My brother and I set out about 11:30 AM, a rather late start in my book. For the first 20 miles the weather was cold but calm, the other half of the trip was windy and even colder. Each ride gets longer and longer due to the 10 miles of the bumpiest, most windblown terrain the almighty can put together.
We didn't see any new wolf sign's this time around, but we did see some new wolverine signs. I had some pretty good wolverine trapping last year with my bucket sets, but this year the wolverines that inhabit the trees don't seem to care much for buckets. Every trip out, there's at least 1 wolverine that passes up a bucket, so I think I'm going to come up with a way to make some natural looking cubbies before next weekend to outsmart these tree dwellers. We put out a few more sets for wolves, so hopefully the next time they make their circuit they come across at least a couple of them.
In the meantime, here's a few pics of how I like to make my wolf sets.
Here's a pic of the ideal location for a set. This is a narrow pass where the wolves are funneled through the bottom of the river bed. As you can see the snow accumulates on the left side of the pass, so I find a location on the right side where the wind has little resistance. Bare tundra is a good indicator that the wind is constantly blowing in that location.
I use my ice pick to chip away the tundra to recess my trap below the surface, and then underneath my trap I chip an anchor hole 4"x4"x 4" deep for the chain. I tie a couple of knots at the end of the chain, and place that in the anchor hole. Then you pack the anchor hole full of snow and pour some hot water into the hole, stomp it down and repeat the process until the "slushy" is plumb level with the surface.
After I finished anchoring the end of the chain, I break some willow twigs that are then placed underneath the trap to keep it from freezing to the tundra. The piece of hard crust snow will help aide with the hare trigger on this Helfrinch 750.
I like to make my sets where there is some hard crusted snow close by, ideally blocks that are about 3 inches thick work best. I like to make my blocks a couple of inches bigger then the hole I made in the ground for my trap.
This just shows the thickness of the square block after trimming it down. I like to trim about 1/2" at a time, first you stand the block up on one side, hold your blade parallel to the ground and trim as much as you can, then you flip the block on the other side and repeat the process on all 4 sides until it is 1" thick. This takes some practice, I found that the harder the snowdrift the better off you'll be.
I then place the block of snow over my trap, then carefully start trimming the snow with a large kitchen knife with a serrated edge. You want to get the basic shape first and then trim it down little by little until you cut it enough so it will drop into the hole over the trap.
After I trimmed my snow down, I use the small chunks of snow I trimmed off to fill in the small voids around the edge of the trap, then I get some fine snow to fill in the remaining cracks to make it look like a solid piece of snow. You want to use the blade of your knife to kinda pack the snow down so it freezes as one piece.
I like to get a few handfulls of moss and spread it over the snow to blend it in with the surroundings place your lure and hope a pack comes by.
In this pic here you can see the gut pile with a trap to the left of my brother, and a rock about 15' to the right with a trap. This my ideal 2 trap setup.