Here is one of the first steps we use to estimate a deer’s age by the jawbone.
Balancing nest predator numbers can be a great wildlife management tool to encourage healthy prey populations like turkeys, quail, song birds and many others. The end result of trapping, of course, is not just removing predators, but you get these great furs.
Predators also provide high quality fur that can be used for beautiful, warm blankets like the one we had made a few years ago.
So there’s a real advantage to trapping and just having the hides skinned out. If you don’t have time, take them to a local taxidermist. That’s what we do. They’ll flesh them out. The leather is unbelievable. And then you can preserve the hides. They’re great for use as decorative items.
So, trap for multiple reasons. It’s a great way to get your kids and neighboring kids involved in the outdoors.
After cleaning Swoops’ skull, we found evidence of a forage impaction that eroded a portion of the skull. This is often referred to as “lumpy jaw.” See more details in this video.
Lumpy Jaw isn’t contagious and is raw. http://wildlifedisease.unbc.ca/lumpy_jaw.htm
Every successful hunt is a learning experience. On top of all the excitement from the hunt, we can also gain information for our next hunt.
This image is a great example of how preferred food sources can quickly change. This shows the stomach content of two bucks that were harvested 12 days apart (Swoops 12/22 and Center 8 1/03) out of the same plot. Notice how Swoops’ rumen content is brown and primarily acorns with some milo seeds while Center 8 had been eating much more green forage. We call this “scouting from the skinning shed”.
The best way to determine what deer are eating in any habitat is to simply inspect the rumen (stomach) content of a hunter harvested, road killed, etc. deer. This information is current and 100% accurate for that location because deer are selective feeders. They tend to eat the best food available within their range.
We know schedules are crazy and days on the trapline may be limited. Teaming up with a buddy or neighbor that check traps when you can’t is a great way to keep those traps working! HuntStand is a great tool for sharing exact trap locations between multiple people.
Raccoon are notorious nest predators and populations are high in many areas. As wildlife managers, we wish to see healthy prey and predator numbers. Trapping is a great management tool for balancing high predator numbers so prey species like turkeys, quail, song birds and other critters can thrive.
When selecting bait to target raccoons, we often use a combination of “sweets” and “meats”. Raccoons have a sweet tooth and during cold nights they will seek energy rich food/protein like meat. Having a combination of sweets and meats at a trap site can be an effective baiting strategy. Will you be balancing nest predator numbers this winter where you turkey hunt?
As we check the RECONYX for deer we also make notes of where raccoons and opossums are active. This information helps us place Duke Traps exactly where critters are moving!
While trapping in the early part of the trapping season may not yield the best for fur prices, it can be a good time to start trapping nest predators. Concerns over the impact on deer movement need to be considered. However, deer certainly become conditioned to vehicles that deliver feed, while avoiding all other vehicles on the same property. If you check the trap line at the same time daily, the deer probably know the noise of a truck or ATV, and the smells associated with the trapping gear. If there is a long pattern of people passing through the property without threatening the deer herd, it’s likely the deer are not bothered by trappers — they are conditioned to his presence.
Team member Cody Kraut tagged a nice buck during Illinois’ shotgun season. The following morning, Cody grabbed his Prime Archery and tagged a big doe! We’re proud of Cody for filling the freezer and working toward his doe management goal, even after tagging a buck