Tag Archives: fox

Pennsylvania Bobcat And Fisher Season!

Yesterday the PGC released the adopted 2010-11 seasons and bag limits. Among them a Bobcat season in which all licensed furtakers can obtain one permit! Also new is a Fisher season following the same rules of each furtaker being able to get one permit. One final thing about the season change that stands out is that cable restraint season for Fox and Coyote starts on December 26th opposed to the 1st of January.

Reactions of some trappers in Pennsylvania to this can be found here at the HuntingPA.COM discussion board. (huntingpa.INFO is not associated with huntingpa.COM we just share the same name.)

Below is the text of the Adopted 2010-11 Trapping Seasons announcement from the PGC’s site.


MINK and MUSKRAT: Nov. 20–Jan. 9.  Unlimited.


COYOTE and FOXES (Statewide) Cable Restraints: Dec. 26-Feb. 20.  No limit.  Participants must pass cable restraint certification course.

BEAVER (Statewide): Dec. 26–March 31 (Limits vary depending on WMU).

BOBCAT (WMUs 2A, 2C, 2E, 2F, 2G, 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, 4A, 4D and 4E): Dec. 18-Jan. 9.  One bobcat per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

FISHER (WMUs 2C, 2D, 2E and 2F): Dec. 18-23. One fisher per license year, and all licensed furtakers may obtain one permit.

3rd Fox Of The Season — A Red Fox!

The hay set is a really great set! This is my 3rd fox of this trapping season which breaks my record of two in one season which I set last year. This fox weighed in at 6 pounds, a little on the light side.

Last time it had snowed, I saw a lot of fox tracks on a trail running through a field. On this same trail earlier on in the year I saw a lot of droppings so I decided to give the hay set a try. After the set was ran over by a truck then another day being set off with no animal; I then made a catch the very day after I remade the set.

While I do not do it often, checking traps at night can be done and this was one of those times when I did check my traps at night. However, by the time I had walked most of my line my batteries in my flashlight were going dead. So, I ended up shooting at it three times in the dying light of my flashlight before I gave up and called back home for another flash light. The lesson learned–carry a spare battery.

Second Fox Of The Season — A Grey Fox

Now that deer season is over, I am starting to put out more sets and “freshen” up the existing sets that I ran during deer season. Last Friday, after it stopped raining, I went out and re-scented all my hay sets. The next day, I caught this in one of those hay sets!

The hay set that caught this fox was set about 25 yards away from where I caught the other Grey Fox earlier in the season.

A hay set normally uses two traps, which as can be seen by the picture above is the case in this set. The fox actually managed to get himself caught in both of the traps.

The picture below is not of the set I took this fox in, but it is a picture of a hay set like it would have looked. This particular hay set, is at a “four way intersection” which makes the chances of a fox happening by greater.

5th Day of Buck Season: A Great Day

Today I started my day of hunting, by driving a patch of woods. About halfway through the woods, when I stopped for a few seconds to listen, three does jumped out of the edge of the woods and ran up a field. Now I know of where some does might be hiding for the start of doe season tomorrow!

Then tonight, because I was busy I did not make it back out into the woods until 4:30 PM. The spot I wanted to watch tonight was on the edge of a woods line boarding a field. So, after setting up so that I could see a bit of the field and woods at the same time I waited. However, the wait was not long, for not longer than five minutes later I heard the crunch of frozen leaves. Which was followed moments later by a buck.

It was the same deer that I had seen on the second day of the season! Which, also meant I could not shoot it, because of the antler restrictions since it is 6-point. Then as it walked along it started staring at me, so I went into total freeze mode. Soon, I realized why when I started to hear the crunching of frozen leaves again, but this time from behind me. As the deer walked behind me I decided that the non-shooter buck in front of me, would not spook if I moved my head slightly so I could see the other deer slightly, which might be a shooter. Well, I was right about the 6-point spooking, but the deer behind me did not follow my preditction. It took off running leaving me with a 1/8 of a second look at its head that left me with the impression that it was antlerless, however, I may have missed the antlers in that short of a glance. Now buck in front of me, decided the other deer had good sense in vacating the area, so, it to raised its tail and took off running.

Since I still had a little while until quitting time, I decided to stay on despite the spooked deer. Soon it was getting dark enough to the point that I was starting to think of heading home. But then I again heard the rustling of leaves behind me, this time though the sound was that of a lighter animal. Again I turned my head slightly and again the animal spooked. It sure would be nice to have eyes on the back of your head! The small animal turned out to be a fox, which streaked off into the woods about 50 yards away from some of my traps. For a few fleeting moments I waited for the sound a snap from one of my traps, but it did not come.

After a couple more minutes I went home, it had been a good day of hunting, despite the fact that I did not get anything!

Update On My Trapping — More Duke Traps — Fox and Coyote Tracks

So far this season I have caught the fox, I previously posted about, and a possum I caught just last Wednesday. There have been a lot of fox tracks around though so the fox are there. In preparation for deer season I will be pulling most if not all of my traps that way I will not needlessly stir the deer up during the season. Also its not as much fun checking traps in the middle of the night when you are tired from hunting all day. After deer season I want to put out more hay sets for fox and expand my water trapping.

A couple weeks back I added to my collection of traps 1 160 and 6 110 body gripping traps in hopes getting started in water trapping, which I have never done before. I also bought 6 #1 1/2 duke coil spring traps to help make lots of hay sets for fox.

Currently, I have the 160 trap at the end of a slide on a creek bank where I saw raccoon tracks in the snow the other day. The 110s, however, I am having trouble finding muskrat sign to set on. Whether the stream or just the part of the stream I am trapping does not have them, or I just am not seeing their sign I do not know. After deer season I plan on trapping more of the stream, hopefully I will find muskrat sign to set on then.

On a path going through a field I have been noticing mixed among the fox tracks a few larger canine tracks. While, I have never really seen any coyote tracks, in the area where I trap, before I think I might have a coyote to trap judging from the tracks. Either I will have to wait until cable restraint season or buy some bigger traps though, since I have nothing big enough to hold anything, but a small coyote.

Saturday, First Day Of Fall Turkey Season

Last Saturday, marked the beginning of fall turkey season. On that day, I managed to get into the woods while it was fairly dark. However, it might not have been quite dark enough, because as I was entering the woods near I was planning to hunt I spooked some large sized bird out of a tree. Whether it was a turkey or an owl I do not know, for it flew directly away from me, which caused trees to block my view of it.

After, I got settled in at the base of the tree, I tried out my slate and box call. After about an hour or so of hearing nothing I saw a squirrel, so I decided I might as well try for it. While it was sitting on a log about 50 yards away, I put the scope of my .22 magnum on it and fired. Then it jump off the log no worse for wear and hid. Soon, it reappeared and I tried another shot at it, this time though it was smarter and after scampering off it stayed hid.

Since, I had not heard any turkeys I decided to move on, after I checked for the squirrel just in case I hit it. On the other side of the woods, there there is a field so I move over there and sat awhile, but still heard nothing. Before I left for home, I walked to the end of the field and found two nice animal trails leading out of the woods to the corn in the field. As I was assessing the spot to see if I wanted to trap it, I saw that about where the trails intersected in the field, where two piles of fox manure. Not only were there two piles, but one looked a few days older that the other. Right now I have my traps set up close to my house, but once I get permission again this year to trap there, that will be a good place for a couple of sets.

4th Day Of Trapping Season: A Grey Fox

My first catch of this trapping season is a Grey fox!

The first day of trapping season begin last Sunday, which found me with still un-waxed traps. Sunday afternoon I managed to get four of my eight coil spring traps waxed.

On Monday, I went out and set a hay set where fox sign had been the year before, with one 1 1/2 and my only 1 3/4 coil spring traps. My second to last 1 1/2 I set close by, where I know raccoons enter the woods. Then with the remaining 1 1/2 coil spring I intended to set in a small stream, near by. The set I intended to do was a simple one aimed at raccoon, that involved putting a piece of tin foil on the pan of the trap. When I got the stream however, I found it to be dried up. Looking around, a fallen log caught my eye. The roots of the log were in such a way, that they formed a small tunnel that a animal the size of a raccoon could go through. Looking at the dirt, I could see that some animal had been walking under the root. Still wanting to try out the tin foil I made a set under the tree root, with just the tin foil attached to the pan visible. Then I sprayed some raccoon urine as an experiment on the tree root.

Two days later on Wednesday, when I made my daily trap check, I had the Grey Fox in it–caught by only two toes. I was immensely glad, that I have been checking traps in the morning, instead of the evening as was my custom last year, which would probably have allowed it to escape. The snow that morning allowed my to see a little of what the Fox, was thinking before catching him. It appeared that he had walked up the log, either smelled raccoon or spied the tin foil. Then he turned around in circles a few times and jumped off the log to checkout the trap.

Frozen Traps

Last Friday night was a good night for trapping foxes. There were fox prints by four of my sets, one set of foot prints right on the top of my trap at a dirt hole set. Unfortunately I caught no fox, why? Because my trap was frozen into the ground. Two of the fox prints had been by some of my cable restraints (which thankfully do not freeze up!) But I did not get anything in those either. Judging from the prints the fox had started to go on the trail the cable restraint was on, but went the other direction instead. Then in the other cable restraint set I think the fox went through a small gap I had left next to the cable restraint instead of through the cable restraint (I fixed the gap after seeing that.)

Well, I am pretty sure I have my traps set in good locations so all I can do is keep checking my traps, and wait for the next night when the fox come out. Maybe I’ll get one then!

A Grey Fox with a Cable Restraint

I have caught another fox, this time with a cable restraint. While it was still alive as it should be with cable restraints. The fox had tangled some grass in the swivel of the cable restraint so it had the cable all twisted up – almost choking it. If I ever make my own cable restraints I will have to put two swivels in them to keep this from happening.

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).