Tips for keeping winter K9 sets working in the snow
Freeze Proofing Your Fox and Coyote Sets Freeze Proofing Your K9 Sets for Winter Fox and Coyote Trapping
By: Tyson Andrews Ohio ODJ Contributor and Professional K9 Trapper
One of my favorite sets for this time of year is the dirt hole set and the scent post or urine post set. The set I am demonstrating in this article happens to be the dirt hole set, but I use the same bedding method for any variation I use in frozen ground. Dry dirt alone works okay as long as it doesn’t rain, snow, freeze, thaw, etc. But, we all know how unpredictable Ohio’s winter weather is, so dry dirt alone was not the answer for me. Waxed dirt works about as good as anything else I have used, I just cannot seem to find the time to make as much as I need during the summer months when making it is easier. The method I will demonstrate usually lasts quite some time in the constant changing Ohio climate.
Step 1: Punch out a trap shaped bed in the frozen ground with whatever tool works for you. I make the bed as small and tight as possible, so my traps sits tighter and reduces “wobble”. I make the bottom of the bed a bowl shape, which leaves me plenty of room to stake, and also to layer with peat moss and antifreeze.
Step 2: I stake my trap in the bottom of the trap bed. I use cross staked 18 inch rebar. I am not partial to any one type of stake, as I feel both rebar and disposables work very well. After staking, I line my entire trap bed with antifreeze. I purchase my antifreeze from F&T post in 14 oz containers. The kind I use is pictured in my photo. I have found this kind to work better than anything I have tried before.
Step 3: I add generous layer of peat moss, then again add a layer of antifreeze on top of the newly added peat.
Step 4: I place my trap in the bed. I sift a layer of peat over and around the trap and its jaws. I pack the peat as tight as I can get it. I continue sifting peat until the peat moss is flush with my traps jaws. If this does not get your trap nice and solid, you can mix dry dirt with the peat and do the same thing. I then add another layer of antifreeze powder.
Step 5: I take DRY dirt gathered from barn floors, and sift a fine layer over the trap, lightly covering it. I then add another layer of antifreeze, then sift 1/4 inch more dry dirt over that.
Step 6: This may be an unconventional method, but I wait until my trap is bedded and finished before making my hole. I go 9 inches back from the center of the pan, and 3-4 inches offset to the right or left. I use a drill bit auger to make my hole, as this saves me time and energy.
Step 7: After making the hole, I apply the bait or lure. This time of year I like fox gland lure, or a tainted chunk bait consisting of venison, beaver, bobcat, or mice. I put the bait or gland lure in the hole, then shove a piece of sheeps wool in on top of the bait. I then gather some snow from the area and lightly sift a thin layer over my trap bed. I give it a small dusting, as I do not want to cover up all the eye appeal I just created. When sifting snow I hold the sifter above my head and sift. If you sift close to the ground, you increase your chance of creating a hard layer of snow on top of your trap due to the metal in your sifter, melting the snow. Holding it above your head gives the snow time to refreeze on its way down, so it doesn’t freeze together. After sifting my dirt and peat moss, I set my sifter in the snow so the metal becomes the same temperature as the snow. This helps, but does not eliminate the problem altogether.
After doing a little blending this is what my finish set looks like:
I use 2 and 4 coil offset MB 550′s for K9 trapping. There are many good traps out there, this is simply what I prefer. I use poly-fill under the pan of my trap. This may not be the best proven method, but it works extremely well for me.
Tyson Andrews: Northwest, Ohio