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


Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 3663
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: 9943
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: 955
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
_________________________
"The only constant----is change."

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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 Offline


Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 3663
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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#14372 - 06/16/06 12:31 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
PaTrapperDownunder Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 18
Loc: Strathpine Queensland Australi...
I agree with Hal over the year lure testing has saved me alot of time and money. This is even more important when working in predator control.

The late Charlie Dobbins thought it was important enough to write a 120 page book (Evaluation of Lures, baits and Urines)on the subject well worth the $12.00 it cost.

Mr. Otter I agree you cant go past the older lure suppliers I'd add Lenons to your list.

For a new trapper I believe that learning location is the single most important way to success.

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#14373 - 06/16/06 08:36 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
Mike Marchewka Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/02
Posts: 152
Loc: Crystal Lake,Illinois
I'll go out on a limb here...for the benefit of the new trappers that are not sure where to start.
Purchase three lures this season...of the three one should have a CASTOR smell...one should have a Skunk smell... and one should have a RED FOX smell(gland or urine based).
With these three odors (and maybe some homemade bait like chunked up fish) you can make several sets and use either the lure odor by itself or use it with others in combination.
Just my opinion...

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#14374 - 06/18/06 03:49 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
Dusty Offline
Member+

Registered: 12/15/00
Posts: 420
Loc: North Pole, Alaska, USA
My main criteria for picking a lure is consistency. No matter what the lure, it's just not worth the hassle for me if I can't get the stuff out of the bottle at -40. Turns out that most lures that get really stiff in the cold also don't release much scent (that I can detect) in the cold - no surprise there.

After that little test (which gets rid of about 90% of the lure made), type seems to me to be about the only thing that matters. I do have a couple that consistently perform for me (I got suckered into testing them as they were being developed, they worked, so I kept using them), otherwise I use Laugemans - because Dean Wilson sold it for 40 years, and that's what you use when you trap AK!

I'm absolutely convinced that a "good" lure traps trappers, because there isn't that much difference in the performance on the trapline (after the above freeze test, which makes no difference to about 99% of the people reading this). For example, my first year trapping AK I had lots of lynx not enter my cubbies. A local trapper told me that they would often take those last couple steps for a good castor-based lure, and gave me a recipe for just such a thing. I made some up, carefully following the directions, and started catching more lynx! Over the years I've played with that recipe - replaced the glycerine with a freezeless substance that I won't mention here, back to glycerine, added catnip, no catnip, peppermint oil, spearmint oil, etc., etc., etc. Makes absolutely no difference; castor in something that keeps it smelling good in the cold catches cats. Everything else is fluff.

We - and the critters we're trying to catch - are all mammals. We all process olfactory information in about the same way, even though humans are fairly poor at gathering that information in the first place. Ever notice that you've (well, some of you - maybe laugh ) have been lured as well? Most perfumes are attractive to most people (particularly when they hold the promise of something more - just like a good dirthole!). That stuff Grandma gets in the gallon jugs at Sam's Club for $12 might not get you to looking for the source, but the vast majority of perfumes out there all fit in the "good" category. I suspect lures are about the same. Interestingly enough - judging by the aisle after isle of perfume at the store - trappers aren't the only ones susceptible to the "magic scent in a bottle" theory.

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#14375 - 06/22/06 07:29 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
redsnow Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2041
Loc: WV
All good advice above. I think Charlie Dobbins called the "sand-pad" - "blank sets". (a set without trap). One of my buddies is always looking for the "Magic Potion", a sure-fire dope that will pull critters from the next county. the guy has trapped almost 60 years. a few years ago he kept records and used 10 or 12 different lures, all caught fur. the lures were made by guys you've heard of, and not one of them "stood-out". like all of us, i'm sure he missed a few animals, but for actual catches they were about the same.

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#14376 - 06/22/06 06:57 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
FLSH ETR Offline
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 955
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Ditto, Redsnow. All great advice. Now may I add one more. Check your state regs. In Wis, we can not place bait or scent for furbearing animals during the closed season. So the sand pads will have to be done in the fall, which, as mentioned above, makes more sense anyway. Frank. cool
_________________________
"The only constant----is change."

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#14377 - 06/23/06 10:15 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
NEbowhunter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 574
Loc: Holdrege, Nebraska
alot of good advice on this topic. the sand pad seeems like a great idea, but really probably wouldn't work for me purley do to time. I'm as busy in the off season getting ready and with other stuff that i wouldn't have time and during the season, if i'm out there scouting, i'm putting in a set.

i agree with Ric on writing down your lure. If you don't, can you honestly say all year long that you remember every lure you used at every set without writing it down.

i think there is alot of emphasis on lure and some truth to it, but i believe most sucess comes from confidence. if you are confident in your technique and location and equipment, you'll catch them.

i've got friends that catch a bunch of fur that will throw out some lures cause they don't catch anything on it. some of these lures work the best for me.

on cats, if i'm catching fur, i don't pay much attention. if they walk by and don't give me a look, that doesn't necessarily mean they don't like it. they are just picky. more than likely nothing would have caught them.

on coyotes,if i start getting refusals, i get to looking more at technique than i do lure and if i finally put it together that the lure is the problem, i will switch. by the way, i have never found it to be the lure.

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#14378 - 06/28/06 07:44 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
cjstrapping Offline
Member+

Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 239
Loc: NorthWest Ohio
I have to side with Ric on this.

(And Hal to an extent, you learn over the course of time, picking up the finer points of trapping, and what may not have worked for you at first, may wind up being your "favorite lure" a few years later)

Location.....location....location....
Just an experiment three years ago, I made 10 "mock" dirtholes. Five of them I added lure to, and the other five, simply a dirthole. All ten had an equal amount of activity.
Sure, high volume call lures may "lure" the K9 over from a not so hot location or travel area, but my opinion is, you get that fox there, a scent free (human), natural looking, solid bedded trap will cath that fox. Something in the hole to keep it working the set for a few seconds, and he's caught. I won't even post some of the goofy, absurd baits and lures I've used, but it's not rocket science. You learn the basic fundamentals, and you'll catch those not so smart fox.

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#14379 - 07/09/06 01:30 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
trap jaw Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/05
Posts: 430
Loc: Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania
I think Mr. Otter makes a good point. If we're talking about a novice trapper inquiring about attractors, there are several good directions to lead them towards. Now let me say that there were some other good posts that mentioned location as a factor. This is also a huge point. There's not a lure in the world that will work if the set is not on location. By the same token, an average lure formulation, that is on location, can very well put skins on the stretcher.

Now, just something else to consider. A seasoned trapper can make a number of good suggestions to a novice who needs a little direction on the way of selecting an attractor with good potential, however, that still does not mean that the lure is going to produce even if the begining trapper has done everything correctly. In the general area of the county I trap , two of the more reputable names in fox trapping lures have been used to death. If you are trapping in an area that gets a lot of pressure and you are using the same lure as other trappers, well, it may effect your results also.

Having said that, it may not be so far off base to say "whatever works for you" taking into consideration certain variables. I would say to a novice " here are a few good suggestions as far as reputable lure brands, you will have to determine "what works best for you"

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#14380 - 07/11/06 06:51 AM Re: Determining "good" lures
J Severing Offline
Member+

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 234
Loc: Livingston Manor N.Y. 12758
kinda find it funny no one mentioned windage, for water lure and land lures, the best lure in the world isnt gonna do diddly if the animal can blow bye and have no clue......example in point....standing up wind of a half rotten, sun melted, maggot infested deer carcuse off the edge of a road and having no clue, then standing down wind of the same, tring to get far enough away from the stentch, before you toss tour cookies.....jim

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#14381 - 07/14/06 12:03 PM Re: Determining "good" lures
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
LOCATION

Is the most important part of catching,and no lure on earth will draw a animal to your trap If It's not there.

We must also understand that our senses don't even come close to a canines senses. They make a living with their nose.

There Is no magic In the bottle.

otter

Otter

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#25474 - 10/25/17 01:43 PM Re: Determining "good" lures [Re: Ric]
Archive Offline


Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 1116
Dated for search.

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