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North Dakota Furtakers Educational Manual

Traps and Equipment


The steel trap is the most common trap used. Traps have been in use since Mr. Newhouse invented the first trap in 1823. Traps for the most part have changed very little since 1823. Foothold traps of today, at least some models, bear a remarkable resemblance to those of yesteryear. There are three types of humane steel-jawed, foothold traps in use today. They are the longspring, the coil spring, and the jump or underspring trap. These traps come in various sizes.

A beginning trapper should determine what animals he plans to trap for and buy traps which are suitable for those animals. A general guide to trap sizes for various animals would be:

GIF: Drawings of 13 Types of Traps.

As you can see, the larger trap size number means a larger, more powerful animal. The larger traps have more holding power than those with the lower number. All the traps that are listed here are the leghold traps.

Another trap that is in use today is the body gripping trap. These traps are designed to humanely kill the animal. The bodygrip traps are used by trappers pursuing animals such as muskrat, beaver, raccoon, mink and skunk. Bodygrip traps come in different sizes and are used for these animals as follows:

GIF: Drawings of Body-grip Traps.

Bodygrip type traps are not designed to maintain an animal alive. Extreme care and discretion should be used when using these traps on land to avoid any contact with pets or non-target land dwelling animals.


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