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#14362 - 06/13/06 06:38 AM Determining "good" lures
Ric Online   content


Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 3657
Loc: Wellington,OH=USA
We have a new trapper asking for lure advice and I see, "Find what works for you." Well,how do you detirmine what lures work well on your lines?

(Edit: I added some quotation marks to make it a little easier to read. smile -- Hal)

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#14363 - 06/13/06 07:54 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
When I first got into canine trapping I bought several brand name lures. Before the season I made lots of test sets, no trap. results from these test sets determined what lures I ended up using.
To be very frank just about all lures I have used have caught fur.

More important than the lure Is where and how you make your sets. And even more Important, do you have fair target populations. If there not there you can't catch them.

There Is no magic In a bottle.

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#14364 - 06/13/06 09:52 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 9922
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
This topic always gives me a chuckle. So, here is a blanket statement that is sure to incite some disappointment.

Beginning trappers are most likely incapable of determining what lures "work best" on their lines.

A beginning trapper is at the very bottom of the learning curve. He has so many things going on (and going wrong smile that's it is gol-darn near impossible to tell which of these to blame for the inherent lack of success in a beginning trapline. But, invariably they go looking for that "Magic in a Bottle". If the lure they select doesn't fill their shed with fur it's "no good!" And on to the next bottle they go until finally (after a few years) they seem to hit upon the "right" lure and they start catching animals. What most of these trappers fail to take into account is that over that period they actually have learned to trap. I've made this challenge before and I'll make it again, I think if many of these trappers would go back and again try one of the lures they thought was "no good" -- it would now work for them.

(I just thought of a good analogy here. This is like learning to ride a bicycle. If you followed the same process in learning to ride a bicycle as described above, every time you fell of the bicycle you would declare that bicycle to be "no good". Then, you would have to find a new bicycle and try again. Pretty soon, you would find the "right" bicycle and you would be able to stay upright on it. smile smile )

But, that doesn’t answer Ric's question. So, here's what I do when I'm testing a lure. Generally, I find a relatively clear area that I know the animals are frequenting. (This is called "location" and selecting location is the first point at which many beginning trappers fall down. If you put your lure where there ain't no animals, it ain't gonna work.) Usually I scratch out three test circles about three feet across, I scratch this down to bare dirt and below. Then I sift a layer of dirt over the test area to give me a good medium in which to read tracks. Then I make an artificial flat set. I place my attractor right in the middle of the circle. Consistency is the name of the game here, or you could skew the results. Make sure all your visual attractors are the same. If you are using pieces of wood use all the same size and type of wood. Frankly, I prefer to use rocks all of the same general shape an size. This way, I can be fairly sure that one rock itself is not more attractive than the other.

Place a little bit of the lure on the side of the rock, then place some on a lure holder and put it underneath the edge of the rock. On the trapline a lot of times, I use wool for a lure holder. For these tests I use a cotton ball. Some animal might be attracted to wool itself, but cotton holds very little attraction for any animal. Go look at your test plots on a regular basis, the tracks in the bare dirt will tell you what the animals are doing. I suggest you do these test in the fall, close to trapping season. You can do them through the summer, but remember hot summer weather can have a deleterious effect on many lures, as well as the critters themselves, these lures might otherwise prove just fine in the fall.

The above is what I do when I am testing a lure formulation. I start with the base and use the three plots to test different ingredients or combination of ingredients against one another to see which is the most attractive. But there is no reason it couldn't be done to test three different kinds of lures.

So what I recommend is that a beginning trapper by $100 worth of lure and test them. Yeah, right. The beginning trapper is ordinarily hard pressed to turn loose of the money to by a few traps, let alone $100 worth of lure. (And god forbid that he should spend $12 on a book :rolleyes: )

So here is what I really recommend for the beginner. Buy a couple of bottles of lure from a reputable dealer, and don't worry about it. If and when you finally learn to trap, then you can go back and analyze your choice of lures. Don't get the cart ahead of the horse.

smile -- Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#14365 - 06/13/06 08:30 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 941
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Interesting. Now these three test circles, are they created next to each other, or are they in the vicinity of each other, say 100 yds? confused Frank. cool
_________________________
"I thought getting old would take longer."

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#14366 - 06/13/06 08:31 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
J Severing Offline
Member+

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 234
Loc: Livingston Manor N.Y. 12758
some real good advice a quick point is what reactions at the test site accur most commonly with the lures your testing, one...two foot prints a sniff and gone... multiple prints... dug out from under and carried off.... evidence of rubbing..... droppings\urination... if your a beginner study\look for the common sweet spot for the foot placement the animal is showing you when hes checking out your lure placement

the reactions to the lure your testing should also help a trapper dictate actual lure placement at the set and or...in part the type set presented for the best results with that particular lure or lures your testing until you get some more hands on experince with using them.....jim

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#14367 - 06/14/06 04:41 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
animalpest Offline
Member+

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 197
Loc: Western Australia
What Hal is suggesting is using whats called a "sand pad". This is commonly used for testing baits and for checking the population density for many animals. The sand pads are normally 1m (3 ft) square (round is fine too so long as they are consistent).

It is an excellent choice for testing lures for your target (and checking their target specificity as well e.g what else it will catch).

The sand pads can be as close as alongside each other (with different lures) or a mile apart, so long as there are enough of them for you to have an idea what is going on with some statistical rigor. In other words, dont do one pad and say that 'x' works or doesnt work as you dont have enough info to be sure of your results.

You can also this with a new lure tried against a 'standard' (ie one that you know works "x" number of times). I used this method to test some battery operated callers a manufacturer wanted me to try and my 'standard' to compare them against was sardines - which had a known visitation rate from previous studies.

And yes, there are too many variables with traps to determine results without a lot of work and expereince - use the lure without the complication of traps.

Hope this helps!!
Mike

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#14368 - 06/14/06 11:35 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
Ric Online   content


Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 3657
Loc: Wellington,OH=USA
Now that test stations have been described well by several contributers.I'll throw this in.A pencil and piece of paper can be a very valueable tool if you have the disiplin to use it.Notes on what is going on at your test stations/trapline are vastly superior to your memory.

Back to what Hal posted.I think there is too much emphisis placed on haveing the "right" lure or "proper" trap.Sounds like a bunch of fisherman talking sometimes.If you are going to rely on either of those to make you sucessful you are going to have a long wait.Learn how to read sign and study animal behaivior and success you will have.Sure it's a longer learning curve that buying some certain item out of a catalog but if you know when and why an animal is walking somewhere it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where to put a trap to catch it.

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#14369 - 06/14/06 08:28 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
WACKYQUACKER Offline
Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 683
Loc: CORRALES, NM
I use a dofferent kind of a testing protocol that has not failed me yet. Now mind ya it works really good for "gun type" canid lures. The first thing to have handy is a kennel filled with dogs. With a stick dipped in the lure walk to the gate at each kennel and judge the tongue / slobber reactions. Any lure that gets the dogs smashing their muzzles through the chain link and extending their tongue while drolling will attract coyotes, fox and most bobcats. This will not work as well for gland lures...they get an entirely different response and require a hose to clean up said response.

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#14370 - 06/15/06 07:24 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
animalpest Offline
Member+

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 197
Loc: Western Australia
Well done Wacky! What Ric and Hal have said is right. I caught about 800 canines before I bought my first lure - sure, I use them now, but just for convenience. They are not magic, although some lures are better than others. And it's often not necessarily the type of behaviour your after (rolling, scratching, slobbering etc), just an enquiry close enough to trap it, and regularly! What you are really after is consistent results, and as Ric said, a piece of paper and pencil sure beats your memory!

Now, back to Hal's post. What "works for you" is what get consistent results. How do you know what is 'consistent'? Experiment, with different lures, with your results recorded -captures or vists that should have resulted in a capture. There is little point recording captures only if your trap setting is hit and miss - record what should/could have been a capture on that lure and leave the results of capture rates to a study of your trap setting methods, not lures.

As for Hal's comment "Beginning trappers are most likely incapable of determining what lures "work best" on their lines." that statement is absolutely right. And I will go further and say without recording results, you are also going to have experienced trappers only knowing what 'works', not what 'works best'. Let me give an example, when researchers are reviewing trap types for a BMP, they want satistics, not personal opinions! Try your different lures, get some experience (based on evidence) and learn.
Mike

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#14371 - 06/15/06 05:47 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
There is one other way.
I like to think there at least two Icons of the lure trade. Russ Carman and Hawbaker. These two men have many years of lure testing and manufactring behind them. I realy don't think a begining trapper can go wrong In buying there lures.

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