soaked muskrat

Posted by: Dale F

soaked muskrat - 01/03/15 10:25 AM

I vaguely recall asking this before but has been quite awhile ago and not sure if I asked on this site, anyway while checking rat traps yesterday one rat was soaking wet. I always snap them a time or two to get most of the water off but this one was flat out water logged. Not sure why this happens. It did have a couple small bite holes in it but nothing major, was caught under the ice on a 24 hour check with body grips. The rest of the rats from same area were fine. Dale
Posted by: Mike Conrad

Re: soaked muskrat - 01/03/15 11:18 AM

Sounds like it was fighting with something just prior to, or after, being caught - more than likely a mink.
Posted by: castiron

Re: soaked muskrat - 01/03/15 10:28 PM

I must be missing something here. All my rats are soaking wet when I catch them. I also snap them a couple times to get a lot of the water out of them but they are still a good ways from being dry. We do not get enough ice here to trap under it. I get more rat damage here from owls than any thing else. You should not have that problem under the ice.
Posted by: Hal

Re: soaked muskrat - 01/04/15 09:01 AM

I think what Dale means is the rat was saturated. In other words, it was wet all the way through the under fur. Generally this only happens when a rat lays in the water for several days.

I had a stretch of creek one time where [b]every]/b] rat I caught, on a 24 hour check, was saturated like that. There was something in that water that penetrated the oil on the rat's fur. The creek was downstream from a golf course, which may have been the problem.

Otherwise, a freshly drowned rat (or beaver) usually has dry under fur. I have no explanation for what happened to that single rat on Dale's line. If it had been fighting in the water, maybe it did get wet that way. But I have caught a lot of rats with fresh bite marks that still had dry under fur. Perhaps this rat was genetically deficient in some manner.

Hal
Posted by: Dale F

Re: soaked muskrat - 01/04/15 12:30 PM

Just had my curiosity up wondering why, thanks for the replies. The rat I remember from before like this was in the same ditch about half mile down stream but this ditch I trap for several miles and on most years has very decent numbers of rats in it and I don't see this often. This was a good size rat so I thought maybe it wasn't healthy or something like that. Dale