Dec 02

Setting up a natural muskrat float line while water trapping

Setting up a natural muskrat float line while water trapping

by Clint Locklear. Predator Control Group

If you are like me and live in an area that has water that rises and falls about everyday, you have probably tried muskrat floats. I have built all kinds of floats, had friends make them for me and even bought some from FnT post in MI. They all have their place, but one over looked float is the natural float. On our rivers and big creeks, you will find large and medium size logs floating around in the water or laying on the bank. These logs with some planning can become a great long-term muskrat float.

I have noticed that logs that are 6-12 inches round hold the most scat and claw marks. So what we could do is to wire the log under a sturdy limb that is over hanging the water. We can also push or pull the log from the boat to some snags that are out in the water and wire them off. Make sure to use a strong wire and give it plenty of slack. You don’t want high water to sink you log float or floating away. You will need to know how bad you water rises after a bad rain to get enough wire between you float and tie off object.

Once the log float is wired off, just let it set there for a minute or two. The log will find how it will want to float naturally. Then look at how it sits in the water and find the low areas that are in the water or close to it. These are the places for you traps. If there are places that are below the water, you can take some finishing nails and put them in place to keep your trap from sliding off the log when a muskrat climbs on the log float. If there is no place that dips down into the water, then we will need to chop out a trap bed. This seems like a lot of work, but with a sharp axe and claw hammer, it only takes a minute. You want to chop a stable bed into the wood so your trap is at the worst at water level and a 1/2 inch under the water level is perfect.   I normally add a few nails to make sure the trap is ready and waiting for the muskrat to use the log. simple, yes!

The advantage of this float is that it cost nothing and does not stand out to fishermen or anyone else playing on the water. You can use some lure on each side of the trap or have an ear of corn on a nail right next to the trap. Now, if you have a lot of ducks around you, don’t try the corn. Another reason this is a great long-term system is that you can use them year after year, and the longer the log floats are in place the more the rats will use them on their nightly swims.

1 comment

  1. Charlie Germaine

    This is such an excellent idea! I’m going to take a trip to the store and try it! I usually have to go buy my own trapping supplies but since losing my job I’ve really wanted to explore to option of DIY trapping, which I can only assume is what they did in the olden days. Thanks for the great idea!

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