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North Dakota Furtakers Educational Manual

Trap Preparation


Factory condition traps need to be cleaned and processed before dyeing. To get the oil and grease off new traps you need to boil them in a large container filled with water and baking soda. Boil the traps for 30 minutes to 1 hour then rinse them off with clean water. Leave the traps outside until they get a light coat of rust on them at which time they are ready for dyeing. The rust will help the dye adhere to the metal. For dyeing traps fill a barrel with sufficient water to cover the traps. Add trap dye as recommended on the package. Trap dye can be obtained from a trapping supply house and usually 1 pound of dye is used for each 4 to 5 gallons of water. The dye water is brought to a boil and allowed to simmer for an hour or so. After the traps have taken a good blue-black color take out and let them air dry. After the traps have cooled down store them where they will not come in contact with any foreign odors.

Here is a list of other tools for the land trapper. You will need stakes, a trowel or small shovel, dirt sifter, hammer, pack basket or pail, hatchet and a good pair of gloves.

GIF: Drawings of tools used by a land trapper.

For the water trapper the list is almost the same, but a few extra items such as hip boots or waders, rubber gloves, wire, pliers and a retrieving hook. An ice cutter may be needed as well.

GIF: Drawings of tools used by a water trapper.

Next you will need bait and lure to attract the animal to your set. A beginning trapper is always better off if he buys his bait and lure from a reputable source. There are many good brands of bait and lure on the market. Try the different lures until you find what works best for you and your area.


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