NDR - large rodents

Nick Zito

Active member
The whole family got our trapping licenses this year, and since you have to be 12 to hunt in CT, but there's no minimum age for trapping (basically 10 to get the license), we took took the opportunity to get the girls out in the field doing something new for all of us. Rose will be 12 during spring turkey; Charlotte just turned 10.

In CT we need to check traps daily, so it was becoming a little disheartening for the first 3 days driving 45 minutes each way to check the traps (thankfully on my way to work when not teleworking).

Finally on day 4 i managed to snag one in a conibear, a big one. Really tough hiking a waterlogged rodent out a mile uphill to the car. Day 5 was very full. 3 beavers in footholds.

Yesterday we went and pulled out the traps after having lunch with my mom for my 35th birthday. All of the traps were empty except one, so the girls got to really see what it was like, and they carried out some of the gear (thankfully).

A dying hobby here in CT, but they all had a good time browsing through the USAFoxx catalog to see what can be made with the pelts.
 

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That looks like a good time. What did you or they decide on for the skins?
 
And apologies, I can't figure out how to rotate these darn photos
It's a process to learn (for me) but easy to do. Give me a call and I can walk you thru it or some one else can direct you thru the process. It really is easy but some of the prompts are hidden.
 
Outstanding! Nice to see the girls and you out catching some fur and having fun.
What size footholds are those? I sold my #3 jumps to someone on this site years ago. They worked well for me.
I sure miss trapping, have done any since 1992. I’ve been living vicariously through watching YouTube videos of guys up north. I hear that beaver is the only thing bringing any real money these days. Muskrats are down to $1-3, coons and fox $5-10.
Hard to believe back in the 80s were getting $10+ for rats and $20-45 for coons and fox. Blanket beaver brought $50-70 or more.
 
The whole family got our trapping licenses this year, and since you have to be 12 to hunt in CT, but there's no minimum age for trapping (basically 10 to get the license), we took took the opportunity to get the girls out in the field doing something new for all of us. Rose will be 12 during spring turkey; Charlotte just turned 10.

In CT we need to check traps daily, so it was becoming a little disheartening for the first 3 days driving 45 minutes each way to check the traps (thankfully on my way to work when not teleworking).

Finally on day 4 i managed to snag one in a conibear, a big one. Really tough hiking a waterlogged rodent out a mile uphill to the car. Day 5 was very full. 3 beavers in footholds.

Yesterday we went and pulled out the traps after having lunch with my mom for my 35th birthday. All of the traps were empty except one, so the girls got to really see what it was like, and they carried out some of the gear (thankfully).

A dying hobby here in CT, but they all had a good time browsing through the USAFoxx catalog to see what can be made with the pelts.

that is great. Given your proclivities, you have to be eating them.

Did you take the CT course? or is there an easier (online?) way? I'd like my license to put out a few dog proofs to reduce the local coon population.
 
Pretty cool Nick. This year I am going to find someone to make me a marten or fisher hat. You have any ideas on that, let me know.
 
Great to see the kids enjoying it with you Nick. No better way to learn about animals than trapping. I did it when I was a kid, then only a couple years in the last 45. One of our neighbors in Maine is filling his shed with beaver, it's got me thinking I should gear up for a retirement hobby.

As we all know, sea level rise is here. Tidal cattail marshes that used to have vast muskrat house concentrations, which we trapped around, now have nothing. They can't withstand daily inundation, where years ago it might only happen on a big tide once a month. Very sad.
 
All beaver so far. We haven't set for anything else yet. The girls got a bunch of 110s from our colleague who has watched them grow over the years, but we haven't set them yet. There are a number of duke 1.5 long springs as well I. The trap shed, also not set yet. In addition we have some of the species specific traps for coons and opossum where they stick their hand in and get caught (dog proof) but also haven't set them yet.

Tod I took both CT courses. They only offer them in tandem now. I actually took the coyote land trapping twice because of the merger. Originally I took coyote trapping because of timing, then basic wasn't offered, then they were only offered in tandem. In addition I took the double set for myself, and then a second time with the wife and kids, so thrice! In addition I'm a firearms safety instructor so I was able to slip both kids in easily enough, though there were concerns my youngest wouldn't pass. Not surprisingly she passed easily.

We are definitely eating them, because we waste nothing in this house if possible. Beave stew of course, but also sausage will be on the table because we consume over 200lbs of sausage per year, and more if we made extra Italian sausage with double fennel. Broccoli rabe with sausage is a huge staple for us in the spring and summer coming from an Italian background on both sides of the family.

USAfoxx will make the items for us for a cost, but everyone wants a Russian style hat from their catalog. My wife wants a vest, and the girls also want bedspreads (even tho the house is 70-75 all winter with the wood stove). They also ogled the slippers and mittens.

We are using 330 conibears the 7.5" footholds, no padding. They're 4 springs which are brutal to set, but they break legs and don't let go, so I'm not complaining. Downside, we don't bring the dog because her little twig legs (she's a 30lb Brittany when soaking wet) would be crunched by those. A major supplier, WCS is in CT so I order online or just drive up to Suffield after work to pick orders up.
 
Good stuff.
I’ve eaten beaver twice, once cooked by a colleague’s grandmother, it was amazing. Second time I cooked it, it was ok. Grandma is almost always a better cook.
I never handled 4-coils, everyone I knew who beaver trapped used 330 or #3 longsprings.
 
The 4 springs are brutal setting with hands and waders, but I will attest they'll jump through a lot. Snow; mud, you name it. They like to grab your fingers too! Either way, we are happy. We are resetting next week closer to home on a nuisance property in neighboring town owned property. Less driving is a huge plus!

I'm thinking the may grinder may need to be fire up again. Surprisingly little meat on these things in relation to body weight, but waste not want not
 
Wonderful! Love to see the kids involved. When our son was that age, he and I trapped muskrats for a couple of winters. My wife has beautiful muskrat mittens and earmuffs from USAFoxx as a result.
 
USAfoxx will make the items for us for a cost, but everyone wants a Russian style hat from their catalog. My wife wants a vest, and the girls also want bedspreads (even tho the house is 70-75 all winter with the wood stove). They also ogled the slippers and mittens.

For them making something, do you send them already tanned hides or will they do that work for you? I have a beaver vest that I really loved wearing. Nice and toasty warm.

I would LOVE to have a bedspread.....someday perhaps. Don't need one but I do like em.
 
that is great. Given your proclivities, you have to be eating them.

Did you take the CT course? or is there an easier (online?) way? I'd like my license to put out a few dog proofs to reduce the local coon population.
Based on my targeting of woodchucks last year, a Have-A-Heart baited with cantaloupe will do just fine. Not sure what the law is for you--we can relocate on public land or kill trapped coons here--which is odd, because it also a furbearer with a limited season but no bag limit.

As for what to do with the pelts, I did a local access TV interview with a host wearing a beaver skin vest just last week.
 
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