Modifications For Standard Havaharts (save time)

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ivan3, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    Over the years I've read multiple posts about traps being knocked over, preds grabbing bait by reaching through bars, preds avoiding the trigger release plate (treadle), and `unknowns', e.g., `must have been a little mink...' escaping from closed traps. In addition to increasing the useful lifetime of a havahart the following might save you some time and decrease your overall frequency of predation, i.e., trap baited and set more often than not.

    Yes, dogs are good, electric fencing is better. If these are not options, or you expect to free range with decreased frequency of overall predation (you can't keep preds from coming, but you can sure knock down the density in pred. heavy areas, i.e., where the chickens are...), then these mods might be useful.

    We started using the single door model 1079 (20"x10"x12" - the length of the new version of the model is 32") back in `97, long before the chooks took up residence. Something was attacking our outdoor cat and eating its food. It (they) was also tearing up Cassie's Southern Nocturnal Flying Squirrel feeders.

    Greenhorn that I was I simply placed the baited trap on the front deck, what could go wrong? The following morning a pred was in the trap. However, the raccoon had managed to move, drag the trap (from the inside) approx. eight feet across the deck (pooping and urinating all the way - mixed in with the dumped, uneaten, tuna) where it was brought to a halt by a 50ft. coil of extension cord. The raccoon managed to pull a sufficient length of cord into the trap, through multiple gaps, chewing and twisting, wrapping it around itself, to such a degree, that it was unable to move (I had no problem taking a clean shot).
    Swabbing the deck, getting the coon out of the trap, etc. took over an hour, what a mess.

    It now takes around ten minutes. In the following shots the havahart bought in `97 for $31.99 is used (a few bent bars from bullets - don't use hyper-velocity .22LR's use cheap ammo), it has seen continuous service and remains functional (just removed a raccoon from it this morning).

    Our usual setup for all three traps. Use a 30-40lb `paver' on top to keep trap from being tipped over, I use 2"x2"s running along edges of bottom, this prevents the vermin from digging too much vegetation soil up and into trap and allows waste to fall through bars.

    This is for the cage smart and long armed beasts that will try to dig under and/or reach through. Or, if you wish to disguise your trap with a fabric of some sort and don't want to find it pulled inside the trap with the vermin: (a 14" pair of bolt cutters will make short work of cutting the hardware cloth and UV resistant cable ties can be used as fasteners).
    The `standard' (model 1079) havahart is easy to modify using 1/2" hardware cloth. Cut three 24"x12" panels for the top and sides and a single 12"x12" for the back (trap is 10" wide, the addtional 2"'s allows room for trigger release arm to work properly). Adjust measurements to your trap(s) dimensions:

    To double the chances of getting vermin to set off trap use a length of 12-16lb. test fishing line and use it to suspend bait through the top of trap. Tie the line off on the trigger release arm of the trap -fish hook through eye on connector will also work (either the pred steps on treadle or pred pulls down on food, either will trigger the door). Try a `chunk' of bait that is just short of being heavy enough to set off the trigger release (a `gulp' chicken leg for example). Suspend the `leg' from a small fish hook on a leader. This can be slipped into position with a stick, through open door, and the the line pulled up through bars from outside of trap -
    The pics below show where to attach (the nylon cord is for example only):

    To increase treadle size, but not have to alter baiting (like a can of dried catfood), take a flexible plastic divider from a notebook/date book and use a short piece of duct tape to attach to trigger plate/treadle. Vermin's wt. will push down the plastic, and the plastic sheet will just curve up over the can (whatever is used to increase trigger plate size make sure it isn't so wide, or angled, that it will catch on the bars of the sides of trap:
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  2. Violet22

    Violet22 Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    Central Coast, CA
    GREAT tips! Thanks![​IMG]
  3. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    What an awesome set of ideas! Thank you!!!
  4. mmwb

    mmwb Songster

    Jul 2, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    A few modifications can go a long way. Good tips. I might add, if you have the trap on the lawn and don't want a coon tearing up your turf (they can stretch their nasty little legs out a ways) then set the trap on a piece of plywood or OSB large enough to prevent it. Also, as far as raccoons are concerned, they very often carry round worm. It is a nasty parasite and can cause serious problems in humans. If they are carrying it, it will be in the feces. Many ADC professionals flame any residue on the trap with a torch.
  5. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Songster

    May 15, 2009
    You're not a greenhorn anymore!!! What lessons we learn. Great work!
  6. Great info ivan3. Been doin a little trapping myself. Went a little overboard when I purchased my trap, but it has paid for itself many times over. It`s a bobcat/coyote sized trap with a live bait well in the end oposite the door. Hear`s a few pics for your entertainment.....Pop





  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    Lollipop wrote: Went a little overboard when I purchased my trap, but it has paid for itself many times over.

    Impressive. How, and what did you bait with (same for fox and bobcat)? The brand and model of your trap would be of interest as well (obviously you've got the method down cold).

    We've taken only two foxes in our little HaH's (one Manged vixen - only adult) and this one (shot the three adults that came to see why it was yelping). This is somewhat like trapping a female raccoon, here, in late January/early Feb (breeding season in MidMO). I'll just move that trap out in a clearing behind the house and check with the spot light every hour or so. In `03 took 5 amorous males in the space of three hours.

    The bobcats, here, stay close the the Missouri river, and the Dept. Of Natural Resources continues to assert that there are NO Mountain Lions (last yr., five miles east, a couple's `Jumping' Mule was raked by an animal with distance between claw marks consistent with a Cougar. Guess if they `don't exist' in MO. I wouldn't have to report shooting it).​
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  8. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    yea, they say the same thing here, (just dont google mt lion sightings in mammouth cave ntl park) the park had to put out a warning after repeated sightings by vistors and rangers, and of course the game wardens say otherwise
  9. Thank you ivan3. Out of necessity I`ve managed to trap anything I needed to in my area. The trap was very expensive ($200) about 8 years ago, but worth every penny. I bought it at a hardware/farm supply store in Fort Pierce, FL. It was built by

    Lightning Trap Co.
    (863) 763-2575
    12068 NE 22nd Ave
    Okeechobee, FL 34972

    I don`t have a model number, but they are a small outfit and will be able to supply the correct trap.

    For bait, I use a couple of whole eggs and the trap stays baited 24/7. Eggs work for anything I have trapped except the bobcat. The bobcat slipped into my yard and killed both of my most prized Brazilian breeders. If you look at the bobcat pics, you can see the carcass of the hen that I used for bait.

    My home in FL was on 2 1/2 acres, zoned agriculture, in the middle of sprawling suburbia, in West Palm Beach. The city was actually building up around me. The back of my property and thus my chicken yard, backed up to a dry canal. Whenever development reared it`s ugly head, all the wildlife was pushed down that canal and into my yard. I actually averaged 5-6 coons a week and on 2 occasions had 2 coons in that trap on the same night and at the same time.

    I breed exotic gamefowl and I don`t have a feather on my yard worth less than $150. It doesn`t take long for a trap like this to pay for itself.

    Sorry to be so long winded. I enjoyed your post and you and I certainly have a lot in common. Hope I didn`t hijack your thread......Pop
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Some one was catching skunks and releasing them in my area. I caught and disposed of 13 skunks.

    Sorry the picture is so dark I thought I had better ones but couldn't find them.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009

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