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#7674 - 05/04/06 06:20 PM 280's for otter in deep water
Molunkus Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Maine
I've been doing some scouting lately locating new otter areas for next season and I've found some promising old beaver ponds. These ponds have some great old beaver runs, a foot or so wide with the water a couple feet deep. My question is should I set my conibears just under the surface with a dive pole or should they be at the bottom of the run with some more substantial obstruction over the top?

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#7675 - 05/05/06 05:57 PM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
The reason for the channels Is that the animal swims on the bottom that's how these channels were formed. So the trap should be placed directly on the bottom.
I would be using 330s In these channels,the bigger opening will get you more catches.
If you can find the old dens or lodges make sure to set the den opening.
I don't feel that you need to use any dive poles.

Otter

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#7676 - 05/05/06 07:21 PM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Jim Ramsdell Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 29
Loc: Fairfield, Maine
Try doubling up on these deeper runs. Either one trap above the other or try one on the surface of the channel and then 20' or so further down the channel one on the bottom. That should cover both the critter swimming along the bottom or one that happens to be swimming on the surface. Set your triggers so you're not catching muskrats everyday. I would use a subtle dive stick and as you know here in Maine we can not set-up the den entrances.

Jim

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#7677 - 05/05/06 08:13 PM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
I look at it this way if the otter Is swimming on the surface then It's probably not following the channel and could swim around any dive pole.This would probably be the case In a wide open pond where there are no pinch points to direct the animal.

Otter

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#7678 - 05/05/06 09:17 PM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Trapper Joe Offline
Member

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 41
Loc: New brunswick
I'll give you my 2 cents.

In old beaver ponds I only set up main travel ways. That would be in the main stream channel. Otter are not that thick around here and might only come by once a month. Lots of times they just pass through following the main stream channel.

I don't set up old lodges any more. It just does not work for me due to too many rats. On a stream with plenty of old lodges the otter may enter only one in 10 it encounters. Many times I see where they pass by.

Best set I have found in these areas is in the channel or channels below the old dam. I set the top of the trap several inches under water because eventually ice will form on the trap if it is exposed. Also it allows for water dropping in the fall.

To avoid rats, catch them out or go far enough below the old pond so they don't travel there so much.

I always use a dive pole over the trap. I also add a brushy pole to prevent otter from going over the pole. If they can plant their back feet they will go over rather than through the trap, especially if the water is only a few inches deep.

They will also go around in some cases. I have seen tracks in the snow where they have gone over or around the traps. Then you have to wait 3 weeks for them to come back by there. They seem to not want to stick their face into the trigger.

In these main channels otter seem to be just passing by and they do that on the water surface. Trapping in the middle of an open pond or under ice in an open pond would be a different issue. Southern conditions might be different too.

Here is a good trick to stabilize body grips in channels. Find two dead beaver sticks just a little bigger than your spring openings. Drive them the right distance apart into the mud. With the safety hooks on, position the conibear at the right height with the sticks in the spring gap. When you compress the springs to set the trigger, the sides of the spring will grip the sticks and hold the conibear firmly in place. A little practice is needed to get the right size sticks. When the trap springs it falls to the bottom leaving the channel free.

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#7679 - 05/06/06 07:57 AM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Jim Ramsdell Offline
Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 29
Loc: Fairfield, Maine
Mr. Otter: The Beaver made the runs that deep not otters. Molunkus states he looking for otter sets and that he wants to set up the "Runs a foot or so wide with the water a couple of feet deep" In a run this wide with a dive stick, that doesn't leave the critter much choice but to dive and hopefully get caught. To keep them in the water all that is needed is a few obstructions on either bank to force them under your dive stick. With my set-up that I explained it would give you double the chance (and sometimes a double catch) at any critter using these types of channels.

Jim

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#7680 - 05/06/06 08:52 AM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Mr. Otter Offline
Member

Registered: 04/13/06
Posts: 93
Loc: South Carolina
That is true but the otter use these runs just like the beaver did and they swim on the bottom.
Why doesn't the beaver swim on top of the water, It seems to me It would be just as easy, but they don't.

These channels are travel ways and they use them to get too and from dens to the dam or too feeding areas. Once they arive at these locations they swim on top.

Where does the otter hunt? He hunts where the prey species lives and that's under water.Sure otter travel and play on the surface but most of the time they are under water hunting.

Now I picture a beaver pond as a wide open body of water with no pinch points.So wading out In the pond and placeing forked sticks on either side of the beaver run to postion a dive pole over the run would be a waste of my time and energy.I could be down the road setting other hot locations.
We all set In different way's my methods work for me where I trap and In my situations.
My methods catch me 70 to 80 otter each season. Yes I trap just about full time during that time and I run lots of traps and I have a huge otter population.
So my suggestion to those starting out is to gather as much information as you can and then take that information to the field and put It to use. Then you can weed out what dosen't and what does work In your situation.

Otter

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#7681 - 05/06/06 09:03 AM Re: 280's for otter in deep water
Newt Offline
Member

Registered: 07/31/00
Posts: 508
Loc: Port Republic,South Jersey & C...
I'm with Mr Otter on this one. Sometimes a 330 set with out guide sticks are better than 330 set with guide sticks. You will get less avoidance.

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#25443 - 10/25/17 01:28 PM Re: 280's for otter in deep water [Re: Molunkus]
Archive Offline


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

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