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Old February 21, 2014, 12:51 PM   #1
jimmyraythomason
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Trapping otters

Anyone doing any trapping this season? Our Alabama trapping season runs from November 9- February 28th this year. I have concentrated on otter this year but with our Alabama weather, everything from a couple of snowfalls in the 6-8 inch range, 80 degree days to 7 degree days and semi-weekly flooding it has been difficult to maintain the line. In spite of that, with about a week left to trap, I've managed to get 22 beaver, 15 raccoon, 12 otter and 11 muskrat so far. Two of the otter were 26 pounds and 25 pounds that required over sized stretching boards. How has YOUR season gone?
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File Type: jpg Twenty five pound otter.jpg (13.5 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg Twenty six pound otter.jpg (125.7 KB, 85 views)
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Old February 21, 2014, 10:19 PM   #2
scottishkat
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Sounds like you are having a great year. My freind n I got 8 otter this year. Is that a 220 you caught that one with? Water must have been moving fast.
Also got 31 foxes 9 grey's the rest are reds, 2 wildcats, 1 mangie coyote. I don't know how many racoons. Prices are better but not great. Beavers are poor up here this year.

Good Luck probably going to pull mine this weekend.
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Old February 21, 2014, 10:58 PM   #3
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I can't do otters. They hold hands and they're really, really, really cute.

Deer? I can do those.

Not a big hunter...but I respect the necessity.
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Old February 22, 2014, 08:41 AM   #4
jimmyraythomason
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Quote:
Is that a 220 you caught that one with?
No, it is a #280. That is the 26 pound otter. Yes the current was swift and he was swimming upstream. The 25 pounder was taken in a #330 and was also "suit cased" as this one was.
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Old February 22, 2014, 08:45 AM   #5
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Our season ends this Friday so that will end it for me. The last 3 otter I caught came from a 20 acre bass lake. The lake owner said he has lost $20,000 to $30,000 worth of stocked bass to otters. I have only been on his lake for a little over a week but he wants me there on opening day next season.
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Old February 22, 2014, 03:04 PM   #6
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Todays catch with grand daughter

delete
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Old February 22, 2014, 03:08 PM   #7
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This beaver clogged up a perfectly good otter set!

This beaver clogged up a perfectly good otter set! Grand daughter Charity helps with the remake.
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File Type: jpg Trapping with Papa 004.jpg (241.9 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg Trapping with Papa 005.jpg (223.9 KB, 75 views)
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Old February 22, 2014, 11:29 PM   #8
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Do you guys use one of those cable drowning rigs, where the leghold trap is on shore fastened to a light steel cable with a 1-way slider?

I'll explain as I don't know the name but have heard the set described:

The cable runs from a shore anchor (tree, rock) to a deep water anchor. Soon as the animal is caught, it runs with the trap/slider and swims into deep water. The 1-way slider keeps it there for later retrieval. Cold water prevents fur damage.
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Old February 23, 2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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That is called a "drowner cable" and I use them when I use a foot hold trap for water animals. All of my water animals(except some muskrats) were taken in body grip traps this season.
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Old February 23, 2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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Sounds like a good season Jimmyray.
I bought a doz dog-proof 'coon daggers and ran a short line this season for the first time. I only caught 12 'coon but I had fun and it got me in the woods daily. I needed another vice since our deer and quail populations are suffering.
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Old February 23, 2014, 04:15 PM   #11
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That,s a nice looking beaver Jimmy. The beaver here never look that good they get a lot of yellowish guard hair that is just not as pretty as the black or dark brown. I also used the drowning lines where I can you need a pretty good pool and you can't set them on a lodge so we're better served by the conibear. There are alot of otters hear now but they frequent in town and hard to trap gotta set where they are and too much trap loss.

Good Luck the rest of the way I pulled the last 6 I had out yesterday.

Bob
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Old February 23, 2014, 06:49 PM   #12
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Alabama beavers can get quite large. I shot this one with my shotgun after it swam between my legs when I was duck hunting in a swamp. It weighed ~50 lbs.

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Old February 23, 2014, 09:08 PM   #13
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Jimmy, they look real good too. When I was young I had the priviledge of trapping beaver with a friend in Nova Scotia Canada he has since gone home while I carry on. Anyway we caught some beautiful beavers up there one was over 70 pounds needed more than 5 foot of plywood to stretch it on. I was about 17 at the time had to carry it near a mile.

We could only catch 3 per liscence year then. Up here in VA where I am there's no limit but they are the ugliest beavers I've seen. They eat pine tree's. Do they eat pine down there?

Bob
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Old February 23, 2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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Yes, they love pine. My largest this year is 55 pounds. I took 3 beaver in the same set over a 4 day period. One 55 pounds, one 42 pounds and the 3rd was 47 pounds. All are dark colored.
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Old February 24, 2014, 08:11 AM   #15
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This was the worst season we have ever had. I got 12 coons 2 fisher, and a couple weasels. I did however get 3 coons over 40lbs.
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Old February 24, 2014, 11:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
I did however get 3 coons over 40lbs.
Wow, a coon that size is unheard of down here. I caught 2 very large coons this year(by Alabama standards),one of 16 pounds and one of 19 pounds. I can't imagine a 30 pound coon let alone a 40 pounder!
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Old February 24, 2014, 12:02 PM   #17
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We have 4 more days of the season left and a winter mix of weather on tap for Wednesday. I just found an otter rub, a toilet and remains of several otter killed fish on the lake I am currently trapping. I made a couple of baited sets this morning and , weather permitting, will make a couple more tomorrow. Trying to go out on a high note.
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Old February 25, 2014, 12:46 PM   #18
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Took otter #13 of the year this morning. A 22 pound male.
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File Type: jpg otter #13 001.jpg (170.0 KB, 35 views)
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Old February 26, 2014, 10:58 AM   #19
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No otter today but I was privileged to get to watch a bald eagle flying over the lake! What a beautiful sight!
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Old February 26, 2014, 11:16 AM   #20
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Our season is over. Me and my dad trap together and we had a pretty good year. We got 127 rats, 64 coon-24 on one property, 14 beaver, trapped our largest beaver as of now 71lbs, we had one 5 or 6 years ago that was 70lbs, 8 mink, 11 opossum, and of course a handful of wild cats. We don't aim at otter, they just became legal here in NW illinois couple years ago
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Old February 26, 2014, 11:24 AM   #21
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Relieve my ignorance. I realize the cyclical nature of critter populations with weather and food. But is the amount of trapping having any noticeable impact on populations? Or does it generally seem that at the start of a season, there are pretty much just as many critters as the year before?

(It's been many a decade since I did any trapping, back right after WW II. )
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Old February 26, 2014, 11:49 AM   #22
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Art, we have so few trappers in my area or even in the state that it would be hard to know what the impact of trapping is here. Since the resurgence of otter here, there has been a marked downturn in muskrat and mink populations. Beaver and coyote populations are exploding and landowners are begging for trappers. The landowner I'm currently trapping otters for has even bought traps for me to assure I'll be back next year. Landowners have been contacting me for beaver control all season.
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Old February 26, 2014, 12:03 PM   #23
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My brother in law gets deer hunting land through his trapping skills here in NW MS. I'm trying to pick up what I can, to be honest I never knew we had otter in our area until he drug a nice male out of one of his traps set earlier this fall. The land owners definitely appreciate the service.
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Old February 26, 2014, 08:35 PM   #24
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Thanks. Just curious.

I know people in central Texas have griped about problems with beavers. There are some, seen from time to time, over here in south Georgia.

The biggest problem around here is feral cats and fire ants.
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Old February 28, 2014, 12:39 PM   #25
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Alabama's trapping season ends today. My final tally was 23 beaver, 16 coon, 13 otter and 12 muskrats.
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