College has kept me busy, but now with Christmas break I have time to trap again. Today I put out one hay set in the same area where I got my two Grey Foxes last year. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get a few more sets out.
After the weeks of snow and cold the fox have been out for the past few days. Yesterday, I found an abundance of fox tracks near a hay set that I had removed the traps from back when the weather had started getting bad. Of course, I reset those traps, but only to have freezing rain and snow today.
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.
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.
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.
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.