A Little Bit


There was a time when I used to put off tackling various projects in life until such time that I had lots of time to do such projects with.

Trouble is, big blocks of spare time don’t come easy in today’s modern life with myriad distractions all around.

I learned that lots can be accomplished in little bits of time if we use those periods effectively. At any point I usually have some task (or three) in various stages of completion. Right now for example, I’m going thru all my beaver traps in preparation for some tentative work in 2013 both out-of-state in February and then back home in-state during March. Depending on weather patterns and when ice-out arrives here versus out in the midwest, I might have time for some ice-out beaver work here before heading west for spring muskrats elsewhere. If not, then not. If so… I’ll be well prepared.

Sold a fair pile of used traps recently to standardize my gear. Like most established trappers, I had odds & ends of every make & model trap you could imagine. If/when I make it out west to trap muskrats in the spring of 2013, it’ll probably be North Dakota and state restrictions on float sets there include covering them with some sort of roof material and/or submerging the trap greater than 2″ below surface to prevent non-target catches of ducks and geese. I have a couple different design concepts in mind that include covered floats or submerged trap floats. In either case the measurements need be specific enough that one or two trap designs would fit well. It’s not like I’m sizing floats to the 1/4″ or anything like that, but I don’t want a half-dozen varied traps to handle in random fashion.

With that in mind I sold off my #2 square-jaw coilsprings to other rat trappers that like them as I did and still do. One of the pending deals fell thru, and I find myself still the owner of 15 old-style Victor #2 coils with reverse-tip jaws that enter the frame base from outside pointing in. This was Victor’s initial answer to pleas for a redesigned trap to hold eastern coyotes a few decades ago when they began showing up in numbers and dismantled traps on location became too much of a routine.

Once Victor traps made that design change, coyotes no longer popped the jaws from frame with ease. They did however bend the trap frame base into a bow, which in part spawned the advent of baseplating modifications to traps.

Also, the jawspread on these style traps is smaller than the older square-jaw style… more of a #1.5 coil trap that was squared off and jawtips reversed into the frame base. Anyway, they did and still do make a nice little fox trap that will coyotes or coon as incidental catches. I decided to keep these strays rather than relist them for sale, but they need some tweaks. Cut the chains off from side frame anchor and will switch to bottom swivel off the center of trap frame. The base is still rather thin, but rather than spending $1.50 each to plate them I’ll kick in another $2 for mid-chain shock springs instead. That will keep any catches from bending the bases while cushioning the hold as well.

Got a fair amount of true 2/0 twist chain laying around from various sources, so beefing up the chains with crunchproof swivels and inline shock springs will make these aged tools modern day fox gear. Three of them need coil springs replaced, and I might just do all of them at once while I’m at it. So there’s about an hour or so of vice = pliers work waiting for me to fill some bits of spare time.

Still need to start cutting staghorn sumac stakes for foothold muskrat trapping in deeper water before the sap starts running heavy. We’ll chronicle that process with pics when I get to it this weekend. Speaking of pics… I need to float some local flows to compile a pile of specific situation pics for a preoject I’m working on, too. Winds have been too strong lately for capturing good photos at/below the surface of water. Weather forecast looks favorable for this weekend, and need to get it done before new emergent growth shoots up too much.

I keep making a list of all the “little things” that need my attention and somehow or other that list continues to grow instead of shrink. Hopefully that’s not a case of me getting further behind as it is getting a bunch of things done, little bits at a time :)



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