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#1772268 - 01/27/10 09:39 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Bruce T]
Northof50 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/20/08
Posts: 991
Loc: Manitoba
Those are some interesting designs.
The periscope is much like the design the retired Dentist used, but back in his day it was blackstove pipe, and they always entered from the top to get at the bait.

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#1772317 - 01/27/10 09:56 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Northof50]
madtrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 2208
Loc: Ely, Minnesota, coolest small ...
So are you using the screen to keep the shrews from eating the bait? How is it working? I'm using a screen too, seems to work for me.
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Ely, Minnesota, coolest small town in America, 2010.

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#1772448 - 01/27/10 10:51 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: madtrapper]
Drakej Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Kanabec Cty, MN
Yes the screen is to protect bait. They still are able to nibble away at it but it at least lasts a few days in stead of hours. I have lost 19 ermine to shrews this year where they are the worst. In box or out of box. I have only had 2-3 damaged in same areas in past couple seasons. They are everywhere in some areas. Put a box on an ermine trail between to points of cattails a block apart on the middle of a pond and took two shrews before I got the ermine. It's possible that screened bait doesn't leave them anything to eat except the ermine. Just don't have enough bait to replace every day though. I average 30 shrews a check from 50 boxes.
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I've learned enough thru the years to now know that I don't know enough.

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#1772816 - 01/28/10 06:13 AM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Drakej]
ottertrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 779
Loc: Michigan, United States
Originally Posted By: Drakej
I average 30 shrews a check from 50 boxes.


And this is the reason I prefer 1.5 longsprings! Great pictures and great job experimenting trying to limit rodents. Hope it works out for you. Looks like you had a fine season.

OT

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#1773098 - 01/28/10 09:25 AM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: ottertrapper]
madtrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 2208
Loc: Ely, Minnesota, coolest small ...
I have been trying to just bend the trigger up a little bit on my rat traps, I tried it with a dead shrew, and could get enough tension that way to hold a dead shorttail shrew. It does seem to be helping a little. I use a piece of screen too, I probably showed it ti you before, sorry I missed you at the winter meeting.


Edited by madtrapper (01/28/10 09:27 AM)
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Ely, Minnesota, coolest small town in America, 2010.

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#1774610 - 01/28/10 07:23 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: madtrapper]
butcha Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/08/09
Posts: 167
Loc: Eastern Canada
Nice job and great pics!
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If God didn't want us to eat animals,why did he make them out of meat?

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#1775063 - 01/28/10 09:54 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: butcha]
Northof50 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/20/08
Posts: 991
Loc: Manitoba
Shrews because of their reproduction being slower than voles or deer mice ususlly come up in population after an high of the mouse pop. High water tables also moves them more above ground feeding. When the water tables are down they forage for insects in the leaf litter, or sphagum moss. Their normal diet is insects, followed by preying on mice/ voles. So it is only normal they switch to red meat in winter with low mouse pops.
They have a nasty neuro toxin an it will inmobilize your whole hand if one bites you.... trust me it hurts for hours. This is what the use to immobilize mice they prey on.
How many mouse droppings are you seeing in the boxes?

mice= round/ oval tubular black scats
voles= round GREEN scats
shrews= black, slushy splats

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#1779809 - 01/30/10 08:17 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Northof50]
Drakej Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Kanabec Cty, MN
Ermine seem to be losing interest in boxes or are focused on something else. The last couple of checks the majority of fresh ermine tracks passed right by boxes without breaking stride. Some inches away. All boxes had fresh bait and lure. Most of the tracks I followed were headed for somewhere(especially buck tracks) very little of the helter skelter hunting pattern. Not much more disappointing than approaching a box and seeing tracks headed right for it than go by.
_________________________
I've learned enough thru the years to now know that I don't know enough.

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#1783711 - 02/01/10 08:22 AM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Drakej]
crazyweasel Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 154
Loc: Osseo, Minnesota
Drake, Etall
Your photo collection was fun to see again!
I like the one where the mouse was stealing your scented Q tips!I wonder what he was thinking?
I plan to post some of my adventure photos soon, as soon as I relearn how to post pictures from photobucket!

Crazy

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#1788626 - 02/02/10 08:46 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: crazyweasel]
k2nickmn83 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 447
Loc: minnesota
i have noticed a large decline of weasel catches for awhile now, maybe they are focused on finding mates and mating right now.

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#1803237 - 02/07/10 06:09 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: k2nickmn83]
Drakej Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Kanabec Cty, MN
Threw in the towel on ermine this weekend, catches have dropped to only a couple per check. Had 29 boxes with fresh tracks within 2' and only caught two of them(both fem). 25 sets of buck tracks went straight past. They definitely have lost interest in bait/lure. There's only one thing more important to males than food. Anyone have an all female gland lure for ermine? The coons sure are finding the boxes, had a dozen knocked all about trying to get inside. What I learned this season: 1) Run as many boxes as you can/check as often as you can- I caught over 700 shrews/mice, that's 700 chances at an ermine lost. 2)The fresher the bait the better - caught ermine on old bait, but most on fresh. 3)Boxes most productive of the methods I used(exclud milk jugs as I didn't want to use footholds) - other things worked but to the catch rate of a box. I am trying several box designs and non worked better than basic design. The periscope style(see earlier photos) is proving to be very shrew proof and it has caught a couple of ermine, but as I only have three it is hard to compare. Going to make more for next year. Side entrance box results were disappointing. Tried some the last two weeks and they were sprung almost every check but got only one ermine(tracks around box many times), must not be getting under kill bar? 4)Don't just set on sign - I caught more ermine from where tracks weren't present than from where I found them. Tracks are good evidence that ermine are present though. 5)Facing box front with vinyl/metal doesn't stop shrews - they can jump like fleas. 6)Entrance holes higher than than 3" were less productive and catches were not as clean, tired some up to 4" and only caught them exiting. 7)Eat plenty of brain food - keeping track of 50 boxes, being hop scotched all over the country side is a challenge. The weakness of every marking system I've used to remember where my boxes so far depends on remembering to place or remove the marker as well. Good memory exercise though.

Trap setback from entrance hole is one issue yet undefined(as boxes have many height holes) and only about a third of my boxes have wood traps in them. Any preference by those of you that use them?

My number one thing for next season is making a box that defeats shrews/mice as much as possible. I know - a dream. I've got an idea but is is too crazy to reveal-unless it works. May all your ermine be white and smaller than MY contest entry.
_________________________
I've learned enough thru the years to now know that I don't know enough.

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#1803257 - 02/07/10 06:18 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Drakej]
madtrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/06
Posts: 2208
Loc: Ely, Minnesota, coolest small ...
Ya Drake, a weasel matrix lure might be the ticket. I don't know if anybody makes one, maybe just a gland lure? I think the fur is still good isn't it, should be good for a couple weeks yet shouldn't it?
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Ely, Minnesota, coolest small town in America, 2010.

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#1803330 - 02/07/10 06:40 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: madtrapper]
BoyerWNC Offline
.

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 1188
Loc: Western NC
Great picts.
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A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything.

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#1803410 - 02/07/10 07:11 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: BoyerWNC]
ottertrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 779
Loc: Michigan, United States
Bummer on all the chances missed Drakej. I just have a few boxes out lately but have noticed the same things the big boys are ignoring the boxes now. I had a big buck go right up to where I had pulled a box last weekend where I had a female in. The buck was all over that spot back and forth, wondering if she sprayed a little and he could still smell it. Might be worth a try to squeeze some female glands at your sets if you still have any of them.

OT

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#1803639 - 02/07/10 08:22 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: ottertrapper]
Drakej Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Kanabec Cty, MN
Haven't noticed any decline in fur quality just taking alot of gas to drive around looking at ermine tracks and scratching my head. I am separating my ermine glands by sex this season. I should collect a little now and put some out to see how males react. I have a deer carcass with some snares set near it and a big buck ermine ran within a foot of and and didn't stop.
_________________________
I've learned enough thru the years to now know that I don't know enough.

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#1815909 - 02/11/10 04:38 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread(pic added) [Re: Drakej]
Drakej Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Kanabec Cty, MN
New way to skin an ermine. I caught this ermine in the full body of the box position and when removing from trap I noticed it was very light. Turned it over and found where pygmy shrews had eaten in by the tail and completely hollowed the ermine out leaving only the skull, spine and leg bones. In less than two nights. May be my biggest of the season. I have lost 28 ermine to these little piranha this season. Often in just overnight.



Edited by Drakej (02/11/10 04:55 PM)
_________________________
I've learned enough thru the years to now know that I don't know enough.

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#1815929 - 02/11/10 04:41 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread [Re: Drakej]
yotel dog Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/16/09
Posts: 463
Loc: central PA 15 yrs old
my brother saw one the other night on our farm. I know they are around, we've seen tracks all around also. I'd like to trap some weasels next year, it sounds fun.
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If it's brown it's down
If it's flying it's dying

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#1816115 - 02/11/10 05:40 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread(pic added) [Re: Drakej]
Tsarevna Offline
"Gerty"

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 4328
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: Drakej
New way to skin an ermine. I caught this ermine in the full body of the box position and when removing from trap I noticed it was very light. Turned it over and found where pygmy shrews had eaten in by the tail and completely hollowed the ermine out leaving only the skull, spine and leg bones. In less than two nights. May be my biggest of the season. I have lost 28 ermine to these little piranha this season. Often in just overnight.



frown

Perhaps you can rig an ermine box where a door will shut behind it keeping the mice out? confused
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#1816213 - 02/11/10 06:19 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread(pic added) [Re: Tsarevna]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
I had an ermine do exactly that to a mink I caught this year....bummer

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#1816483 - 02/11/10 07:36 PM Re: 2009 weasel thread(pic added) [Re: Pittu]
Swamp Walker Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/08/07
Posts: 196
Loc: Palmer, Alaska
Tsarevna I had the same idea. Make the box just a little longer than usual, so the whole ermine is inside. Then a small flap with a weight on it would drop down over the entrance hole and keep shrews out.
I have been brainstorming it for a while, will post pics if I come up with something. Might be on next years thread though.
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