Way to trap and catch raccoons water trapping, a quick and simple way
by Clint Locklear, Predator Control Group
Its 4:15 in the morning, cold, dark and I felt like I had been run over by a bull, but sometimes things happen to make you smile. I was coon trapping in Iowa and testing a new system on speed coon trapping. I was betting a portion of my coon catch on a new toy which puts in a water set as fast as possible. You see I was using a lure holder (a tool that was made for coyotes) that glows in the dark. I found a chemical compound that would glow bright at night for 10-12 hours. So I added the chemical to a number of lure holders and planned on this “TOY” replacing the old standby pocket set. As I climbed back into my truck a commercial came on my XM radio (tuned to a talk radio show, so I could keep up with what the sneaky liberals are up to). Just as I planted my back side in the seat, a Motel 6 commercial was on. The commercial ended with Motel 6’s catch phrase, “we’ll leave the light on for you”. I had to roll down the window and repeat the catch phrase, “We will keep the light on for you”! Now I had to smile, sure it may be on the corny side, but to the sleep deprived, almost anything can be found funny.
Once I got to Iowa I found out that most pockets could be made by a swift kick of the foot, but I don’t always have this soft black dirt other places to deal with. So, my plan was to jab a glow in the dark lure holder in the bank and slam a foot hold in front of it. I was betting that the glowing object would grab the coon’s attention. I was also hoping that a coon would notice the light from a distance and this light would pull the coon on a string to my set and by-pass the competition’s sets. I know I could see the glowing object from up to 50 yards. So the logic was to use a highly visible object and be able to put it on location in literally a second.
My set was simple, stab the lure holder about 12 inches above the water and bed a trap in 4-8 inches of water and 6-10 inches back from the bank. Just above the lure holder, I would place a glob of River Raider (coon lure). I was not using a slide wire, just a T-bar and trap. This is a simple and fast system. I will admit that there was a few places that I wish I had some slide rods with me. Some locations had the coon too open for my taste, but what’s life without a few gambles. If you are questioning this trap placement -why? This trap placement is geared to take coon. Sure, this set is not designed to also take rats and mink, but I was staying at Red’s house and he asked me to not target his rats, mink and beaver. This was a small price to pay for a place to stay, skin and the uses of his freezers. In addition to the gentlemen’s agreement with Red, this is also the best trap placement for coon that I have found.
I did have to use restraint on how and where to use my glowing lure holder. I did not want someone to be able to look off of a bridge and see the glowing object. This would be too much for some people’s curiosity. Plus if a trap thief caught on to the set, it would be very easy to clean me out. So I would use the shape of the bank or vegetation to hide the lure holder from the view off of the bridge. If the bank was strait and featureless, I would use my fist and make a 3-4 inch deep pocket to recess the light of the lure holder. During the day, the lure holder looked like any other piece of trash that is on a creek.
Well, did it work? That is the only thing that matters to a trapper anyway. I am here to report that this simple and fast set took a lot of coon for me. I cannot say that it was responsible for all of my coon, but when I used it, it took care of business. There were several mornings that I would have 2-3 coon on a location and my competition had nothing. I was picky about using water sets due to the high amount of competition in the water. A lot of bridges had 4-6 trappers working the water. So a lot of the time I would set up the high bank trail, which is not trapped as hard.
P.S. Every out of state trip has a story about competition. It took about a week before another trapper figured out what that little round ball was. So this guy started moving my lure holder a couple of feet down the creek from my trap, to mess me up. The funny thing is that the lure holder would still get the coon in the area and then the lure that was placed above the holder would still pick up most coons. Once the other trapper kept seeing coon in my trap, he would toss the lure holder out into the water. I did not like it, but he broke down and pulled this stunt the day I was pulling, so no big deal. If this happens again, I might just have a supply of paper cups or something with the glowing chemicals on them to make a true “trash” set. Got to love competition.