Catching a "trap-savvy" Raccoon
I have recently been the victim of somebody's raccoon "relocation" and the raccoons are smart enough to steal the bait from your regular "Have a Hart" style box trap. Last night at 9pm I set a box trap with a honey bun. At midnight the honey bun was gone but the trap appeared completely untouched. Tracks in the sand showed the coon approached on the side and I assume got the bait through the wire. Sometimes you will see the trap moved around, turned over, tripped, but no catch - they are stealing the bait from the outside. Sometimes they seem to just know to step over the trip plate while they are inside. Any way they do it, your luck catching them in the box trap is going to be really bad.
I believe the box trap is more humane and I highly prefer it. However, I refuse to let the little boogers outsmart me either.
These are my leg traps. Left side is a Duke #1.5 coilspring trap that I recently bought. Top is a Northern Woods #1.5 coilspring that I got from a friend. Bottom/right is a Duke #2 coilspring that I recently bought. Duke traps run less than $6 each. I purchased online from Murray's Traps.
For this one, I'm putting the bait inside a dog crate. The raccon will use it's defty paws to reach through the wires to get the bait. I have used this set once before a few nights ago. I didn't have anything to make a stake out of, so I bought a dog stake for $1.97 at WalMart.
Recent bait of choice: mini honey buns. 16 in a pack for $3 (and I find the package useful for setting the trap with)
When trapping for wild raccoons trappers use poly fill or wax paper, or even just leaves under the trip pan so that dirt doesn't get under there and block the trap from firing. For this little setup, I've been putting the package from the honey bun under it.
Use fine sand/dirt with NO rocks/sticks/anything else that would interfere with the trap to cover it up with. This light dusty white sand that my father in law put down in the drive works great for me. It's also conveniently good for tracking in too.
I'm using these concrete blocks for "guides" to make the coon step where I want him to.
This is the final set:
The results of my last set: (yes, he beat up my game cam!)
Some trappers say that a #1.5 won't hold a coon, but I beg to differ. This is the second one I've caught in one.
Another set I built tonight, using the box trap to hold the bait.
First I staked the box trap in with this re-bar. It's long, my grandpa's been using it for years to stake his tomato plants with. I drove it with a fence post driver.
I drove a second one to stake the trap with
Cover with sand
When trapping these semi-domestic raccoons, they don't care if my scent is all over the place. They don't care that I moved stuff around and left big stakes sticking out of the ground. They know the box trap is a food source and that's all that they need to know to draw them in. They are not as suspicious as their woodsy wild relatives. The box trap is set on the known trail that the raccon used last night to visit and steal bait.
For more information about setting traps, I found some youtube videos very helpful. Search the terms "dirt hole set raccoon trap" or some varient of that.