Preparing My 220 Conibear Traps
Raccoon season starts next week. I finally made time to prep my traps in the way my trappers education booklet told me. I boiled the conibears to get the factory grease off and then mixed in a handful of black walnut to see what would happen.
In my trappers education booklet I saw a picture of a pan like this one set on bricks over a fire. I thought it a much more novel and fun way to boil the traps than in a pot on my electric stove. So I went out and bought some dried firewood to make it a little easier (in the city I find firewood difficult to find anyway, let alone dry stuff). The pan seemed to take forever to boil so my buddy Big Tony pressured me to actually build a decent fire. We took the bed of coals and built a proper log cabin cooking fire and once it got roaring it stayed that way for a long time.
I guess the theory involved boiling off factory grease and than letting the metal rust a little bit. I boiled 3 conibears (for 5 minutes) at a time so that I didn’t have to fill the entire pan up with water and use twice as much energy to get it boiling. After the first three came out I thought I’d experiment by throwing in a handful of the black walnut husk.
I don’t have a picture of the traps afterward, but the one that had the black walnut in it did have a slightly darker tint, but not that much. Perhaps if I soaked it over night? I noticed they didn’t rust after I pulled them out of the water because the water evaporated off the hot metal very quickly drying them out. I could also try letting them sit out in the rain for a couple days to rust proper. I think the rust will take on the dye color, so you rust the metal to prep it for taking the color. Also, it takes your scent off of it. I don’t know the importance of scent when using bucket sets on raccoon. It seems like an animal like the raccoon may not feel as timid about smells as say, a fox. We’ll see. For now I think I willÂ just go with them the way they stand; cleaned of factory grease.
Before I boiled them I experimented with setting one for the first time. I used a cinder block in the garage and weighed down the stake chain so when it triggered it wouldn’t fly into my face. I set it with the metal setters I bought and triggered it with a wooden board I found in the garage. Those things have a lot of power. I really want to make sure that I stay safe when setting them, and that they kill the animals quickly so they don’t suffer. I plan to practice setting the traps a whole bunch of times before I actually set them for real. I think I’ll throw a video up here on how to build and set up a bucket set once I figure it all out.
Thanks Tony for helping me tend fire and keeping me company!
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