Looking at the cable restraints and seeing what they do, and seeing what steel traps do to animals when they get caught; I think I would rather my dog to get caught in a properly set cable restraint opposed to a steel trap. I hope that game laws in PA are passed to expand the use of cable restraints for other animals (currently they can only be used for fox and coyotes) and for more of the trapping season (currently cable restraint season start the 1st of January).
Since January 1st has come and gone and cable restraints have come in season, I have set three of my seven cable restraints. While we still had snow on the ground I found a spot by a small creek where canine tracks abounded, so I have set the restraints along the trails that the canines seemed to be using.
Last Sunday when I visited one of my dirt hole trap sets I found the trap set off. The pieces of wood I had used as a backing were all chewed up, and there was K9 manure right by the set, but no animal in the trap. Judging from the evidence I had a fox caught in the trap for quite a few hours, if only I had checked the trap at 6 AM instead of 2 PM.
Yesterday when I checked this trap I saw tracks in the snow that I believe to be fox going to the back of the trap set; then around to the front — missing the trap pan by about two inches. After seeing the tracks I moved one of my other traps ( I had caught two possums and one rabbit in this trap, not exactly what I was trying to catch) to the back of the set. I have heard that trap wise animals will come over the top of the set so hopefully I will get another chance at the that fox I caught.
Well, today was the first really good day that I have had a chance to see tracks in the snow. As I checked my traps today, I saw many raccoon traps, and one fox track. One of the raccoon tracks went right to an old tree that looks like it is hollowed out, so I moved one of my traps to near that tree. The fox tracks went just inside the woods following the edge of the field by were I have a hay set made.
The next day unfortunately there was nothing in my traps. But I did fine tune where the trap by dead tree was, looking at the tracks I moved it up hill some and a little closer to a tiny stream.
I have a total of three traps that I own and have set, but after seeing all the raccoon tracks I am thinking a buying more traps. I already have at least six+ spots picked out where I would put more traps.
I took my cable restraint course yesterday.
They gave me one cable restrain (we used them to make some sets out in the field for the instructors to look at to see how well we set them up), a manual on cable restraints, the pa hunting trapping digest (like I did not get one when I got my license), and a temporary card saying I completed the course that is good for 90 days (it might have been 60 I forget). The game commission is supposed to issue a replacement card for my temporary card. It cost $15 to take the course (the course is mandatory if I want to use cable restraints). It went from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, while four hours my seem like a long time, the time passed rather quickly.
I missed four questions on my test (but I still passed), but I think would have done better if I had enough time to read the manual they gave me. I guess maybe if I have showed up before 9:00 am instead of 9:01 am I would have had time to look it over.
After the course a guy demonstrated trapping with steel traps (this has nothing to do with the course). One of the sets he showed was a hay/straw bale put out in a field by itself. Then you put your trap next to the bale, spread some straw from the bale over the dirt spot, where your trap is, so that is looks like it just kind of fell out of the bale. Next you dig a hole (like a dirt hole set up) under the bale in front of your trap. Put some bait/scent or some thing down the hole, and dribble some fox or coyote urine on the bale above the hole.