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Question for TDHP about testing lures

Posted By: clintp1971

Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/14/19 03:08 AM

Hello everyone, I kinda new here , posted a few pictures and got lots of criticism. So I mainly just lurk now. I know that TDHP has posted several pictures of the effects on his lures and baits.
My question is can you expand on that a little bit? Do you just make mock sets? How close to each othe? What time of year ? Specifically do you test in the summer months? How often do you ď checkĒ them?
If this is info you donít want to share , I completely understand.

I am just getting started in lure making and need all the help anyone is willing to give. Thanks
Posted By: red mt

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/14/19 03:26 AM

By trial and Error
Posted By: AJE

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/14/19 04:44 AM

Give a sample of the lure to friends to test.
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/14/19 05:19 AM

I test all summer in areas I dont intend to trap. Make a set minus the trap but sift a big area around your test site for track verification. Trail cams shine in this situation
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/14/19 06:11 PM

JMO, trial and error, test samples mock sets, punching holes etc all good stuff, actually great stuff, but at the end of the day you need to be able to ask yourself why you're adding X ingredients and be able to answer it. Not because jody the internet expert says you need to bury it for 3 years and add this that and the next. Especially if you're planning on making bait and lure and doing damage on the animals you're after. The magic dust just doesn't exist. I strongly believe that if you can learn the behavior, habits, diets, what drives and keeps the animals you're after ticking. You will find that coming up with a formula will simplify itself and become easier to understand and all the magic verbal judo crap is just that...crap. When it comes to testing I wouldn't test just in one particular season or area either or a couple of months here and there, I trap year round doing adc so I test year round and often. During my travels I'll stop on public land and punch holes and in certain areas drop a cam or two. I check them periodically and I'll leave a cam out for weeks at a time.

I test one ingredient at a time, it's time consuming but effective, variety in a bait is key for me and I don't build bait and lure to my nose. The animals build it by their response. The bait and lure should appeal to the animal throughout the year not just a few months here and there. The objective is to call an animal in and then manipulate it into demonstrating a variety of responses which would in theory afford the trapper an edge in a successful catch. Trial and error is ideal, but you need to have an understanding between the ingredient and the interest. Some people just need an animal to walk up or by and can successfully trap their critters, others need them extra responses and movement at the set. I don't test side by side in the beginning stages because it would be virtually impossible to determine which hole got the animals attention. Final product different story, I'll test side by side or a few feet apart like in this picture. I wouldn't waste your time trying to copy a formula either jmo, it's a complete waste of time if you are trying to mimic one. Study the animals you are after and you won't need to to do all the magic dances and dig up grave secrets to attract animals.

Cams are a gem and come in handy, bait and lure are the easiest things to put together, but location and population is going to determine the outcome. I would keep it simple and straight forward while placing more emphasis on ones trapping ability along with locating the animals you are looking to trap. I spend lots of time in the woods picking up new things everyday. Books, videos, forum archives etc are great, but you should want to know why you are doing something and not just doing it going through the motions. This is all just JMO and a little bit on how I like to do things. Don't let people dictate your moves, ďWelcome the haters and learn to use the criticism as fuel and you will never run out of energy.Ē
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Posted By: clintp1971

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/14/19 10:46 PM

Thanks for the info
Posted By: danny clifton

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 12:13 AM

russ carmen wrote you need to get good at trapping before you try to make your own bait and lure. I think he is right
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 07:05 AM

Danny I agree to that to some extent but what exactly is the definition of good self confidence that you can consistently catch your target spieces? Or is it someone else opinion of your abilitys. I have to face the bitter truth every year my state isn't a high number state. But I feel I do better then average. Other then last season! I truely enjoy making my own stuff. I'll never sell commercially I feel it would take away all the enjoyment. Carmans books are the bomb. I learned a lot from Charles book on evaluating lures and baits as well.
Posted By: Bob Jameson

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 10:00 AM

A good trapper can make some of the most basic and simple items look good and very productive. That I have found at my age and experience level to be a true statement.

Having good basic skills and enough field experience to understand what you are doing and how to interpret things are a big part of progressing as a lure bait maker. You have to start some place to get the spark and have the interest, desire and means to finance your endeavor. The rewards help to fuel your progress.

As to what degree of success and how fast you learn and consume the data to prepare you for another step is up to your aptitude level. Being reasonably well read is a big help in this process.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 11:40 AM

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The magic dust just doesn't exist. I strongly believe that if you can learn the behavior, habits, diets, what drives and keeps the animals you're after ticking. You will find that coming up with a formula will simplify itself and become easier to understand and all the magic verbal judo crap is just that...crap.


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The objective is to call an animal in and then manipulate it into demonstrating a variety of responses which would in theory afford the trapper an edge in a successful catch. Trial and error is ideal, but you need to have an understanding between the ingredient and the interest.


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JMO, trial and error, test samples mock sets, punching holes etc all good stuff, actually great stuff, but at the end of the day you need to be able to ask yourself why you're adding X ingredients and be able to answer it.


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Books, videos, forum archives etc are great, but you should want to know why you are doing something and not just doing it going through the motions.

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I would keep it simple and straight forward while placing more emphasis on ones trapping ability along with locating the animals you are looking to trap.



Understanding or coming across an ingredient that does better than another and learning the interest between the two isn't rocket science, nor should one think that. ^^^^^^ is easy to do. Never seen so many people jump through hoops to do something so basic. Bait is the easiest part of the process, getting the animal to commit is a lot harder in some cases if you have a lot going on at a set.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 11:41 AM

Originally Posted by TONY.F
Danny I agree to that to some extent but what exactly is the definition of good self confidence that you can consistently catch your target spieces? Or is it someone else opinion of your abilitys. I have to face the bitter truth every year my state isn't a high number state. But I feel I do better then average. Other then last season! I truely enjoy making my own stuff. I'll never sell commercially I feel it would take away all the enjoyment. Carmans books are the bomb. I learned a lot from Charles book on evaluating lures and baits as well.



Why care what others think? You filling your traps year after year? You happy with the results of what you're doing?
Posted By: Jonesie

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 02:53 PM

The right location and a good trapper can make an OK bait /lure look great. A bad location and bad trapper can make a great lure or bait look bad. Same with testing
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 05:38 PM

Originally Posted by Jonesie
The right location and a good trapper can make an OK bait /lure look great. A bad location and bad trapper can make a great lure or bait look bad. Same with testing



Care to elaborate? In theory due to the high quality of "great authentic ingredients" used in "expert" formulas that claim to call animals in from miles, I'm purdy sure location and numbers shouldn't even be a factor based off of the claims from a lot of products out there. If these formulas are so "great" why are so many changing them up?

What's the difference between a great trapper that has better success using an OK bait or lure... and that is all opinion..than a product that is supposed to be a "great" bait and lure but doesn't have the notoriety as the "great" product but also doesn't have the success rate in catches using the "great" product? Also what is a great bait and lure? The bait and lure I use makes me money on every job I do and helps to put fur in the traps that are put out during the trapping season with the kids. That's like a ford and chevy argument. Bait and lure are preference, verbal judo works good on some folks who believe it.
Posted By: tbn

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 10:25 PM

I thought it was will catch every animal that walks by,lol.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 10:54 PM

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My question is can you expand on that a little bit?


All kidding aside, you're better off putting traps out there and testing your product. Test test test, and when you think you're done testing, test some more. Them animals will let you now what they like.


I'm not a fan of dry baits. Moisture retaining bait has a few more benefits to it. I'm not an expert nor do I believe in experts when it comes to bait and lure, but I trap the heck out of raccoons with this bait year round. IMO, that's what a good, great or whatever else you want to call it bait should do. It should appeal to the animal throughout the year.
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Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/15/19 11:02 PM

Originally Posted by tbn
I thought it was will catch every animal that walks by,lol.


That's catchy!
Posted By: AJE

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/16/19 08:27 AM

Originally Posted by Jonesie
The right location and a good trapper can make an OK bait /lure look great. A bad location and bad trapper can make a great lure or bait look bad. Same with testing

Makes sense.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/16/19 11:21 AM

Originally Posted by AJE
Originally Posted by Jonesie
The right location and a good trapper can make an OK bait /lure look great. A bad location and bad trapper can make a great lure or bait look bad. Same with testing

Makes sense.



It does? It looks good on a thread until you have to explain it, which is why I'm looking for someone with the "expertise" to explain it. Care to take a stab at it due to it making sense to you? Example...I don't know what you target for animals but lets say you are a "great" trapper and I believe you probably are. You purchase "great" bait that everyone is raving about, but you are having little to no success with it. How "great" is that bait to you? On the other hand you are very successful with OK bait....what's the determining factor between a good bait and an OK bait?

It's been stated on this forum and many alike that some of the "greats" didn't do well at all using "great" bait that many talk about. We know animals are unpredictable and not all animals will take to particular odors, that's an easy out. Can you elaborate on the difference?
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/16/19 05:02 PM

Originally Posted by Jonesie
The right location and a good trapper can make an OK bait /lure look great. A bad location and bad trapper can make a great lure or bait look bad. Same with testing
Theres the magic in a bottle right there! Why build a mall were no one goes?I wasn't trying to rile anyone up I just think a lot of guys sell themselves and there skill short ! I do what I do and it works for me and the few others I help .Learned along time ago there is no one thing that works 100 % 100% of the time.
Posted By: 080808

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/16/19 07:23 PM

2X to Tony
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/16/19 07:43 PM

It's an internet forum, no need for anyone to get riled up. It's just a question....that's all. With all the experts around I thought for sure one could shed some light on the difference between an Ok bait and lure and a great bait and lure. Especially if the "mall" is built where the residents roam. Things not working 100% of the time is a given, I'm interested in the difference between Ok and Great, because I've seen and heard of great trappers SOL when using "great" bait and lure. It begs the ? What is the difference? We all know it takes trapping abilities, but if you are on the numbers does it really matter?

To me a great bait should cut all that jazz about needing to know this and that, and one should be able to just go out and set traps and make catches....that would be "great". Due to animals being unpredictable and nothing is guaranteed, to me the difference between OK and great is a matter of opinion....it's all opinion and preference. If something isn't working, it can't be that great....or could it?..hmmm
Posted By: clintp1971

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 01:41 AM

Originally Posted by danny clifton
russ carmen wrote you need to get good at trapping before you try to make your own bait and lure. I think he is right

How will I know when Iím good enough to try, can I count on you guys to tell me??????
Posted By: danny clifton

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 09:24 AM

What I think, and I believe what Carmen meant was confidence.

If you set a trap and your confident that a coyote will find it, and if your confident its much more likely than not it will get caught, you are at a place to trust the results of your coyote attractants effectiveness testing.

Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 04:29 PM

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How will I know when Iím good enough to try, can I count on you guys to tell me??????


When it's all said and done it doesn't matter what any personality on an internet forum says, if what you are doing makes sense to you, and is putting fur in the traps. Then you don't need anyone's approval. jmo


Believe in what you're doing and have enough confidence in your ability to effectively put together a bait and lure without doubting its capabilities to attract the target animal. No doubt you will have some fails, but coming back from a fail being able to stand on your own two feet and accepting it will make room for success. Come back with an update, hopefully it isn't 3 + years from now.

Being able to pick up and use anything you make and know it will do what it was intended to do is a beautiful thing.
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Posted By: Yes sir

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 06:26 PM

Your catch rates compared to other good trappers in your area is a good way to guage how good a trapper you are. Ultimately catch rates on lures and baits under similar conditions compared to other baits and lures over an extended period is how one can start determining the quality of a lure or bait. The bigger pool you have to compare to the better your judgment on how good something is. If you dont have anything to compare it to then a judgment on the quality of something is just a feeling or at best a theory.
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 06:33 PM

clint your already good enough as long as you have the desire and burning curiosity you will figure it out! As long as your not scared of failure you should be fine. Me personally I welcome failure that is one of the major hitters in figuring out stuff. Nothing ventured nothing gained!
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 06:49 PM

Some failures will also be wins! I made a mouse bait 10 years ago I thought was mediocre it failed for me gave it to a friend that trapped totally different then my style and he cleaned up! to this day he still begs for more. Come to find out it shined in timber Which I try and avoid
Posted By: Yes sir

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 06:54 PM

I kept my lure making and trapping separate till I felt I was starting to get a understand of each one. Last year was the first year I tried my own stuff on the trapline and made sure only 50% of the sets were made using my own stuff. I'll probably stay at the 50% level at least a couple more years. That way I'll feel like I've proven to myself whether my stuff as at least as good as what I can buy. And I'll probably keep testing other commercial lures and if I find one that works better than mine I'll use it till I make something better.
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/17/19 07:11 PM

Yes sir I felt exactly the same way when I first started making my own. I always backed mine up with a proven formula double mouse hole set then the process of elimination started/ Remove the proven to see if it was mine or the combo of the two. Some times the combo proved more deadly then either one as a stand alone. With that said I it only proved complex formulas were a necessary evil
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/18/19 12:49 AM

So use a "proven" bait or lure to get an animal that is naturally curious by nature there, and then have that animal work your bait and lure? Then once you get animals in the area, one is to believe that they are hitting on your bait and lure? Sounds a little backwards to me, but to some that is progress I guess. IMO that's defeating the purpose of making your own, you're bait and lure should attract the animals without the aid of "commercial" bait/lure to an area. To me, all that demonstrates is a lack of confidence.
Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/18/19 03:12 AM

I used proven baits till it was sink or swim time ! Now ive got plenty of confidence in my abilitys and what I make. But if you test as much as you say you should no interest and energy they exert to get it are totally different. So in my learning stages I wanted to assure my self that I would be looking at bare dirt on a daily basis. The fastest way to lose confidence is checking empty sets every time. Sure they are curious by nature but they don't just give up there hides with one tiny appealing smell
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/18/19 05:45 AM

I do test all the time and year round, as anyone who depends on their bait and lure to help get the job done should. As far as trying to figure out your own bait and lure, it's silly to introduce another odor to the area that you're trying to determine whether or not your formula is actually triggering anything from an animal period. We all have our own methods to the madness, but imo when attempting to get a baseline on bait, there is no need for any other bait and lure in the area that you are testing besides the material in question. Really not that complicated as many make it out to be. Very easy to call in animals and get them to demonstrate a variety of responses.



Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/18/19 05:36 PM

I don't think its one bit silly! saying that is putting all your faith in one product alone! Never believed in the all the eggs in one basket concept And yes it is rather easy to get a yote to investigate, ive seen in the snow were they sniffed a cigarette butt! But that don't mean I will start putting pall malls in my dirt holes.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/18/19 08:45 PM

Itís a good thing bait and lure are supposed to provide variety, and that one product could provide a lot of it aye? Now forgive me for my ignorance but arenít the ads pertaining to bait and lure from the wizards with all the knowledge that sprinkle magic juju in their bottles geared to animals ďinvestigatingĒ the product? Things like ď cant resist investigating, come to this one, will make your animal stay around the set, will collect animals, can count on any time of year, investigate this invest thatĒ? The list goes on with the ďgreatnessĒ of ads. Isnít that the whole purpose of bait and lure, is to get an animal to that location to ďinvestigateĒ its odor?

Digging, rubbing, rolling after itís dug up? After the animal is there, if the trapper canít seal the deal, that isnít a bait and lure problem. I donít sit in a bait and lure room with a tinfoil hat on, nor do I set jobs up with one on. Iím not in agreeance with the need to use magic or whatever other bs spins that folks need to chalk up when it comes to bait and lure, itís unnecessary. I simply allow the animal to tell me what interests them by their responses. How many of these ďgreatĒ bait and lures sit on trappers shelves, to have another purchased product placed in front of it because it isnít getting the job done for the individual? Comes down to what works for the individual. ďComplexĒ lures imo isnít the answer.

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With ADC work the trapper is absolutely certain that his target is present; homeowners are showing contractors exactly where the critters have been seen.


Nothing adc about testing bait and lure out in the field, you either attract them or not. ^^^lol


Simple concept.... step one. Build a bait or lure based off of responses from the target animal not off your nose. When testing bait and lure...it has nothing to do with ADC or knowing where the animal is.
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Step 2. Punch holes and place bait in them.
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Step 3. Trail cam if you want if not check them for activity.
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I don't test side by side until a final product has been put together. Even then, results speak for themselves
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Step 4.. Do this on a consistent basis through out the year regardless of season, then repeat process. You can come up with any excuse you want on why one needs magic in a bottle, it's bs. I believe you will get more out of putting in the work than relying on some magic juju. This is just how I like to do things, the "experts" probably have way "cooler" ways.

Posted By: TONY.F

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/18/19 09:17 PM

tdhp I don't buy into the hype! Personally id rather know a little about whats in side the bottle instead of what its supposed to do outside of it. Joe you might be correct! The year I tried that mouse bait our vole population apexed that year. I was trapping open ag ground the other guy was trapping timber and ridges. So id say your assumption was correct they was probably just sick of eating rodents in my area But ill never compare fur trapping to adc trapping! Totally different monster
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/21/19 01:18 AM

No hype needed to come up with a "banger" bait or lure. Just need to step back take a deep breath and simplify the whole process and skip the magic route. It makes much more sense when one can do that. The magic route is a road where many have a tough time coming back from.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/21/19 01:26 AM

Mr clint1971, I do apologize for the back and fourth, wasn't meant to discourage you sir. Don't over complicate and make testing harder than it really is as many do. I believe you will do just fine if you put the animal and their interest first, and remember it's just an animal.
Posted By: clintp1971

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/21/19 01:56 AM

No need to apologize, Iím learning from everyone. Thank you all for your comments. Iím gonna do some testing with some trail cams and see what happens.
Posted By: DucksandDogs

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/30/19 11:30 AM

Originally Posted by clintp1971
How will I know when Iím good enough to try, can I count on you guys to tell me??????




Who cares? If youíre willing to miss fur in order to give it a try because itís something that seems interesting to you and youíd like to learn more about it, let her rip.

To clarify - Iím not saying you WILL miss fur, Iím just saying you have to be willing to take that risk while you develop your own formulas. If you arenít making a living off of trapping and youíre doing it for enjoyment, and you think working on your own baits and lures will enhance that enjoyment, get after it. It should always be fun. When rules are applied, fun levels decrease.
Posted By: Jonesie

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/30/19 11:25 PM

I have never said my baits and lures will pull animals long distance. Nor have I ever said my baits and lures will catch every critter that comes along. but I do catch a fair amount with them and I miss some to. But I will tell you if you put any ok scent, say vanilla for example in the spot where the animal is going to walk, be it deer, fox, coon or coyote it will stop and smell it. It may not dig or spend a lot of time there But it will stop and smell even if it is 18 inches away. If the trapper knows where to put the trap they will make the catch sometimes fast sometimes slow. That animal doesn't have to spend a lot of time there if the trap is in the spot where the animal steps. and if I miss him enough and he leaves his track there enough I will know where to put the trap!!!!!! The lost art of blind setting proves this where no baits or lures are used. If I know where to put the trap then the vanilla looks like a great lure. I can also take a proven bait or lure, any one, even one of yours TDHP and I can set it where I want a animal to go but if the animal does not want to go there or is not near there then even your baits and lures are going to look like they do not work. Testing is the same. I have had 10 out of 10 test sites out for 3 days where the animals are at, and every one looks like a bomb went off. Then change locations same product to where the animals are not there as much and have 4 out of 10 hit in 10 days. Baits and lures are a tool to aid the trapper not do a magic trick.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 05/31/19 01:34 AM

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My question is can you expand on that a little bit? Do you just make mock sets? How close to each othe? What time of year ? Specifically do you test in the summer months? How often do you ď checkĒ them?


Thought it was pretty straight forward, no tricks are involved.



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Baits and lures are a tool to aid the trapper not do a magic trick.


I've always typed ^^^and never believed in the magic. I believe if more people would just get out and test they would figure it out as well. I also believe in common sense, which I know is hard to except when so many are lead to believe in wizardry when it comes to bait and lure. If one odor did it all there would be no need for variety, and it would take all the fun out of trying to outsmart the critters when it came to bait&lure while introducing a trap setup.
Posted By: TDHP

Re: Question for TDHP about testing lures - 09/12/19 09:19 PM

Wassup? How goes the testing? You ready for the season or have you been hitting'em all year doing adc work?
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