onto another trapline which is vacant.Another pack comes in from the north east and up until about 15 years ago there was another trapper operating in part of their territory.That line is also now vacant.Another pack comes in from the south and also ranges on a 3rd trapline which up until about 6 years ago was trapped.I now trap that line besides my own.The Northwest pack marks both post locations,the south pack and north east pack mark at one each.
When the other two trappers were snaring wolves There were never any incursions between pack areas.Wolves were being harvested from all 3 packs each year.Now that these other packs are not being trapped outside of my trapline I notice as soon as I take a couple wolves from the resident pack in the northwest corner of my line,the south pack will start spending time in that area.after about 10 days.I have also had snared wolves eaten in this area.When I set up a jackpot in the Northeast corner of my line and take two or three wolves from that resident pack,I notice the NW pack will start to make use of the areas past the territorial post in that area.This is when I have not opened a snaresite in the northwest.
Our packs here are not normally large like out west.
An average pack is 5 to 7 wolves,and I have heard of as many as 12 in one pack.

What I have concluded from this behaviour is that wolfpacks keep tabs on competing packs and if they dynamics of each pack are in balance they wont take any chances of getting caught inside another wolves territory.But as soon as they notice a changing dynamic at the pee post territorial marker they start to push in on the other pack.

In my opinion it takes 4 wolves to sucessfully hunt moose in winter,so two wolves taken out of 5 or 7 in a pack puts it at a big disadvantage.

Last edited by Boco; 12/29/21 08:14 PM.

Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7445051
12/29/21 09:08 PM
12/29/21 09:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,066
AK
bfisch Offline
trapper
bfisch  Offline
trapper

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,066
AK
Interesting observations! We have similar pack sizes and based on my limited experience I agree with what you said.

I wonder if a pack that is put at a "disadvantage" would be more likely to visit bait piles especially if the mature wolves are taken?

Thanks for sharing!

Re: Wolf Trapping - what are your questions? [Re: Jumperzee] #7445068
12/29/21 09:24 PM
12/29/21 09:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 37,223
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
trapper
Boco  Offline
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Posts: 37,223
james bay frontierOnt.
I would agree with that 100%.
Lone wolves are a common catch at baitdumps/jackpots.


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
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